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PRECIOUS CARGO: Ira von Fürstenberg is showing a selection of her one-of-a-kind precious objects in an exhibition at the Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris through March 2.
The tireless globetrotter has created animal sculptures, crosses, bowls and skulls from materials such as rock crystal, jade, aquamarine and malachite set off by precious metals. Most are based on wooden objects picked up on her travels, which she then has reworked by artisans as far afield as Madagascar, India and Nepal.
“In the beginning, I was looking for unusual gifts for friends. Everything I found in stores looked the same, so I decided to create something different. I started off with small objects, and gradually they became bigger,” she explained.
Set designer Pier Luigi Pizzi has placed the objects on black pedestals lit from within to accentuate the beauty of the materials. Highlights include a pair of rock crystal candleholders with gilded bronze lizards twisting around the stem, and a jade Buddha head with a crown set with pearls, turquoise and precious stones.
“I adore everything that is useless and pleasant. Nowadays, people only want useful things, so this is fun,” von Fürstenberg said. “They are things you don’t need but that give you pleasure.”
First shown at the Museo Bagatti Valsecchi in Milan last September, the objects will go on sale next month at the Galerie Steinitz in Paris. Further exhibitions are due to take place in Monaco, New York and Hong Kong later in the year.
— Joelle Diderich
“Objets uniques” — Ira von Fürstenberg,
Feb. 13 to March 2
158 Boulevard Haussmann, 75008
Open Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
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