I can’t be alone in not yet having found a brilliant way to store all my jewellery. I don’t own any fantastic heirlooms, but over the years I’ve picked up bits and bobs from markets, and my husband has given me some lovely pieces that live in chaos in a variety of drawers. Having somewhere to keep them more organised and easily to hand would be terrific.
Annoushka Ducas, owner and designer of the Annoushka jewellery brand, has just launched a chic jewellery box made from black-lacquered wood (34cm x 19cm x 19.5cm, £2,100, second picture). Inspired by her mother’s, which was “crammed with a wonderful array of jewellery that told me so much about her past and her travels”, Ducas devised a modern parure box. “Traditionally, a parure was a suite of jewellery, usually based around a set of matching stones, which was then added to over time. I wanted to encourage women to create their own jewellery wardrobe and with this case they can keep it all in one place. I hope it will encourage them to really use and wear their jewellery.” Lined with black velvet, the parure has multiple drawers and hidden compartments on silver hinges, so that they can be opened up to display everything at once.
More capacious still is what Tree Couture, a new British furniture house, calls The Ah-Mwa (75cm x 65cm x 32cm, £11,995, fourth picture). Handcrafted from solid black American walnut with a lipstick-red leather trim, it has seven drawers, mirrored doors and four side cases with little hooks to hold necklaces. It’s fitted out to order, so you’re able to specify the internal arrangements, and can be seen at The Clerkenwell Collection from December 1. Ralph Lauren’s ebony and black shagreen Delmere box (27cm x 26cm x 24cm, £3,495, first picture) is a smaller take on the jewellery armoire, with more hooks, three drawers lined with cream suede and a top that opens to reveal three compartments.
There are also several craftsmen who can devise one-off pieces that are as desirable as any jewel. The Edward Barnsley Workshop, which works exclusively in wood, makes an exquisite Clamshell box (66cm x 44cm x 8cm, about £9,000, third picture) to order, while Scottish silversmith Graham Stewart showed an elegant example at last year’s Goldsmiths’ Fair. This special commission (38cm x 24cm x 14cm) was delicately hand-engraved on all sides with flowers and motifs pertinent to the family for whom it was created. Inlaid with walnut, ebony and sycamore, it had several drawers lined in velvet. A smaller box as beautiful and as finely worked would cost about £25,000.