Diamonds Are A Boy’s Best Friend

For the first time ever, Sotheby’s Auction House is dedicating a
landmark selling exhibition to the evolution of men’s jewelry.

By |

In an exciting moment for the world of fine jewellery, and frankly, one that is a long time coming, Sotheby’s Auction House is poised to unveil a spectacular selling exhibition that defines the landscape of men’s adornments. The first of its kind, “For the Boys: A Jewellery Exhibition,” is set to take audiences on a remarkable journey through the evolution of men’s jewellery, spanning from the mid-19th century to the present day. This landmark exhibition transcends traditional boundaries, celebrating the ever-evolving world of men’s fashion and self-expression through jewellery.

As fashion runways have demonstrated in recent years, the boundaries that once rigidly separated jewellery and fashion by gender have all but dissolved. While men’s appreciation for fine jewellery is hardly a novel concept, the exhibition showcases the dazzling shift in styles, revealing diverse designs that have graced the necks, wrists, and fingers of discerning gentlemen through the ages.

(Top-Bottom) Shola Branson Ring, Silver-Topped Gold and Diamond Necklace, Shaun Leane Ring (Courtesy of Sotheby’s)
(Top-Bottom) Bulgari ‘Serpenti’ Necklace, David Yurman Ring (Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

“For the Boys” will feature a curated collection of approximately 100 pieces, a veritable treasure trove of antique, iconic, and vintage designs from iconic houses, including Cartier, Bulgari, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels, Verdura, and David Webb. This illustrious lineup sets the stage for a journey through time, where each piece tells a unique story of craftsmanship and aesthetics.

But this exhibition is not anchored in the past alone. It dares to explore the avant-garde world of contemporary men’s jewellery, with modern and cutting-edge pieces on display from the likes of Chrome Hearts, NN by Nghi, David Yurman, and Shaun Leane. The juxtaposition of historical and contemporary designs serves as a testament to the ever-changing nature of men’s jewellery, a realm where tradition meets innovation.

Sotheby’s Vice Chairman of Jewellery, Frank Everett wearing Shaun Leane Necklace, David Yurman Necklace, Belperron Brooch, Platinum and Diamond Bracelet, Shaun Leane Rings (Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

The brainchild and curator behind this trailblazing exhibition is Frank Everett, Sotheby’s Vice Chairman of Jewellery. With a retail background enriched by stints at illustrious names like Bulgari, Tiffany, Harry Winston, and David Yurman before joining Sotheby’s in 2013, Frank has emerged as a luminary in the world of fine jewellery. His visionary leadership has rekindled men’s love of jewellery, especially the brooch, and pushed boundaries with other groundbreaking exhibitions. Frank’s partnership with Carol Woolton, jewellery editor at British Vogue, in 2019 resulted in the exquisite selling exhibition “In Bloom,” celebrating floral jewels. More recently, he co-curated the groundbreaking “Brilliant & Black” exhibition, a pioneering showcase dedicated to Black jewelry designers. Frank’s passion and expertise have extended beyond the physical gallery, captivating a global audience through his viral Instagram account and beloved video series, “Frank’s Files.”

NN by NGHI Diamond ‘Can Beauty Conquer Fear’ Ring (Courtesy of Sotheby’s)
(Top-Bottom) Vintage Brooch Circa 1870, Tiffany & Co. ‘Sunburst’ Brooch Circa 1890, David Webb Brooch (Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

Speaking on the show’s inspiration, Everett said, “Since the dawn of time, men have always donned jewellery. However, this renaissance has gained traction as of late thanks to the pursuits of celebrities such as Harry Styles, Lewis Hamilton, Pharrell, and others who helped push the modernization of men’s jewellery and the embracing of styles and materials that have oftentimes been thought of as for women only – those with precious and semi-precious gemstones and generally evoke more personality. The purpose of this show is not to genderize jewelry – since I’m a true believer that jewellery should be and can be worn by everyone – but rather a celebration of self-expression and the ever-changing men’s style evolution from past to present. With this exhibition, we hope to not only educate and introduce jewellery to a new male audience, but to dismantle the pre-existing boundaries, and also cater to an audience that knowingly wants to freely express their individuality through the power of jewellery.”

(Top-Bottom) Cartier Cross Pendant Necklace, David Yurman ‘Spiritual Beads Rosary’ Necklace, David Yurman Necklace, David Yurman Chain Necklace, Chrome Hearts Bracelet, David Yurman Bracelet, Shaun Leane Bracelet, Chrome Hearts Bracelet (Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

“For the Boys: A Jewellery Exhibition” is set to open its doors to the public at Sotheby’s New York galleries from September 23 to October 5, coinciding with the Contemporary Curated sale. What makes this exhibition all the more exciting is that all the pieces on display will be available for private sale, with prices ranging from $3,000 to $300,000, ensuring that these remarkable creations can find their way into the collections of discerning enthusiasts.

In a world where fashion knows no bounds, “For the Boys” stands as a testament to the limitless possibilities of men’s jewellery. This exhibition promises to redefine how we perceive and appreciate the artistry of adornment. It celebrates the rich history and vibrant future of jewellery design, ensuring that the world of fine jewellery has been and will always be open and accessible to individuals of all genders.