In an exciting moment for the world of fine jewelry, 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 Jewelry Exhibition,” is set to take audiences on a remarkable journey through the evolution of men’s jewelry, 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 jewelry.
As fashion runways have demonstrated in recent years, the boundaries that once rigidly separated jewelry and fashion by gender have all but dissolved. While men’s appreciation for fine jewelry 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.
“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 jewelry, 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 jewelry, a realm where tradition meets innovation.
The brainchild and curator behind this trailblazing exhibition is Frank Everett, Sotheby’s Vice Chairman of Jewelry. 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 jewelry. His visionary leadership has rekindled men’s love of jewelry, especially the brooch, and pushed boundaries with other groundbreaking exhibitions. Frank’s partnership with Carol Woolton, jewelry 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.”
Speaking on the show’s inspiration, Everett said, “Since the dawn of time, men have always donned jewelry. 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 jewelry 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 jewelry 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 jewelry 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 jewelry.”
“For the Boys: A Jewelry 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 jewelry. This exhibition promises to redefine how we perceive and appreciate the artistry of adornment. It celebrates the rich history and vibrant future of jewelry design, ensuring that the world of fine jewelry has been and will always be open and accessible to individuals of all genders.