Those of us who love elegant luxury and who seek the ultimate in artistic creations, live in a world filled with the creatures of mythology, a world where ultimate beauty combines the best of the elements of nature to create magical powers.
Our lives include the search for these unique creatures, unicorns, mermaids and fairies, and the joy that they can deliver. At the Dubai Jewellery Exhibition, I discovered one, a Sirin, the legendary female creature with the body of a paradise bird that sang wonderful songs of joy yet to come, and the head and chest of a beautiful woman. This Sirin found its life in Russian legends and was reborn in 1990 by the master artisans of the Moscow experimental jewellery factory when they sought an image to challenge and represent their art.
The first image I had of the beauty from Sirin was a silver horse (the name of this statue – Le Allure), possibly an Arab stallion created for this Dubai exhibition, standing on a serpentine base. The bridle and straps were 18 carat gold and decorated with diamonds, and rubies.
Yet what struck me was the pose, an extended trot of dressage, the horse in perfect balance. Above this magnificent bejewelled sculpture was a similar dark silver prancing stallion (named Akhal-Teke: the Turkmenistan national horse). This one is decorated with diamonds and turquoise. In the two stalls below were Arab camels, one ridden by a Bedouin reminding me of the arrival of Sherif Ali (Omar Sharif) in Lawrence of Arabia. Captivated by these sculptures that create such wonderful images, I sought to learn more about the mastery of the team known as Sirin.
I was immediately drawn to two enamelled boxes and a gold and transparent enamel dragon-fly. It was while listening to the explanation of the multistage manufacture and the selection of gold purity, that I started to understand the depth of science, technology and years of artisanal expertise that are necessary to produce these apparently perfect works of art. For the technical specialist as I am, the demonstration of transparency in the enamels – of enamel glass, plus the pure colours in settings reminiscent of a miniature stained glass window, formed a lasting impression.
Sirin consists of artists and artisans with vast experience whose works have won recognition in Russia and internationally. Sirin, as its name suggests, draws on tradition, yet is proud of Russian style at the boundary of the 20th and 21st century. Sirin has provided a renaissance of Russian art particularly from the imperial period – linking to the great Easter Egg creations of Faberge and his team. In fact, this team that became Sirin was contracted to create a gold support for a 1908 Faberge Imperial Easter Egg.
Much of the creativity of Sirin consists of fantastic ‘objets d’art’, this French term spoken as ‘obzhedar’ in Russia, and I thought back to the creations of Cellini in Italy and France in the 1500’s and to the earlier periods in Russia that inspired Faberge, and I could feel the importance of tradition that underpins use of modern technologies alongside expert craftsmanship. The works of Sirin combine the ancient and the modern. A Nautilus shell, yet 5 million years old, is mounted with delicately perforated silver through which the secret can be found, a single pearl. Words are insufficient. Search and admire with some jealousy this ‘business card holder’ that only one person can acquire.
Of course, the joy for a team of great craftsmen is the creation of Easter Eggs, each with a different surprise. Sirin has won the Gran-Prix in Russia with its ‘Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God’ Easter Egg. The connection of the egg to the ancients is a carved mammoth’s tusk framed in gold and encrusted with diamonds.
The works of Sirin you may find in Embassies and palaces around the world and in private collections of the most famous collectors. To find Sirin at an international fair and to share in the joy of becoming a member of the family of Sirin collectors contact Anastasiia ([email protected]) or chat with Gavin ([email protected]) about both the creations that have no practical application except the joy of admiring their great artistic wonder and some of the beautiful Sirin items that still have practical application, such as their glorious enamelled jewel boxes.