It's not that often that we get to see exhibitions about men's jewelry. So, when I went to see the exhibition about men's rings presented at l'Ecole des arts joailliers (the School of Jewelry Arts) I didn't know what to expect, especially because apart from men's watches, I am too keen on male finery.
The exhibition showcases an array of 500 rings ranging from the rings of the 17th century Venice doges, to American biker rings of the 1970's, ancient Egyptian rings to 19th century skull rings, 18th century rings to rings by contemporary artists.
All the rings belong to the renowned antique dealer Yves Gastou, a key figure in the life of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in Paris, a neighborhood where he has lived and worked for over thirty years.
Yves Gastou has created this collection of rings with accumulation, frenzy, relentlessness and risk-taking within over thirty years, over the course of his usual haggling (in flea markets, public sales, jeweler's inventory sales, workshops sales), but also from his travels. Yves Gastou is an artist; as such, his collection is an expression of his creativity.
Rich with more than a thousand rings from varied origins and ages, Yves Gastou's collection, for all its originality and personality, carries with it the history of collecting which dates back several centuries. The ensemble is as much a collection of ancient times as a modern collection.
The installation is divided into 7 sections: neoclassical, chivalry, gothic, religious, vanitas, ethnic, curiosities. Some rings are just stunning; I was very surprised to see a ring made with human hair!
I heartily recommend this very interesting and exclusive exhibition. And icing on the cake, the visitor gets the chance to visit the premises of the Van Cleef & Arpels School of Jewelry Arts!
Until November 30th, 2018
31 rue Danielle Casanova - 75001 Paris