Joel Arthur Rosenthal is a world-famous jeweler and a man of mystery. His company store does not sell jewelry, he does not communicate with clients, does not give advertising and interviews. Of those who want to buy his jewelry, he chooses only the most worthy ones, and rare occurrences of the simplest items marked J.A.R. become a sensation at auctions. So who is this elusive jewelry design genius?
Mysterious Jeweler Joel Arthur Rosenthal
Mysteriousness is perhaps the key feature of the J.A.R. brand, and there is a considerable share of charm in this closeness. Touching the creations of Rosenthal is almost impossible – unless someone from the Rothschild family recommends you to him. And even if you are a multibillionaire, you cannot count on the favor of the master – he decides with whom to work, and is distinguished by a rare incorruptibility. Any mention of Rosenthal, any statement of his (you should not even dream of appearing in public!) Is an event of international scale. Even the photo album of J.A.R. in a matter of hours became a bibliophile rarity.
His jewelry cannot be seen at presentations and exhibitions, and even more so – in advertising, the jeweler does not talk to journalists, does not announce collection releases. Few have met him in person. Rumor has it that Rosenthal is still a misanthrope and does not meet with clients because he is annoyed by the vulgarity and bad taste in their appearance, behavior and speech. They say that he is rude with his titled customers and expresses everything he thinks about their clothes and jewelry, often refuses to sell jewelry if he thinks that they do not suit the customer. However, looking at his refined, spiritual, light-filled masterpieces, it is difficult to imagine such a reclusive grumbler…
The atmosphere of strict secrecy envelops both the personality of the master and the brand itself.
A small shop on the rue de Castillon, decorated in elegant purple tones, offers visitors … elite perfumes. However, in the late 70s, one could see the first creations of J.A.R. there – three luxurious rings with diamonds. True, they did not stay on the counter for long.
American Joel Arthur Rosenthal, the son of a teacher and a postman, never learned to be a jeweler – except for six months at Bulgari in New York. But he graduated from Harvard, managed to get a degree in philosophy and art history, wrote paintings and scripts for films, worked with famous couturiers … Rosenthal is fluent in several European languages. He could have made a career in any field of art – but he preferred to become a great self-taught.
In the 60s in Paris, he met his business partner Pierre Janet – and devoted the next decade to the creation of the very three rings that instantly made him famous. The jeweler was inspired by butterflies with their fragile and exciting beauty. Photos of the first J.A.R. immediately ordered Vogue – and Joel Arthur Rosenthal woke up as a legend of jewelry design.
Over the years of his jewelry career, Rosenthal has created a little over a hundred pieces of jewelry – sparse compared to the famous brands that release new collections several times a year. But this only enhances the attractiveness of his products in the eyes of collectors.
J.A.R. produces jewelry from a blackened alloy of gold and silver, developed by Rosenthal himself, sometimes using titanium and even wood. There is nothing revolutionary in its design – pure, unambiguous, familiar to the eye beauty. The jeweler is not inclined to experiment with new technologies, using the old ways of cutting diamonds. A big part of the charm of J.A.R. jewelery is its conservatism, the fact that it seems antique. I must say that Rosenthal does not feel reverence for precious stones either – color, texture, and not status are important. Rubies are no better than opals, and other garnets are not inferior to emeralds in terms of the complexity of the shade and the play of light in the facets.
Rosenthal’s favorite motifs are flowers and butterflies. Petals and wings seem alive, trembling, each stone seems to have the ability to breathe. Lilacs and camellias, lilies and freesias, clover and carnations – Rosenthal, like the great jewelers of Art Nouveau, does not divide plants into noble and weedy, finding in each of them a unique character and beauty.