ITEM OF THE WEEK
|Contra Mundum or ‘Against the world’: a one-of-a-kind diamond glove|
Daphne Guinness and Shaun Leane celebrate the completion of Contra Mundum or ‘Against the world’:an extraordinary piece of jewelled armour in the form of a one-of-a-kind diamond glove. This collaboration between the award-winning jewellery house and creative ambassador Daphne Guinness was initiated five years ago in conversation at Leane’s London studio.
As a child, Daphne’s fascination with armour began through her reading of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur – a compilation of the legendary tales of the Knights of the Round Table. Captivated by the book’s pictures of renaissance knights, and inspired by her many visits to the Metropolitan and Wallace Museums, the stunning imagery of protective battle garments became the starting point for this exceptional partnership. When considering her choice of words in naming the glove, Daphne settled on Contra Mundum because: “Armour is like a mask; a protective layer that keeps you hidden from the world. There is something isolating, yet strangely reassuring when you put it on.”
Created in 18ct white gold, Contra Mundum combines an armour-like structure with the aesthetics of an evening glove, echoing the essence of ladies’ gloves made in either lace or silk. An ambitious concept to convey, the piece weighs over a thousand grams in gold and is set with over 5,000 pavé white diamonds. Every detail in the piece, including the chainmail, has been carefully constructed by hand to ensure a perfect fit to Daphne’s arm. A cast of her arm was taken and the rubber mould was then used in the following years as reference in between her fittings with Leane.
Talking about this collaboration, the house of Shaun Leane – renowned for boundary-breaking design –has greatly demonstrated its spirit in challenging the traditional notions of jewellery. This inspirational journey, Leane explains, “has pushed myself and my team to create the ultimate piece of wearable art.”
This inspirational journey, Leane explains, “has pushed myself and my team to create the ultimate piece of wearable art.”
A GLIMPSE INTO THE WORLD OF DAPHNE GUINNESS: UNDRESSED BY NOWNESS