Contemporary fine jewelry artist Cindy Chao, globally recognized for her intricate designs of rare, colorful gemstones, has collaborated with actress, entrepreneur and philanthropist Sarah Jessica Parker on a singular jewelry creation. The 2014 Black Label Masterpiece “Ballerina Butterfly” brooch (Est. HK$6 – 7 million / US$750,000 – 950,000), co-designed by Chao and Parker, will be auctioned at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Sale on 7 October. Net proceeds from its sale will benefit the New York City Ballet.
Parker and Chao came to admire each other’s respective work as creative artists during Chao’s 2011 Masterpiece Exhibition in Beijing. Their friendship and mutual respect led to discussions of a potential collaboration. It was decided during the opening of Chao’s boutique in Beijing in 2012, where Parker was an honorary guest, that the pair would combine their creative talents, working together to design a unique jewelry piece for charity.
The Black Label “Ballerina Butterfly” brooch was completed with heart and soul over the course of two years, during which Parker and Chao held several design meetings, reviewed sketches, wax models and gemstones together. Chao began the creation process by building a wax model of the piece, as she does with all of her Black Label Masterpiece creations. The “Ballerina Butterfly” brooch melds together Chao’s craftsmanship as one of the jewelry world’s premier artists along with Parker’s discerning eye for style and design.
The resulting creation is the 2014 Black Label Masterpiece “Ballerina Butterfly” brooch, constructed of a titanium and 18-karat gold body, featuring a cushion-cut fancy brown diamond weighing 26.27 carats, three rough brown diamond slices weighing 47.71 carats in total, three pieces of conch pearls weighing 7.25 carats in total, surrounded by 4,698 diamonds and fancy-colored diamonds weighing 98.09 carats in total, completing the majesty of the Black Label Masterpiece Butterfly. The “Ballerina Butterfly” brooch is inspired by the graceful beauty and elegance of ballet, displaying the sensibility, delicate structure, strength and mellifluous movement exhibited within a ballerina. The brooch can be worn either right-side up or upside-down to create two silhouettes of exceptional splendor.
“Sarah Jessica and I are two very different creative minds sharing the same artistic vision and passion,” expresses Chao. “She truly appreciates the essence and soul of my creations, and I admire her innovative yet classic view on fashion and style. My annual Butterflies carry special meaning for me. Collaborating with Sarah Jessica for a cause we both deeply care for and believe in makes this Ballerina Butterfly all the more special in my heart.” The Black Label Masterpiece Butterflies are one of Chao’s coveted motifs and revered by collectors worldwide. Chao has designed a Black Label Masterpiece Butterfly every year since 2008, symbolizing her metamorphosis as an artist. This year marks the tenth anniversary of CINDY CHAO The Art Jewel, lending great personal meaning to this Black Label Masterpiece Butterfly. The “Ballerina Butterfly” is Chao’s first art jewel collaboration, evoking a sense of infinite creative possibilities, portraying a passion for beauty, shared by both Chao and Parker.
“I have had the great pleasure of knowing Cindy and her work for several years, and it has been an incredibly special experience to collaborate with her,” states Parker. “Cindy’s jewelry designs are true works of art; they capture the eye and imagination in a memorable way. I am so pleased to partner with her on this project, which benefits the wonderful work of the New York City Ballet, an organization that is close to my heart.”
“New York City Ballet is honored to be a part of this wonderful collaboration between Sarah Jessica Parker and Cindy Chao,” said NYCB’s Executive Director Katherine Brown. “As a member of our Board of Directors, Sarah Jessica has created a number of exciting initiatives to both build new audiences and generate philanthropic support. We are thrilled that she and Cindy have chosen to make NYCB the inspiration for and benefactor of the sale of this exquisite “Ballerina Butterfly” brooch.
QUEK Chin Yeow, Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s Asia and Chairman of International Jewellery, Asia said, “Sotheby’s is proud and honored to be part of this exciting project, intertwining bejeweled creativity and the Performance Arts with the world of art auction. In offering this unique ‘Ballerina Butterfly Brooch’ in Hong Kong, it undoubtedly becomes a global phenomenon.”
The “Ballerina Butterfly” brooch made its debut during Haute Couture week in Paris, July 7-10. It will travel throughout Asia before going to New York, where Chao and Parker will serve as Co-Chairs of the New York City Ballet’s Fall Gala on September 23, 2014. The brooch will then return to Hong Kong in October, prior to the auction.