The art of the French lapidary is on display in New York
“This collection represents a lifetime’s work,” Chervin, 95, said in a statement to the New York Historical Society.
“I’ve been able to choose for myself exactly what to make, when and how I want it. I’ve been freed from the constraints that come naturally when you’re manufacturing to a customer’s request.”
Born in Paris in 1927 to a Jewish family, he trained at the prestigious École Supérieure des Jeuilles in the French capital and immigrated to New York in 1951.
There, with another ambitious French jeweler, Serge Carbone, and $2,000, he founded the Carven French Atelier in the heart of Manhattan, which for decades supplied jewelry to such luminaries as Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier and Bulgari.
Chervin stays away from the public’s attention and does not give interviews.
“My father did not envision this exhibition. In fact, it was not easy for me to convince him of the necessity of holding an exhibition,” his daughter and deputy head of the operator, Carol Shervin, told AFP.
“He’s a very private, humble, down-to-earth guy. He did all this work, as I said, as a passion… He wasn’t looking for publicity.”
In addition to brooches, bracelets, rings and earrings made of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, rubies, gold and silver, the exhibition will showcase the wonders of decorative art produced by Shirvin’s small workshop, which is still in operation to this day.
Among them are a “My Heavy Heart” boudoir lamp composed of a citrine heart mounted on an 18-karat gold wheelbarrow overflowing with colorful diamond flowers, and a “Ruby Frog” bedside lamp made of ruby slabs.
There is also a strawberry bush with fruits carved from red coral with nephrite leaves.
These pieces, taken for the first time from Shervin’s home in New York, show that the artist “has a very close relationship and a very moving relationship with nature. He’s a huge fan of nature,” said Debra Schmidt Bach, the exhibition’s curator.
Shervin has been at the helm of Carvin French for 60 years, and Schmidt-Bach says one of his strengths has always been finding and cultivating talented craftsmen, many of them from abroad.
“Andre says he sometimes felt like a conductor, leading an orchestra of amazing talent and craftsmen with amazing skills,” she added.
New York was another major factor in Shervin’s success.
“The reason we were able to attract such an amazing roster of jewelers, jewelers and artisans is because it was in New York,” Carol Shervin said.
“It was a real United Nations of talent, as my father says.” – France Press agency