Discover Hemmerle, a well-known jewellery house among insiders

Discover Hemmerle, a well-known jewellery house among insiders

Erudite elegance

Text: Milena Lazazzera

The colours and craft of Hemmerle jewellery, a one-of-a-kind family-owned business, celebrates its 125th anniversary

Among jewellery cognoscenti the name of Hemmerle is well-known. It defines a distinct style in which Bauhaus-imbued aesthetics frame auburn-tinged materials, often unexpectedly, with erudite elegance.

Appointed 'Purveyor to the Court' in 1895 by Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria, Hemmerle is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a collection of 10 pieces inspired by the Medals of Honour, which the family has been producing on behalf of the royal family and the Bavarian state.

The collection is named 'Hidden Treasures' and debuted at the Tefaf Art Fair in Maastricht.

Hemmerle 125th anniversary medals

The medals' motifs were imaginatively set apart in myriad pieces and played with the imagination of the Hemmerle's atelier until the artisans recomposed them into new, modern creations.

"We've tried to use all the Hemmerle classics to bridge the gap between now and then: the materials of today with the design of before", explains Yasmin Hemmerle, wife of Christian, fourth generation in the family business.

Two heraldic motifs have been revived, sculpted in iron and contoured by white diamonds, facing each other at ends of an ebony wood cuff.

Hemmerle 125th anniversary collection

A pair of earrings in diamond and white gold are laden with the symbolism of the Pegasus motif, the winged horse of Greek mythology. The motif was used in the medals of the Maximiliansorder, established by King Maximilan II of Bavaria to reward excellence in science and arts. On the front of the disc-shaped earrings diamond and white gold depict the mythological figure against a dusk-blue sky in anodysed aluminium, on the back they draw the Pegasus constellation.  

Hemmerle 125th anniversary collection

In another pair of earrings, iron crowns hold a cascade of sapphire held by strings. This technique is similar to the Austrian knitted beading craft that Hemmerle is invested in keeping alive, and that is employed in an impressive necklace featuring a bright aquamarine centre stone combined with onyx and turquoise beads.

Hemmerle's atelier is also one of the few that has mastered the technique of setting diamonds in iron, one of the unexpected materials for which the Bavarian house is renowned, apart from copper, bronze, antique diamonds, rubies, and, above all, brown diamonds.

Hemmerle 125th anniversary collection

While buying brown diamonds, Yasmin observes that she can ask for only 'light' or 'dark' brown. Internally, however, all these diamonds are meticulously sorted and classified into six varieties of hues that carry names such as 'camouflage', 'copper', or 'Schlamm', the German word for 'mud'. This is why, continues Yasmin, "...finishing a pave of brown diamonds can take years."

But it is all in line with the way the house sources its materials. "We are continuously collecting old cameos, brown diamonds, or reclaimed old European diamonds", says Yasmin. "Without a precise purpose, then suddenly these pieces will speak to us, or we will create something in which these elements will perfectly fit."

Reclaimed old European diamonds play a special role in Hemmerle's aesthetics. They are softer and bear more evidently the human touch that cut them, as well as the beauty of life of those who wore them. Like old cameos, old European diamonds fuse into the craft of the modern era to create objects that transcend past, present, or future.

Hemmerle archival enamel book

Thanks to their low-key tones, comfort in wearing them and the house's absolute discretion about their prices, Yasmin says that clients enjoy Hemmerle jewels on a daily basis, from the school run to a glamorous night out.

Unlike any other jeweller, Hemmerle has only one store in Munich and meets its clients when travelling to art fairs like Tefaf in Maastricht or PAD in London. Hemmerle's way of conducting business seems to metaphorically suggest that only well-educated and well-travelled eyes can truly appreciate a Hemmerle creation.

Hemmerle 125th anniversary collection

Discover more of Hemmerle here.