Lucas Rarities is a London-based dealer specializing in period jewelry and object d’art. With a skilled background in gemology and jewelry dealing, Manager Sam Loxton is a well-respected international authority on rare antique and period jewelry. Loxton welcomed us into the vault in London to view some of the company’s most valued and unique pieces, ranging from Art Deco to the 70’s. -The Stone Set
“I started in the jewellery business in 1997 at Christie’s as a porter on the jewellery department. I already had two years experience as a general porter at Bonhams, but a position arose at Christie’s specialising in jewellery and a passion began. After three and a half years there, during which time I completed my gemology course, I crossed the counter to work for a jewellery dealer. The next seven years of my career were spent learning both about jewellery and the business in general. In 2007 I was presented the opportunity to run Lucas Rarities and I haven’t looked back since.
Lucas Rarities was established in 1999. We deal in fine period pieces alongside loose stones and natural pearls. Based in the heart of London’s West End, we have a by-appointment gallery, wishing to return to an earlier age when private salons were preferred to street level stores. I spend a great deal of time travelling between London, Europe, North America, and the Far East sourcing and selling fine jewellery.
Finding an important piece of jewellery is the highlight of my job. Once a great piece has been found and research is done, selling it is fairly straightforward as it is proving harder and harder to find great jewels. As a company, we will buy jewellery from any period provided it is of high quality and well manufactured. My personal area of expertise is jewellery from 1910 to 1970s.
Jewellery has been viewed as a status symbol for a long time and I wish it were viewed as a form of sculpture more than a fashion accessory. The great designers understood this and one only has to wear a great piece to understand how important form and scale are. The house of Boivin, Suzanne Belperron, Paul Flato, Verdura and Andrew Grima were amongst the greatest designers of the 20th century. As with all great artists, they were revolutionary in their jewellery and years ahead of their time. During their respective careers they designed jewellery for A-listers and the fact that their works command huge prices on the secondary market is testament to their innovative designs.
Valuing a piece is difficult, as there are so many factors to consider. The piece must be well manufactured with as little repair, if any, as possible. An interesting provenance makes a considerable difference to the value, as does the designer of the piece. Sometimes the intrinsic value of the piece (for example, diamond content and quality) can be immaterial if the piece was designed and owned by someone important. The piece also has to stir a passion within me, as without this it is near impossible to enthuse someone else to purchase it.
The most important piece I have been fortunate to handle was the emerald aigrette brooch designed by Paul Iribe in 1911. This was the first documented piexe of important Art Deco jewellery, and the design was influenced by social factors of the time and designed by one of the great pioneers of art deco.” -Sam Loxton of Lucas Rarities
Photography by Stefania Yarhi.