Maître bijoutier & archeologist
I like to think it was fate that helped me find this artisan jeweler. I had been discussing wedding bands with the jewelers to whom Chéri went to get the engagement ring he offered me, and something about them just rubbed me the wrong way. I tried and tried to like them, to trust them and to feel at ease with them, but after my fourth visit with them I still felt they were not able to understand what I needed, nor were they able to offer me the type of « accueil » that I was hoping to get from the people who would sell me a band that I will wear for the rest of my life. I always felt like they were trying to trick me. I am sure it is personal thing as Chéri never felt this kind of vibe from them.
But after I had had just about enough from them, I was griping to some of my colleagues, one of whom chirped up about a jeweler she knew who was the husband of a a friend of hers. She spoke well of him, but warned me that he was the artisan and the person who did the selling. It was in fact an atelier boutique, and she added, don’t be surprised but it is a little bit messy.
I took this information in with confidence as it meant to me that this jeweler with whom I would meet would also be the person making the rings. And an artisan who doesn’t have a messy workplace…well perhaps lacks some inspiration in my book.
Chéri and I went. It was tucked away in a smaller « gallerie » of boutiques consisting mostly of random necessary specialists such as locksmiths and shoe repair, with the occasional gift store, and sure enough it was a little unorganized and smelled slightly of cigarettes, but we immediately like the atmosphere which was authentic and honest as well as bursting with creative energy. It has a sort of Balzacian sort-of aura about it. Patrick greeted us with a warm smile and an earnest hand shake. Never got that from the other jewelers, nor from anywhere I may have browsed on rue de la Paix for that matter.
He motioned for us to sit in the chairs offered in front of his desk, and within a mere mater of minutes of explaining he understood exactly what we wanted. I was relieved to realize that what we were looking for was really not that complicated at all. After the discussion of our wedding bands I immediately started asking about his work that was in the « vitrine », and we flipped through picture books of his creations. He likes to work with gold and a lot of his past pieces have a decent amount of it on them, but with rising prices the markets and trends have moved towards jewelry that is more lightweight. He is able to accommodate any jewelry need, or take old pieces and modify them for e more modern taste. Chéri and I both enjoyed the Byzantine and Romanesque nature of many of his designs that was also mixed with a feel for art deco influence.
A little bit of conversation with Patrick, and he brought out his collection of sapphires for admiration, and I got the feeling that he was just itching to create something extravagant with them all! In addition to enjoying metal work he is also an adamant stone collector. He told me that he likes clearer stones because they let in more light. I agree.
But what I most liked about him though was that in addition to being a master jeweler, he is also an archaeologist who collects ancient jewelry. He brought out his collection of glass beads from Roman times, and a tray full of beads and stones dating back thousands of years, from Yemen or Egypt, Tunisia… His eyes twinkled when brushing his fingertips over these precious and carefully collected items. It has taken him years to acquire the collection he has, and he is often solicited for museum expositions and such or for his expertise appraisal on beads from other jewelry archaeologists.
The cherry on the cake though, was the price. Once you cut out the middle-man, all the R&D, branding and bull, you have just the material and the labor with a small margin for profit I am sure, but seeing as he has no employees, no ad campaign, no bull to pay for, he was able to offer us something we can afford. If you are looking for something original, personal and within a budget, I highly recommend :
Patrick de Pertat
Atelier : 103 rue de Sèvres, Paris 6ème