BOVET & Ilgiz F. illuminate the Kremlin Museums

Happening from March 31st to July 31st 2016, this unique exhibit shows how much the watchmaking arts are present in the history of art as well as their universal characters

At the dawn of the 19th century, Edouard Bovet took the decorative arts – and miniature enameling in particular – to new heights, establishing the standards of Swiss watchmaking in the process. In accordance with the conventions of the time, he employed the best watchmakers in the Val-de-Travers and entrusted the case decoration to the enamellers whose workshops were located in Geneva. The greatest artists of this golden age continue to contribute today to the reputation of BOVET 1822 timepieces.

Today, Pascal Raffy, the owner of BOVET 1822 and the Dimier 1738 Manufacture, is once again asserting his desire to safeguard and perpetuate the traditional decorative arts of watchmaking consistent with the noblest expression of time. He has naturally insisted on employing the same working methods, the same techniques and the same rigor as his illustrious predecessors in this new collection, which has undeniably redefined the very concept of excellence. This feat is all the more impressive given that today’s timepieces diameters are smaller than those of 19th century pocket watches. It is thus the shared values for uniqueness and passion for fine art that has brought together Mr. Raffy and Ilgiz Fazulzyanov.

The specialists designate him as the heir of the most illustrious enameller of history as Lissignol, Richter, Liotard or even Huaut. Many on this list of non-exhaustive artists that made the reputation of the enamels from Geneva have moreover collaborated with the House of BOVET in the 19th century.

But on top of a mind-blowing technical and artistic know-how of miniature painting in « grand feu » enamel, Ilgiz Fazulzyanov is one of the most well-known creative jewellers of his generation. The exclusive collection of true pieces that BOVET 1822 and Ilgiz F. is unveiling will therefore not take the specialists and collectors of 19th century by surprise since it puts itself in the direct line of the historical pocket watches made by the BOVET brothers. The first accomplishments of this collection focus around 2 themes. The Horsemen of the Apocalypse for the men’s timepieces while for women the inspiration comes from nature with mainly floral themes.

Ilgiz F.‘s exceptional talent in all disciplines and techniques of jewellery combined with the excellency that characterises the BOVET timepieces reaches such heights that the Kremlin has decided to open its doors for a unique exhibit. It is therefore the first solo jeweller exhibit at the Kremlin Museums since Pierre- Karl Fabergé in 1917 and some of the BOVET timepieces arising from this partnership will be exhibited.

Happening from March 31st to July 31st 2016, this unique exhibit shows how much the watchmaking arts are present in the history of art as well as their universal characters. The first page of history of the House of BOVET starts when in 1818 Edouard BOVET sold 4 pocket watches to the Emperor of China who became a devoted collector. It is the extraordinary heritage that links the rooms of the Forbidden City to the vastness of the Kremlin which summarises this exhibit. An open view on the future ensures a unrivalled know-how for the most noble expression of time.

About Ilgiz F.

Ilgiz F. was born in Kazan, graduated from Kazan’s Feshin Art School and continued to master the art of jewellery on his own. In 1994 Ilgiz F. discovered the art of stone enamelling and in a matter of several months he mastered this technique to such an extent that his new works brought to France drew the highest praise from the experts, while the Madame Figaro magazine published an article about Ilgiz titled “The champion of enamel”. From this moment on, the stoving enamel became his trademark and favourite technique.

In 1999 Ilgiz F.and his jewellery workshop moved to Moscow and this marked a new phase in his work and a growing international recognition. Ilgiz F. began to receive clients and collectors from all over the world. In 2008 he became the first living jeweller whose work was sold at the Christie’s jewellery auctions. Several years later the venerable British auction house was joined by New York auction house Bonham’s, which also began selling Ilgiz’s work. In 2011 the “Bullfinches” pendant won Ilgiz F. the main prize of the International Jewellery Design Excellence Award in Hong Kong. The pendant resembles a beam of a street lamp illuminating a branch with three birds that came to symbolize the Russian winter. In 2013 Ilgiz F. confirmed his “Champion of the Champions” title with the “Butterflies” set that conveys the state of nature at the moment of the solar eclipse. In this set the master jeweller used faceted black pearls. Today Ilgiz F. is the only jeweller in the world that holds two top awards of this competition. In 2014 Ilgiz F. received the top prize at the competition organized by Russia’s State Precious Metals and Gems Repository for his “Crows” pendant. The Kremlin Museums bought another six pieces for its own collection. The works of Ilgiz F. can be found in museums and private collections in Russia, United States, Italy, France, Great Britain, Japan and other countries.