Sotheby’s Presents a Dazzling Jewelry Exhibit With Men in Mind

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Before it became common to see high-profile men wearing jewelry traditionally associated with women, such as brooches, pearls, diamond rivières, or Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklaces, Frank Everett, Sotheby’s Vice Chairman of Jewelry, was already embracing this trend.

Years ago, Frank was one of the first to demonstrate how stylish brooches can look on a men’s suit jacket. He championed this idea long before it hit the red carpet. He even launched a one-man campaign on Instagram with the hashtag #bringbackthebrooch.

Now that the #thebroochisback movement has been successful, Frank has taken his passion to the next level by curating a selling exhibition called “For the Boys: A Jewelry Exhibition.” This collection of 100 jewels aims to engage more men in shopping for luxurious jewelry designs.

For the Boys: A Jewelry Exhibition features pieces from contemporary designers specializing in men’s jewelry, such as David Yurman and Shaun Leane. It also includes a wide range of vintage jewels that were once considered women’s accessories but are now considered genderless. The collection spans from 18th-century diamond brooches to treasures from renowned brands like Cartier, David Webb, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels, and Verdura.

The exhibition will be held at Sotheby’s New York galleries from September 23 to October 5, with prices ranging from $3,000 to $300,000.

Learn more about the curation of “For the Boys: A Jewelry Exhibition” in the interview with Frank below.

You have been a strong advocate for men wearing jewelry for years. How did this exhibition come about?

We have been discussing the idea here for a long time, and this summer, I decided to make it happen. The exhibition came together quickly. Every piece in the exhibition is something I would personally wear—it’s like my own collection of impossible jewelry.

Do you see many men bidding on jewelry for themselves at auctions?

There were very few men buying jewelry for themselves ten years ago, but now there are some. This exhibition aims to showcase how men can wear this jewelry and highlight Sotheby’s as a great source for unique pieces. We are not trying to assign genders to the jewels. We welcome anyone to shop the show. However, we wanted to encourage men to feel comfortable browsing and shopping.

How would you recommend men start their jewelry collection?

I suggest starting with a ring because you get to see and appreciate it all day. Then, a brooch is a versatile piece that can enhance any outfit. Chains are also effortless to wear. There are no fitting issues with chains or brooches.

Which vintage periods do you find most appealing for men?

I love the 19th century, the Art Deco era, and the 1970s. Antique jewelry from the 19th century can be relatively more affordable compared to contemporary pieces. The blackening of the metal in vintage starburst designs adds a cool factor to the jewels. The geometric shapes of Art Deco jewelry also look great on men. The 1970s had fantastic men’s jewelry, including necklaces worn by style icons like Steve McQueen.

Which pieces from the exhibition catch your eye the most?

There are several pieces I would love to own. I have my eye on Shola Branson’s sapphire pinky ring, and I’m quite certain I’ll be taking it home.

In this ongoing men’s jewelry renaissance, which has clearly transcended a mere trend, what has surprised you the most?

What makes me happiest is that we have moved beyond the traditional boundaries of what constitutes a men’s jewelry collection. It’s no longer limited to dog tags and bead bracelets. There is now a much wider selection of jewelry available—a new world order, so to speak.

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