Blood on the Sand


Theo Fennel – 18ct yellow gold pendant earrings from the ‘Palm’ collection.

According to an inside industry source – actually, it was an explanation in apology for taking a long call in the middle of coffee about some textile designs being rushed into production– all things tropical and, in particular, palm motifs are going to be everywhere this summer.

So, whether it’s to match your frock and accessories or, instead, to feel like you’re joining in because you’re not the kind of woman who favours dramatic prints on her clothing, why not take a look at Theo Fennel’s ‘Palm’ collection. And, perhaps it will only be a look, because these delicate babies are the real thing and don’t come cheap.

Posh boy Theo attended Eton. But, instead of using the old school tie network for a fast track into becoming a captain of industry in some musty banking house, Theo went to art school and later set himself in business to produce the intricate and beautiful jewellery for which he is known.

His ‘Palm’ collection, produced in either yellow 18ct gold or white gold encrusted with diamonds, offers everything from understated pendant earrings to definitely noticeable cuff bangles. As always, the design is very contemporary but with a strong sense of history. The delicate palm fronds shimmering in diamonds on a pendant or wrapping their yellow gold leaves around a finger to form a band ring are rather Neoclassical. You can almost imagine Napoleon’s Joséphine wearing one of these pieces. Or perhaps George, Prince Regent, asking a goldsmith to create a necklace for his beloved Mrs Fitzherbert, inspired by the Orientalism of the Brighton Pavilion.

But, if palms aren’t your thing, Theo Fennel has plenty of other collections to explore, most of them with a similar strong historical feel, from brightly encrusted baroque pendant crosses to elegant little bee earrings that bring to mind the renaissance bees of the Medici. There’s also an excellent line in ‘poison’ rings, chunky rings that flip up to reveal what’s inside. In this case, the contents are a lot more charming than what the Borgias reputedly kept in their versions of the same principle. Who could not be impressed by the amazing Colosseum ring that flips open to show a tiny slain gladiator inside?

But again, not likely to be an impulse purchase. When you see the words “price on application” beside fine jewellery, you know that the particular piece is going to go to a veritable empress whose buying power exceeds that of us mere mortals.


Theo Fennel – Colosseum ring in 18ct gold and rock crystal..

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