With a childhood steeped in the appreciation of fine antiques and jewels, Rebecca Ardessi and her self-named company continue the three-decade-long tradition of her parents, renowned owners of the exclusive “Antique Collector” boutique located in the distinguished Bahnhofstrasse in Zürich.
Her burgeoning interest in the industry was seeded by watching her parents’ craft, but in recognition of the need for expertise Rebecca further entrenched her skills by studying Gemology and Art History, garnered training from Sotheby´s, and added a business school degree to her skills.
Located within the acclaimed Badrutt’s Palace Hotel since 1995, Rebecca has furthered her own reputation with her thoughtfully curated collection and renown for specializing in historical antique jewellery, precious gems, and Objects d´Art, each with its own unique story to garner wonder from her world-wide customer base.
Her current collection includes sought-after pieces from, among others, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chaumet, Bulgari, and Belperron.
We spoke with Rebecca Ardessi about her journey and the storytelling she shares through her collection.
What is Rebecca Ardessi Fine Jewels’ specialisation?
I have specialized more and more in antique jewelry. My challenge is to surprise my regular customers and collectors with exceptional pieces year after year.
What interests you most when working with antiques?
I am fascinated by pieces from the past, each one a unique and unmistakable work of high-quality craftsmanship. The imperfections in the stone cuts emit charm and mystique as if they have a soul. They are quiet yet powerful companions.
What is your favourite period and why?
I personally love the Victorian period the most. Back then, only silver and yellow/rose gold were known. The silver, which had turned almost black at the time, contrasted beautifully with the diamonds. I find the jewelry from this time very wearable. Many imitate the antique style, especially by re-cutting diamonds as old mine diamonds. However, even if they have received an old mine cut, they are too perfect, lacking the signs of wear and tear and therefore the soul.
How would you describe your signature style?
What I really enjoy doing is creating jewelry using rare and beautiful loose old mine stones in a simple and minimalist setting. This allows the stone to shine even more and gives the piece a sporty/elegant look.
What do you consider your priority?
It is important to me to offer my customers only 100% authentic antique jewelry of the highest quality from reputable sources. Today I am happy to be of service to my clients all over the world, bringing them together with the precious pieces they find through me. I thank my parents for this noble gift.
What has been one of the most memorable pieces from your collection?
I love having pieces with an exciting story or from a great personality of the past. I sold, to one of my biggest collectors, a valuable treasure that was found in a sunken Spanish royal galleon from around 1700. Inside a small silvery jewellery box covered in small shells were the most beautiful Colombian emeralds that were intended for the future queen of Spain.