A Family Journey - Around Europe In 10 Days

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Boodles launch their new High Jewellery Collection for 2023 around the story of Anthony Wainwright's round the world trip in 1962. Some sixty year later Nohcholas Wainwright makes a simlar journey round Europe to source stones, design pieces and have lots of fun along the way...

He writes...

We’ll always be a forward-looking business.

But once in a while, it’s nice to look back and at my age, I do what I’m told. So when my family co-directors of Boodles said they’d like me to do a Grand Tour of Europe in 10 days, who was I to argue?

And unlike those poets of the nineteenth century, who might take a rickety boat across the Channel to seek out

Michelangelo’s David, I would be doing it in style. “Any fool can be uncomfortable,” as dear Dad used to say. His advice was to travel five-star – and I’ve tried hard to follow his example.

There’s a serious purpose, of course. In 1962, my father made a round-the-world trip. Not all that common back then – and especially not in just 16 days, which is how long it took him. It wasn’t some corporate jolly. Anthony Wainwright ran a tight ship, and wanted to meet people who could provide Boodles with the very best diamonds and gemstones the world could offer. The friendships Dad made still come up trumps all these years later, although today we are dealing with the children (and sometimes grandchildren) of the people he visited. Anyway, to commemorate 60 years since his adventure, I travelled to some of Europe’s most beautiful cities, seeking inspiration for a new and iconic collection. I hope you enjoy it.

In early 1962 Anthony Wainwright, the Chairman of Boodles at the time, set out to travel around the world in 16 days, buying diamonds, pearls and precious gemstones — as well as to expand his own horizons and network. Sixty years later, Anthony’s son, Nicholas, embarked on a similar journey – Around Europe in 10 days.

The journey explores present-day Europe and its rich heritage of gemstones and architecture, encompassing a variety of rich cultural experiences. From the undulating and violet landscapes of Provence to the workshops of Murano, in Aston Martins at top speed, relationships and meetings with old friends and new, extraordinary gemstones and a whole lot of fun. He took seven different modes of transport in the 10 days (including a hot air balloon!), visiting an array of wonderful cities. Rebecca, (our Head of Design), and Jody, (Nicholas’ son and Boodles Director) joined him at various points to assist with sourcing the stones for the collection and gaining design inspiration from the locations first hand.

Notable pieces in the collection include a Florence design suite set with heart shape diamonds. The pieces were inspired by the angel wing motifs that appear across the city in frescoes, sculptures and stucco. The overall look is sculptured with a flow to the angel wings as they sweep around the stone. The clasp features a heart shaped motif set with pink diamonds surrounded by overlapping feathers. The London, Royal Parks earrings feature two extremely special matching pear shape tsavorites, set in pink gold. The earrings were inspired by the royal parks of London and the Boodles pink taxi that Nicholas travelled around London in. There is also an extraordinary Murano design necklace inspired by the fluidity of the glass during the blowing process, as well as the magical colours and patterns on the island.

It is set with fancy shape multi-gems and diamonds which were handpicked and bought by Nicholas in Venice on his trip. The Paris bracelet features colours and motifs from the Jardin de Tuileries and Pavillon De Flore, a cochonnet from Nicholas’ game of Petanque, and finally a yellow sapphire that he bought in Paris. Together this forms the Boodles 2023 High Jewellery collection; ‘A Family Journey: Around Europe in 10 Days’.



Rebecca van Rooijen


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