Michele Della Valle initially studied music in Rome. Yet he received an almost beatific conversion upon seeing Elizabeth Taylor, dripping in jewels at the premiere of the opera, ‘Giselle’. He was so impressed by “a hairstyle that was a true work of architecture, a tower of black hair cleverly held by a variety of gems set in brooches and jewellery that made her look like a Madonna – sacred but secular, untouchable yet so worldly. Maybe it was at that moment that I realised my real passion, even before opera music, was to design and create jewellery.” After this vision he was converted and has since created some of the most magnificent jewels of this century.
Jewellery Maker Profile: Michele Della Valle
Kaleidoscope of Colours
Della Valle’s work revolves around and celebrates the colours of the natural world: “Nature is my greatest source of inspiration”. Adapting his musical education to his new found passion for jewels, Della Valle designs his pieces like a musical symphony. He creates a kaleidoscope of different colours arranged into one harmonious whole, blending subtle hues like notes from violins and piano keys.
Looking upon his jewels is often described as similar to “dreaming in colour”. In an interview with Sotheby’s in 2019, Della Valle was asked what his favourite stone is, reluctant to be restrained to just one colour, he diplomatically responded “colourful sapphires”.
Della Valle lives and works in Geneva, and has an atelier in Paris.
“If the piece has been inspired by a strong emotion, this energy is perceived and the jewel will be successful”.
In October 2019 Michele Della Valle was commissioned for a second time to create a collection of bespoke jewels for Sotheby’s auction house which sold in London. The sale included 55 lots all made exclusively for Sotheby’s.
Many of Della Valle’s jewellery feature Tsavorites. In his own words: “Green and purple is a wonderful juxtaposition”. This colour combination is visible in a stunning pair of asymmetric amethyst, peridot and diamond cluster earrings. In these earrings Della Valle has literally juxtaposed the two colours by reversing the centre stones with those surrounding it: On the left a green peridot is framed in a halo of purple stones whereas on the right the opposite colour combination was used.
When creating, Della Valle likes to let “the stones give birth to the design and not the other way around”. Inspired by the tropical flowers he saw in Hawaii, Della Valle declared: “Jewels to last for one night only: [that is] the ultimate luxury”.