The home of rare jewels. A true cabinet of curiosities. Mysterious. Extraordinary. And so go the countless ways to describe Lydia Courteille’s Parisian shop and studio, not to mention her jewellery. 

A collector of vintage jewellery of all shapes and forms, a geologists, scientist, Lydia Courteille only began making jewellery a decade ago, but already she had established herself among some of the world’s most innovative and daring jewellery designers.

Each of her pieces makes fantasy a reality, whether surrealist artworks brought to life in gold and enamel, a rockpool of opal glinting on the finger or a bracelet of pink rabbits that evoke an Alice in Wonderland dream.

We spoke with Lydia as she launches a brand new website and her latest Amazonia and Homage to Surrealism collections.

Adorn Jewellery Blog: The world of Lydia Courteille is truly fascinating and your work continues to challenge the boundaries of jewellery design. When or where did you begin? 


Lydia Courteille: I started life in the antiques jewellery business and then a few years ago I decided to create some pieces of my own. Success came quickly, so now, slowly but surely, I’m giving up antiques for my creations. I sketched my first designs in 1985, though I never learned design – it’s natural for me. I prefer drawing [my jewels], otherwise you can’t say you are a ‘designer’ – many people make the confusion between being a ‘brand’ and a designer.




AJB: Tell us about Homage to Surrealism. You celebrate some famous artworks and artists with this collection. Did you have to study a lot of their work, and if so, who or what was most fascinating?

LC: My favourite surrealists painters were Dali, Max Ernst and Magritte. I spend a lot of time in museums all around the world – it’s my little pleasure – so for me it was normal to imagine a collection. The surrealists are a great source of inspiration but I realised that the young generation don’t know them, especially out of Europe, so jewellery is another way to teach their stories.


Although you are working less with antique jewellery, do vintage designs or jewellery from the past influence or inspire you?

LC: I have bought 7,000 pieces of jewellery during my life in the antiques business; you imagine all of the techniques, designs, and methods [used]. It’s been a mine of inspiration for me!

Nature, colour and lush tropical hues are part of your recent collections – can you give us an insight into your next collections or current designs you are working on?

LC: I have two collections that are ready… But right now I don’t know which one will be revealed first. I can say that, once again, my travels were source of inspiration for these collection. I will present one of them in October 2016, in New York, so you will see then…

Interview on behalf of Adorn Jewellery Blog