William Farquhar Natural History Drawings Inspire Jewelers


The William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings, a set of 477 watercolors that serve as an important record of the Malay Peninsula’s rich biodiversity during the 19th century, are on display at the National Museum of Singapore on a rotation basis.

The richly detailed drawings have now inspired a collection of jewelry pieces that was unveiled this week at Singapore JewelFest 2015. To celebrate the city-state’s golden jubilee, JewelFest collaborated with the museum to create the Dazzling Reminiscence collection, reaching out to local jewelry retailer, Lee Hwa Jewellery and five jewelry designers to create limited-edition designs and one-of-a kind pieces.

William Farquhar was Singapore’s Commandant from 1819 to 1823 and a keen naturalist who documented his findings both scientifically and artistically. His fascination with natural history resulted in important botanical and zoological discoveries, such as the comb-shaped matonia, the Malayan tapir, and the binturong, all meticulously documented in the form of watercolor paintings by local Chinese artists commissioned by Farquhar.


For her one-of-a-kind piece, designer Simone Ng of Simone Jewels drew inspiration from an illustration of the Black-Capped Kingfisher and used a stunning 17.50-carat Peridot as a central focus over which two delicately crafted and bejeweled birds hover. Opting for a two finger ring gave the designer the opportunity to let her creativity run wild, by providing a bigger canvas for her sculptural creation.

Shar-Linn Liew, co-owner and designer for Kavant & Sharart, found inspiration in the tropical Rhinoceros Hornbil, creating an abstract contemporary spin on the bird's facial features, while jeweler Caratell drew on images of the Sunda Pangolin, a lesser known mammal that faces extinction, for inspiration. The solitary animal produces one offspring, sometimes two, a year, and uses its hard scales to protect itself and its baby folded onto her belly. The jeweler has created a charming pendant representing this mother’s love, using green jades and glittering diamonds

Lee Hwa Jewellery selected a drawing of the Mangrove Fan Palm to create a small collection crafted in white gold and black rhodium with polished black and white diamonds.


Jeweler Vihari Sheth opted for an abstract representation of the tropical Torch Ginger, while Jaipore chose the delicate beauty of the Oleander flower to create a collection using pink sapphires, and yellow and white diamonds .

To see all these pieces and their inspirations, click on the slideshow.

The jewelry is currently showcased at the Jewel Pavilion until October 18 and will then be on sale at the National Museum of Singapore gift shop. All six jewelers will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the pieces to the museum.

as first published on BlouinArtinfo.com