Anne Schofield – Contemporary Jewellery by Jacqueline Lillie

Red tendril earrings

Burgundy tendril earrings, beads individually knotted, 19c red gold mounting,  courtesy artist jeweller Jacqueline Lillie

Anne Schofield of Anne Schofield Antiques at Woollahra in Sydney, specialises in jewellery both past and present, which has achieved a pinnacle of excellence in the art of design.

Currently on show until Friday 5th June, 2015, Anne Schofield Antiques is pleased to present an exhibition of fine art jewellery by much-acclaimed French born Viennese based designer and artist Jacqueline Lillie (b.1941).

Internationally recognized for innovative, sculptural work; a combination of interesting design, fine craftsmanship and intricate detailing, Jacqueline Lillie has certainly mastered the art of flexibility, form and function in her exquisite hand-made craft.

Using mixed media, including microscopic glass antique beads from such famed glass centres in Europe as Prague and appropriately Bohemia, Jacqueline Lillie works by hand using a magnifying glass and the very fine copper needle she fashions herself to achieve simply amazing results.

Threaded and knotted individually with an artist’s eye, Lillie encrusts very diverse and interesting shapes made of titanium, silver and gold with her tiny beads. Yet other shapes are formed completely with beads threaded on silk and so superbly detailed you can hardly believe they are real.

The magnificent collection glimmered and glittered in the light of Anne Schofield’s very chic gallery on opening night and those present were animated with sheer delight as they encountered the pieces first hand.

Black & White Long Lillie Necklace

Glorious long black and white beaded necklace courtesy artist jeweller Jacqueline Lillie

Jewellery for today’s lifestyle requires a timeless look, one that has become classical while always being contemporary.

It needs to have a great dash of Bohemian chic to appeal to those with a business lifestyle, going from the office during the day to a concert or the opera at night as well as a casual party on weekends.

Refinement of style and miniature craftsmanship is at the heart of Jacqueline Lillie’s amazing achievements, as she innovates the world of contemporary jewellery.

She spends 100 – 200 hours hand-making each piece and so production understandably is limited, as they are each unique.

All Jacqueline Lillie’s pieces are captivating, well suited to the urban world and not so much a reflection of the buyer’s status, but proof positive that their new owner has a discerning eye.

My own favourite was the superb long flat black and white beaded necklace on display in the window, with its cleverly handcrafted black and white Corian clasp. Stunning

Made of glass beads threaded onto silk it showcased the patience, brilliance and quiet industry of its talented designer maker.

Anne Schofield says of Jacqueline Lillie’s intricate jewels they ‘…are so very special, that I believe they will become highly sought after antiques of the future’ said Anne.

Anne Schofield

Anne Schofield in her Gallery on Queen Street at Woollahra in Sydney, wearing Jacqueline Lillie’s superb red tendril earrings

I couldn’t agree more.

Just imagining them and bringing them to reality seems to me an extraordinary process.

Sourcing the beads gives her great joy Jacqueline noted, that she visits antique centres wherever she finds herself.

When she was starting out on her career, she invested in a hat box full of the miniscule glass antique beads she came across together with her best friend, who helped out by purchasing half.

25 years later she had all but used up her own half, when her friend generously gave her the other half because she loved what she was doing with them.

Jacqueline Lillie’s neckpieces, bracelets, brooches, earrings and cufflinks all seemingly have their foundation in styles inspired by such diverse sources as the many and varied aspects of Modernism, which favoured form following function.

Principles included balance, rhythm, harmony, emphasis, proportion and scale

During its brief history The Bauhaus, one of Germany’s Modernist movements, aimed to rescue the arts from isolation and elevate the status of craft to that traditionally enjoyed by the ‘fine arts’.

Jacqueline Lillie’s work does just that.

She studied metalwork under Professor Hagenaurer 1962 – 1965 at the Academy of Applied Arts, forming a deep attachment to one of the most sophisticated and beautiful cities in Europe and has resided in Vienna ever since.

She has exhibited internationally since the early 80’s and received a Rakow Commission in 1992.  She has also presented lectures around the world about her work, influencing generations of young artists.


Neckpiece Jacqueline Irène Lillie (French, b. 1941) Austria, Vienna, 1992, Glass filaments, glass beads, knotted silk, 7th Rakow Commission

During the late 19th century it was Viennese artists, painters, sculptors and architects who seceded from the prestigious Kunsterhaus (Artists House) and set up the Society of Austrian Artists – the Vienna Secession staging their first exhibition in March 1898 declaring ‘To each century its art, to art its Freedom’. Their youthful idealism encompassed a spirit of sacrifice and a willingness to work hard, as they plunged into leading Vienna into the age of Modernism.

At this time the Viennese art world accepted the earlier leadership role of English designers such as arts and crafts guru William Morris, or Scottish designer Charles Rennie Macintosh in their fight to combat goods produced by the Industrial Revolution.

Red Earclips

Red Helix Earclips, courtesy artist Jeweller Jacqueline Lillie

Adhering to the tenets of Modernism means that everything may appear new, a style that has been, or is indeed now is, successful in its aesthetic, i.e. sensitive to, or appreciative of art or beauty.

Pleasing in its appearance, it has usually conformed and complied with the ‘rule of taste’ of its time, which is in its turn is governed by fashionable concerns.

Acquired first by The Cooper Hewitt Museum in 1983, many of Jacqueline Lillie’s works have gradually over the years found their way into private collections and art museums around the world.

Lillie Necklace Met

Necklace Jacqueline I. Lillie, (French, born Marseille, 1941) ca. 2000, Glass beads and metal disks courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

She has an incredible necklace made ca.2000 of glass beads and metal disks in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which was the Gift of Donna Schneier in 2007.

Must say I find completely amazing just from a photograph, so let’s hope they put it on view some time soon.

Her pieces can also be found in the Bollmann Collection at the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna.

Lillie Necklace 1

‘Neckpiece with ivory epaulettes’, glass beads / ivory, Jacqueline Lillie, Vienna, Austria, 1985, courtesy Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia

In Australia National Gallery of Australia in Canberra and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences at the Powerhouse in Sydney has examples of her work, one of which is currently on display during the Fine Possession exhibition

This wonderful woman, who had a vision and has painstakingly and with great patience brought it to fruition, is among the giants of the contemporary jewellery world.

Meeting a very warm excited Jacqueline Lillie on opening night was a delight, as she talked about the passionate pursuit of her art.

Going back to see her again a few days later she kindly responded to my questions.

Swivel earrings 2015

Wonderful Swivel Earrings 2015, courtesy artist jeweller Jacqueline Lillie

1. Do you see the Australian Woman as very different to the ‘European Woman’ in what she wants and likes or do you believe you cater more for the Universal Woman these days, one who is comfortable and ‘at home’ in both environments?

A. Australians are decidedly more casual. My jewellery can be worn casually, with jeans for example, hence the appeal.

2. Australia is physically a very different place to Vienna where you both live and work, particularly the light. How do you respond to that in terms of design?

A. One of my main considerations in the Australian context is to reduce my use of materials susceptible to humidity. On account of the Australian light, I can use brighter colours.

3. Do you ever feel dissatisfied with a piece that you have to set it aside and go back to it, or take it apart and start again?

A. On occasion I have to ‘ditch’ something and start all over again.

However, on occasion, serendipity rules and a ‘mistake’ leads to a pleasant and unexpected surprise.

Red Necklace...Jacqueline Lillie

Red Rope Necklace, red glass and steel cut beads individually knotted, black jade clasp, courtesy artist Jeweller Jacqueline Lillie, Anne Schofield Antiques Exhibition 2015

4. Do you still retain the youthful passion for your work that first gave it birth? How hard is that to achieve?

A. I feel the same as I did at the very outset.

5. Does your inspiration for a particular piece come out of just one encounter you have with something or someone that triggers the idea, or is it a combination of factors that then organically grows?

A. It is very much a combination of various factors that I encounter in the world around me, viz. nature, art or interaction with people and the environment, be it shadows, architecture or even building materials.

Must say that I believe great art will always work in a man-made environment as long as the object has integrity, form and proportion that is pleasing to the eye and, a subject that challenges the mind, engages the spirit and, most of all, connects with the soul of the viewer. Jacqueline Lillie’s lovely pieces did that for me; it was a very special privilege meeting, viewing and talking to her about her work.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015

Anne Schofield Antiques

Jacqueline Lillie

Until Friday June 5th, 2015

Jacqueline Lillie Works in Selected Public Collections

Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design, New York, USA
Asenbaum Collection, Vienna
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia
Württemberg State Museum, Stuttgart, Germany
Corning Museum of Glass, New York, USA
Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), Vienna, Austria
Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA
Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin, USA
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
Donna Schneier Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, USA


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