I went to the Bespoke workshop of the jewel brand House of Eléonore at de Bijenkorf in Rotterdam. A day before I stayed with a friend of mine at the NHOW hotel, where we had a gorgeous view of the skyline of Rotterdam.
After a nice stay, we went to the Bespoke workshop the next day. I was so enthusiastic, because I was curious about the story behind the jewel brand and that I could admire the collection from close by. During the workshop, I got to know better the world of diamonds and jewels and how they are made. After that we were allowed to take a look in the temporary shop-in shop in de Bijenkorf where a goldsmith was, but first I’ll take you to the beginning of House of Eléonore.
Launching House of Eléonore
Bern van Damme, a young entrepreneur and Royal Asscher, who got more than 160 years of experience in diamonds an jewels, launched the House of Eléonore in September 2015. By the innovative expertise of Joseph Asscher, among which his masterpiece the Cullinan (world’s biggest diamond), his work can be seen in the British crown jewels and the royal British scepter.
The name House of Eléonore refers to the duchess of Aquintaine. A colourful and strong woman who was the most desirable bride of Europe back in 1137 and as a duchess she commanded an army by herself at the battlefield. She wore the first famous diamond in Europe, the 90 carat ‘Briolette of India’. Ever since then, they make an ode to strength, wisdom and the inner ability of a strong woman.
Transparancy, craftmanschip and sustainability
House of Eléonore closely works together with Max Havelaar, where the gold is fair trade. By doing so, more attention will be paid to good employment conditions of miners and the gold will be contributed to a sustainable economy and habitat. The diamonds are laboratory created and are almost corresponded with natural diamonds. The difference is that the process is started off by people, whereby the diamonds are more affordable which also makes it possible to make them in several colours.
Ready to wear, Dutch Light Bridal and Bespoke
Thanks to the traditional influences, beauty and a range of shades, flora and fauna of Papua New-Guinee is the first collection ‘Paradise’ established by the creative director Ray Steele and the British jewel designer Tessa Packard. The jewelry are made in the Netherlands with durable noble materials that are recycled or Fair Trade.
Besides the collection ‘Paradise’, the new collection ‘Dutch Light Bridal’ is also to admire at the shop-in-shop in de Bijenkorf. They are inspired by an old myth, about magic light that was only visible in the Netherlands. This so called light is common in historical paintings, which is a feature for Dutch painters. Dutch light consists of ten engagement rings and four pairs of wedding bands and wedding dresses, inspired by Elisabeth of Orange of the Bartolotti family.
The last one is the ‘Bespoke‘. It’s possible to design a jewel for customers, the way how they desire it. There is a unique 3D sample of the design, so that the customer can make it fit for it selves afterwards. The gemologist chooses together with the customer the perfect gems for a jewel. After that, the piece will be done under surveillance, by the goldsmiths of House of Eléonore.
The collections are in the showcase exhibited till the end of December and is from mid-October available online at de Bijenkorf. There is also an in-house goldsmith present, who designs by means of the wishes of the costumer. On site, a sketch will be made. There will be forged and jewels will be polished.
Take a look at their website www.houseofeleonore.com and you would be amazed.