Jewelry designer Rebecca Koven adds a little sparkle and shine to this year’s Fort Worth Show of Antiques, Art & Jewelry.
By Babs Rodriguez
Photos courtesy of Rebecca Koven
To say that Rebecca Koven creates statement jewelry is, in fact, an understatement. The New York City-based designer’s creations are distinctively her own, poetry spelled out in gemstones and gold. She is equally inspired by Balenciaga and I.M. Pei and has been known to use the hashtag #gobigorgohome on her Instagram posts (@rkoven). All of which explains the artisan’s invitation to exhibit her wares at the newly expanded Fort Worth Show of Antiques, Art & Jewelry.
The much-anticipated event, this year under new ownership, returns March 6-8 to Cowtown. It will offer the expected mix of pedigreed antiques, midcentury icons, art glass and contemporary art, but Luxe Events president Andrea Canady has expanded the lineup of fine and estate jewelry offerings enough to warrant adding the category to the show’s name.
It was a natural extension for Canady, who has been promoting major jewelry shows across the United States for the past 30 years. “When I took over the Fort Worth Show and upgraded it, many of my jewelry dealers loved the idea of a new show in Texas. Several of the dealers I’ve signed have customers in Dallas and Fort Worth, and they thought it would be a great platform for meetups with those clients, as well as to make new ones,” she says.
Canady believes Koven’s one-of-a-kind and limited-edition fine jewelry will be well received in Fort Worth. The designer — a Canadian-born painter whose work in the jewelry department of Sotheby’s inspired her to become a jeweler — started her own line in 2000. She has designed for the renowned Fred Leighton line, as well as on-the-quiet for various designers and red carpet events, including this year’s Academy Awards.
It’s not surprising her finely carved and cast floral necklaces, rings and bracelets catch the eye of both celebrities and Prada-wearing editors. There’s a mysterious lightness to the pieces and a feeling they have a story to tell. Romantic, sculptural and whimsical (diamond-encrusted monkeys anyone?) by turn, her designs can begin with inspiration from flora and fauna, a museum artifact or a Thai temple. Her sketches or carvings in wax precede casting in silver and gold. She then entrusts artisans around the world with her vision, which may include having them intricately carve precious and semiprecious stones. Finishing touches are her own.
For a time, Koven’s work could be found in boutique retailers that included Neiman Marcus; today, you won’t find her pieces in stores and only in the occasional trunk or prestigious jewelry show — and now, the Fort Worth Show. Private clients keep her busy. We shouldn’t have to tell you that this is an opportunity to chat her up about creating a piece just for you. “I love commission and bespoke pieces. I will also rework a piece of someone’s heirloom or vintage jewelry; that can be fun,” she says. Why is the globe-trotter who was saluted as one of the top 100 iconic jewelry-makers in the world by Singapore-based Solitaire magazine packing her trunk for a trip to Texas? “I like to support other women in the industry. And Andrea [Canady] has been in the business as long as I can remember. I really wanted to support her in her bid to bring the show to Texas,” Koven says. “I am bringing at least 200 pieces, both my organic and sculptural pieces as well as architectural pieces. But there will be some big diamond pieces, too. All diamonds.
We have to wow a little — it is Texas, after all.”
Fort Worth Show of Antiques, Art & Jewelry Luxe Events and new show owner Andrea Canady aim to elevate the mix of offerings at this annual event with more than 100 high-end art, antiques and jewelry dealers. The show runs March 6-8, with an opening-night preview March 5. Tickets Preview, $75; general admission (good all three days), $10. Will Rogers Memorial Center, Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall, 3400 Burnett-Tandy Drive, Fort Worth. For tickets and more details, visit fortworthshow.com.