Marquetry Clutch with London Topaz


Designer: Silvia Furmanovich
Materials: Wood marquetry, 18k yellow gold, 15.33ct topaz
Dimensions: 8" x 4.7"
Origin: Handmade in São Paulo, Brazil
Details: Lined

This marquetry clutch was designed exclusively for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, to celebrate the new Hossein Afshar Galleries for Art of the Islamic Worlds. Its pattern is inspired by Shakhrisyabz Suzani, now on view in the galleries.

About the Designer:
Since launching her brand over 20 years ago, Silvia Furmanovich has become one of the most visionary artists working in fine jewelry today.

Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Silvia Furmanovich comes from a long line of Italian goldsmiths; her great-grandfather made ornaments for the Vatican, and as a child, Furmanovich spent hours observing her goldsmith father in his atelier. In 1998, she launched her own collection and opened her first boutique in São Paulo in 2009. Today, she has one flagship store in São Paulo, along with her own atelier, and she is joined in the business by her three sons.

Furmanovich draws on varied cultural and historical references and traditions — from Japan and India to Italy and the Amazonian Rainforests — but she takes these inspirations to an entirely new level, re-imagining and refreshing them through her in-depth exploration of materials and techniques. These include intricate wood marquetry to capture Brazil’s rich flora and fauna, Mughal romance portrayed through Indian miniature painting, Japanese bamboo basketwork, and jewels set with antique Roman micro mosaics, an homage to her Italian heritage. All come to life through her courageous use of color, particularly the colored gems that are Brazil’s birthright.

“I love working with unexpected, alternative materials,” says the designer, whose pieces are all handmade by artisans in São Paulo. “I am very passionate about collaborating with artisans from around the world and the cross-pollination of cultures.”

Furmanovich has designed special collections in collaboration with key cultural institutions around the world. In 2022, at the invitation of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and designer Madeline Weinrib, Furmanovich designed a series of jewelry pieces for The Heirloom Project, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of The Met's reimagined Islamic Wing by seeking engagement with global craftspeople who pursue ancient techniques and design principles. More recently, Furmanovich collaborated with The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston as an extension of The Heirloom Project.

Furmanovich has won the prestigious Couture Design Award four times; in 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2022, always within the ‘Innovation’ category. Her India Collection won the 2018 Town & Country Jewelry Award in the ‘Collection of the Year’ category. The designer was a nominee for the Jewelry Design Award at the Jewelers of America’s GEM Awards 2019. Furmanovich’s Egypt Collection won the ‘New Hall of Famer’ category in the 2022 Town & Country Jewelry Awards, and she was honored with the ‘People’s Choice’ prize for her Silk Road collection during the 2022 Couture Design Awards.

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