Adornments of a different sort

Jiří Belda jr.

Jeweler Jiří Belda Jr. has revamped the classic perception of jewelry and created modern, aesthetically pure, original, and very wearable fashion accessories.

FOR DECADES the products from Belda workshop have been among the finest fruits of the Czech jewelry tradition. The Belda line dates back to 1922, when Jiří’s grandfather, Ladislav Belda, established a small factory for producing pearls in his native Turnov. Jiří Belda Jr., together with his father, who is best known for his copy of St. Wenceslas’s coronation jewels, began working again in the factory after the revolution, and they now concentrate on small editions of jewelry.
After Belda Jr. graduated from the Institute of Applied Arts, where he studied jewelry and glyptics, he restored and designed jewelry and filled orders for architects. “Before the revolution, no one bought designer jewelry here, so it wasn’t easy to make a living from it. In other countries people are more accustomed to modern jewelry, there are specialized galleries and collectors, but this is hard to bring to fruition if you’re from the east,” Belda Jr. explains. So after some time he stopped making customized jewelry, focusing on designing modern jewelry made in small batches. “The design isn’t so free, these are modern items, new in their approach, technologies, and material. Such things weren’t available on this market,” he says.
He offers his collection of such jewelry, as well as decorative household items, in his gallery on Mikulandská street in Prague. “We favor minimalistic jewelry that we either design ourselves or produce based on designs of other artists. For example, we have designs dreamed up by the Olgoj Chorchoj team, Bára Škorpilová, and design students. In June we will put on a larger exhibition of students’ works,” the artist adds. Although the Belda gallery presents a collection of art nouveau jewelry based on Alfons Mucha designs, visitors come in search of modern jewelry. Belda Jr. works mainly with silver, precious stones, and pearls, as well as less traditional materials such as titanium, corian, and duralumin. A smaller percentage of the jewelry is made of gold or platinum, and orders are also accepted for different materials or specific designs.
In what ways does designer jewelry differ from traditional jewelry? “It has attributes such as innovative, modern expression, and simplicity of shape,” Belda Jr. says. “It also has to be highly functional. In short, it’s just a different category, a different view of jewelry.” The artist’s vision and skills have drawn many well-known people to his gallery, including Madeleine Albright, Marek Eben, and Mia Farrow.

Rings in various styles by Jiří Belda Jr.
Necklace and a set with semi-precious stones.
Vase – glass and aluminum



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shop of the month

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