Toni Cavelti

Modern Classic

Toni Cavelti is a creative artist, craftsman, and jeweller based in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Canada’s beautiful West coast. He has retired from jewellery, but continues to be a creative artist. He has said that he feels jewellery is more craft than art. However, the jewels we see from the Cavelti workshop are easy to see as art.

1960s-1970s architecturally inspired brooch

Apprenticed in Switzerland, in 1954, a young Toni Cavelti arrived in his chosen new home of Vancouver, British Columbia. He found work in the jewellery business, and his designs and style promptly became an important part of Vancouver style and society.

In the 1960s and 1970s, nature and geometry combined in vibrant designs that are both bold and joyful. The combination of space and reflection, texture and polish creates highlights and depth of form.

1960s-1970s: A classic opal and diamond brooch, featured in the Max Wyman book Toni Cavelti, A Jeweller’s Life, and offered in the Important Jewels Auction, November 2020

Light and dark form a regular part of Cavelti’s style. The textures provide depth and highlights that capture the viewer’s imagination.

Diamond earrings exploring form and texture

Fine Gems

Cavelti’s work is widely recognized as innovative, carefully considered, and expertly made. Cavelti jewels have a balance and form that is immediately appealing to the eye. They are comfortable to wear, and make a joyful statement.

Vivid rubies forming a joyful heart pendant

Owners of Cavelti jewels recall the strong relationships developed with the jeweller. They often recall the design process, and many have his original artwork framed on their walls. Many jewels were created specifically for clients.

Experiments in light and reflection, highlighted with diamonds, creates a fascinating, rich texture

Gems used in Cavelti jewels are very fine. Colours are exquisite, carefully chosen, and perfectly matched. Rubies are as red as flames, emeralds are green as grass. Clarity is strikingly good. Cut is fine. Clearly Cavelti was not prepared to cut corners, and we are all the beneficiaries of his focus on quality.

Brilliant red rubies and fine diamonds. Cavelti chose gems very carefully

Published Source: Max Wyman: Toni Cavelti, A Jeweller’s Life

In 1996, Max Wyman wrote a book, Toni Cavelti, A Jeweller’s Life, a biography of Cavelti. The book documents the progress of the artist from his early years in Switzerland to becoming an icon of the jewellery world. Nine of the Jewels featured in the book are highlights of the Dupuis Important Jewels Auction in November 2020.

Featured in the Max Wyman book, Toni Cavelti, A Jeweller’s Life: “One of the most important stones to be handled in the Cavelti workshops…”. This 5.29 carat ruby pendant is offered in November 2020.

Toni Cavelti embraced modern forms and modern materials. In 1967, a new gem was found in Tanzania. Named after its source, Tanzanite quickly became a prominent and highly desired gem. Competing with fine sapphires for beauty, tanzanite can be a rich and vibrant gem. It is only to be expected that Cavelti would choose the finest examples. In the Important Jewels Auction, November 2020, a pair of earrings, a bracelet and a pendant feature exquisite tanzanites. These jewels are also featured in the Max Wyman book.

Very fine tanzanite, weighing approximately 19.40 carats, in an expertly crafted pendant. Featured in the Max Wyman Toni Cavelti book, and offered in the Important Jewels Auction November 2020

Diamonds are a mainstay in the world of jewels. Toni Cavelti chose his diamonds with great care. There is a fine suite of diamond jewels in featured in Toni Cavelti, A Jeweller’s Life. This suite is a highlight of the November 2020 auction.

A diamond brooch and necklace, offered in the November 2020 auction. There are matching earrings, and ring also offered in the auction. All are all also featured in Toni Cavelti, A Jeweller’s Life.

Cavelti jewels are often offered in Dupuis Auctions, and we are always proud to feature them. It a rare and special opportunity to include this very important collection of Cavelti Jewels in a single auction.

Duncan Parker

About Duncan Parker

Duncan Parker, FGA, FCGmA, CAP (CJA), Vice President. Duncan is a columnist and contributor for industry magazines and journals. He has been an instructor of the gemstone course at Ryerson University, the Gemmology courses of George Brown College and Canadian Gemmological Association as well as instructor Master Valuer Program with the Canadian Jewellers Association. A renowned expert, he speaks regularly at international gem and jewellery conferences and symposiums, as well as at less formal events. He has served as President of the Canadian Gemmological Association since 1995. Before joining Dupuis Auctioneers, Duncan was a director of research at Harold Weinstein Ltd., a leading and respected jewellery appraisal company.
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