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Jewels by JAR is the first retrospective at The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to a contemporary artist of gems. JAR pieces utilize the technique of pavé, or setting a large amount of very small stones together, and are seen as collector’s items, typically selling at auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

It all started in 1966 when a Harvard graduate Rosenthal moved to Paris from his native Bronx, New York and he met Pierre Jeannet, the other half of JAR. The two delved deep into the museums, galleries and auction houses of Paris to learn about antique jewelry, then opened a short-lived needlepoint shop and eventually co-opened their own small boutique under the name JAR in 1978 on the Place Vendôme. Today, the JAR shop is located in a larger space next door to the original boutique.

See weeping-willow earrings, bejeweled butterflies and bedazzled asparagus brooches on display at Jewels by JAR at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, on view Nov. 20 – March 9, 2014.

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