As a child, Jason Pomeroy was amazed when his father brought him to the St Paul’s Cathedral whispering gallery. “He whispered into the curvature of the dome, and when I heard him on the other side, I thought: ‘How?’” The older Pomeroy explained acoustics to him, and told him about the building’s architect, the highly acclaimed Christopher Wren. The eight-year-old decided there and then that he wanted to be an architect.
This and other highlights of Pomeroy’s life – ranging from his family castle in Devon to the view of the Gherkin from his London apartment – are the inspirations behind the Jewels of Architecture collection, which sees the 42-year-old founder of Singapore-based Pomeroy Studios team up with jewellery designer Simone Ng to produce six rings charting British architecture from the medieval period to today.
The multi-hypenate Pomeroy – an academic, author and TV personality – has also co-designed fashion and furniture. In fact, it was his interest in a Bottega Veneta clutch Ng was holding that sparked their first encounter. “It was such an interesting conversation. Here’s a guy who is actually interested in style and fashion,” marvels Ng.
The two designers started brainstorming mid-last year. Ng wanted to use the uncommon sugarloaf cut on the gemstones to ensure they stand out. Pomeroy deliberated on the colours of the gemstones that would represent each building: “We picked the Malaya garnet for the Palace of Westminster. Whenever the sun rises or sets, it would be a beautiful, deep russet red, and I wanted to capture that essence.” A stunning 10.65 stone sits at the centre of the Neo-Gothic-inspired ring.
Reinforcing the stories behind the buildings, Ng included secret compartments to highlight each structure’s notable features. A beautiful tulip staircase inside Queen’s House was replicated in miniature and hidden beneath the renaissance-based ring’s 8.91 carat Tanzanite, to be revealed with a flip of the gem.
Ng is sentimental about letting go of the pieces, the price of which starts at $18,800 for The Gherkin. “Having gone through the challenging design process and my team putting in 20 hours daily,” she trails off, her attachment clear. But Pomeroy sees an educational opportunity for those who purchase this piece of history and an accompanying story: “It’s my chance to propagate education through a different medium.”
Ng has already received enquiries on a sequel, but it looks to be just the six rings for now. “For the moment, I think we want to keep it special.”
More about the Jewels of Architecture capsule collection here.