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Maybe Ilias Lalaounis was destined for a career in jewelry, being the descendant of Delphi goldsmiths and watchmakers, however, it was his talent for design which made him burst on to the international scene, gaining a star-studded line-up of fans including Jackie O, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand and Charlize Theron.

Ruby double bull's head crossover ring Ruby double bull's head crossover ring

Inspired by the art of ancient, Lalaounis' designs revived using 22kt yellow gold, whist his contemporaries were concerned with single stones. Lalaounis also brought back to life age old techniques such as granulation and filigree to create contemporary pieces which have a link to a distant past.

Lalaounis started his career for his uncle, eventually taking over the company in 1940 and designing all of their jewelry collection.

Knot ring Knot ring

In 1968, Lalaounis broke away to form his own company, which, from 1957-2001, create over 18 000 pieces of jewelry from 50 collections. Lalaounis would go on to launch his brand in Athens, Paris, Geneva, New York, Hong Kong and London. Today, following his passing in 2013, Lalaounis' daughters have taken over the administration of the firm.

Pair of 'Animal Head' earrings in the shape of lions' heads, with ruby eye highlights Pair of 'Animal Head' earrings in the shape of lions' heads, with ruby eye highlights

Ilias Lalaounis Jewellery Museum, Athens Ilias Lalaounis Jewellery Museum, Athens

The impact Lalaounis made on jewelry design during the 1960s and 1970s was incredible. In 1970, his Blow Up collection caused a sensation, as for the collection he draped his models in gold jewelry from head to toe - a look the conservative and 'diamond-obsessed' jewelry market had never seen before.

A pair of ruby and diamond lion earring A pair of ruby and diamond lion earring

Hot on the heels of his sensation, Lalaounis organized an international exhibition of jewelry in Athens. Van Cleef and Arpels, Bulgari and Harry Winston were amongst the names who exhibited alongside Lalaounis - no doubt eager to see what the designer was going to do next and be part of his jewelry revolution.

Diamond and gem-set double lion head bangle Diamond and gem-set double lion head bangle

In 1976, Lalaounis had one of his most important commissions which would prove to be one of the most inspiring for his portfolio. His Majesty the Empress Farah of Iran, commissioned Lalaounis to create a collection of jewelry and objects inspired by Persian art, which went on display at the Imperial Palace in Tehran.

Lalaounis contributions to jewelry during his lifetime did not go unrecognized, in 1986 he became the only jeweller ever to be inducted into the Académie des Beaux-Arts.

All pieces featured will be part of Fellows Antique & Modern Jewelry sale on April 13, 2017. Check out the full catalog here.

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