Rapaport Magazine
Style & Design

Driven to create

Jewelry artist Sinork Agdere has crafted a breathtakingly intricate replica of the golden coach that has carried British monarchs for over 250 years.

By Sonia Esther Soltani

Image: Lord Jewelry

What happens when a work of immaculate craftsmanship inspires an exceptional jewelry artist? Pure magic and wonder. Four years ago, Sinork Agdere, the founder of Los Angeles-based Lord Jewelry, watched a documentary about the British royal family’s Gold State Coach. He was instantly fascinated by the spectacular gilded carriage, which King George III commissioned in 1760. Agdere traveled to London the following year to admire it in person at Buckingham Palace, setting the wheels in motion for what the designer describes as “the most difficult and challenging art/creation” of his career. The result is Golden Journey, a mesmerizing replica that measures 5 by 15 centimeters and took more than three years to complete.

History has always been a passion for Agdere, who apprenticed in his youth with an established artisan and goldsmith at a workshop in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. The choice of a 4-ton baroque masterpiece on wheels as the inspiration for his new objet reveals Agdere’s ambitious vision.

First, he spent time working on the concept and sketching the logistical details. Whereas the 18th-century craftsmen had the relative luxury of working on a large, imposing vehicle, the designer had to replicate all the minute intricacies on a small scale. Making the skeletal elements to hold the main structure of the carriage was an essential step in the process. Agdere then added smaller details, such as the engraving and painting that faithfully reproduce the original works by Florentine artist and engraver Giovanni Battista Cipriani.

“Carving the images required fine attention to detail, and painting a miniature requires perfection and precision,” he says.

Assembling a masterpiece

Agdere then faced the most challenging step in the process: assembling the 5,000 pieces and adjusting them multiple times to ensure the whole functioned properly. He needed to “think three steps ahead, but making one stroke at a time,” he recalls. It’s not surprising that the project became all-consuming and kept him up at night thinking.

The final touch was setting 63 carats of rose-cut diamonds into the 21-karat gold and platinum structure, which rests on a stand of specially cut lapis lazuli. The diamonds were the only artistic liberty Agdere allowed himself in the otherwise loyal rendering of the carriage that has ferried British monarchs to their coronation days since 1831.

“I would not imagine a piece like this without any diamonds,” he declares. “It simply wouldn’t be the masterpiece it is without diamonds.”

The sum of his parts

Almost 50 years have passed since Agdere learned his trade in Turkey, and the many techniques he has mastered in his award-winning career have found expression in Golden Journey. Enameling, wax carving, diamond setting, hand-painting, polishing, hand-engraving and stone carving are all present in his largest objet to date.

Lord Jewelry’s DNA is to make each ornament a one-of-kind work of art, often taking inspiration from nature and its intricate, colorful and poetic elements. The protagonists of Agdere’s latest masterwork are horses and coachmen, golden cherubs, and sea gods with human heads and fish tails. This sublime piece celebrates the achievements of craftsmen past and present, whether they work for kings or for art’s sake.


Article from the Rapaport Magazine - January 2022. To subscribe click here.

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