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Wallace Chan made his pledge to art at an early age. He made plastic flowers as a child and trained as a sculptor in his teens. From there, he expanded his creative universe and honed his skills for the next 40 years.

Within these four decades, Wallace Chan has reinvented himself many times as an artist. At the beginning of his career, he often created exquisite pieces featuring traditional Chinese icons. As time progressed, several distinct features stood out: nature, philosophy, and sculpture. His butterflies and flowers are fauvist and opulent, emulating nature to symbolize harmony between heaven, earth, and humanity. His pieces inspire an inner Zen, and his sculptural forms are classically romantic, with a modern twist. 

Internationally acclaimed artist aside, Chan is also a world class innovator, who has experimented with countless methods and materials to perfect the techniques required to realize his imagination. His achievements include a jadeite luminosity enhancing technology, several specialized approaches to cutting and setting, the mastering of titanium as a structural support, and the celebrated “Wallace Cut”. 

Christie’s is delighted to present “Wallace Chan: the Beginning of a Genius”, a superb collection Chan created during his period of self-discovery in the late 20th century. A comprehensive assemblage ranging from reinterpreted traditional icons such as Chinese zodiac signs made from carved quartz, to contemporary jewels with gems of fierce colors. The telltale signs of Chan’s success are already evident: the scrupulous craftsmanship, the juxtaposition of pure hues and the clever designs that often bring a surprise.

Hence the beginning of a Genius.

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Wallace Chan is a Hong Kong based jewellery artist who has attained international success through innovation in techniques and materials.

Born in 1956 in Fujian, China, Chan found his artistic calling early, fashioning flowers out of plastic at age 8. At 16 he began an apprenticeship with a sculptor in a traditional workshop. Feeling stifled and in need of a creative outlet, he left after 9 months to hone his skills in carving raised intaglio and sunken cameo reliefs. 

For the next 40 years, Chan experimented with a wide spectrum of techniques and materials to realize his artistic vision. In the process, he invented a jadeite thinning and luminosity enhancing technology, and introduced the “Wallace cut” of carving designs within a gemstone. Favouring the use of titanium in jewels, he pioneered new methods of cutting and setting to minimize the visibility of metal between precious stones. 

Chan seeks to bridge East and West in his aesthetics. Contemporary Western style with Oriental themes of Buddhism and Nature predominates Chan’s works. His creations attract an international following and are regularly featured in the worldwide media. He was the first Chinese jewellery artist to exhibit at TEFAF New York (2016) and Maastricht (2017), and the Biennale des Antiquaires Paris (2012, 2014). He had given guest lectures at the invitation of prestigious institutions, including the Cooper Hewitt Museum (2015), Victoria and Albert Museum (2016), and more recently, Harvard University (2017) and Central Saint Martins (2017).

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Lot 1934. A quartz and diamond pendant necklace, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 40,000 - HKD 60,000 (USD 5,000- USD 7,000). Price realised HKD 81,250. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

The oval-shaped rutilated quartz carved on the reverse as a monkey holding a peach, to the circular-cut diamond surmount, mounted in gold, 44.2 cm. Signed 陳世英作 for Wallace Chan.

 

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Lot 1935. A quartz and diamond pendant necklace, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 40,000 - HKD 60,000 (USD 5,000- USD 7,000). Price realised HKD 87,500. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

The oval-shaped rutilated quartz carved on the reverse as a rooster, to the circular-cut diamond surmount, mounted in gold, 44.5 cm. Signed 陳世英作 for Wallace Chan.

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Lot 1936. A quartz and diamond pendant necklace, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 40,000 - HKD 60,000 (USD 5,000- USD 7,000). Price realised HKD 75,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

The oval-shaped rutilated quartz carved on the reverse as a dog, to the circular-cut diamond surmount, mounted in gold, 39.0 cm. Signed 陳世英作 for Wallace Chan.

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Lot 1937. A pair of fancy gray and light gray "Chameleon" diamond, diamond and mother-of-pearl ear pendants, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 160,000 - HKD 250,000 (USD 20,000- USD 30,000). Price realised HKD 275,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Each suspending a circular-cut fancy gray and light gray diamond, weighing approximately 1.33 and 1.23 carats respectively, within a diamond surround, the reverse enhanced by mother-of-pearl, to the similarly designed surmount and diamond bar spacer, mounted in titanium, 3.2 cm. Signed Wallace Chan.

Accompanied by report no. 14816533 dated 31 October 2005 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the 1.33 carat diamond is fancy gray colour.

Report no. 13791887 dated 20 December 2004 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the 1.23 carat diamond is light gray colour, and the colour of the stone changes temporarily when gently heated, or when left in darkness for a period of time and is known in the trade as "Chameleon" .

Please note that the reports are more than 5 years old and might require an update.

 

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Lot 1938. A pair of coloured diamond, diamond and mother-of-pearl cufflinks, Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 160,000 - HKD 250,000 (USD 20,000- USD 30,000). Price realised HKD 250,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Each set to the center with a square-shaped fancy light pinkish purple and fancy light purple diamond, weighing approximately 0.27 and 0.26 carat, within a circular-cut pink diamond surround, flanked by baguette-cut diamonds and mother-of-pearl panels, lined by circular-cut diamonds, extending to the opposing panel, mounted in platinum and gold, 1.6 cm. Signed Wallace Chan.

Please note that the circular-cut coloured diamonds have not been tested for natural colour.

Accompanied by report no. 10815639 dated 19 October 1999 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the 0.27 carat diamond is fancy light pinkish purple colour, SI1 clarity.

Report no. 10815644 dated 19 October 1999 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the 0.26 carat diamond is fancy light purple colour, VS1 clarity.

Please note that the reports are more than 5 years old and might require an update.

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Lot 1939. A diamond and rock crystal ring, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 120,000 - HKD 180,000 (USD 15,000- USD 25,000)Price realised HKD 250,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

The rock crystal bombé ring, set to the center with a circular-cut diamond, weighing approximately 0.90 carat, flanked by similarly-cut diamonds, extending to the gallery and accents, mounted in gold, ring size 5 ¾. Signed Wallace Chan.

Accompanied by report no. 13513726 dated 10 June 2004 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the 0.90 carat diamond is F colour, VS2 clarity.

Please note that the report is more than 5 years old and might require an update.

 

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Lot 1940. fancy pink-brown diamond, diamond and agate ring, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 320,000 - HKD 480,000 (USD 40,000- USD 60,000). Price realised HKD 387,500. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

The stylized circular-cut diamond ring, set to the center with a circular-cut fancy pink-brown diamond, weighing approximately 1.06 carats, atop an agate, mounted in titanium, ring size 6 ¼. Signed Wallace Chan.

Accompanied by report no. 16282161 dated 31 July 2007 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is fancy pink-brown colour.

Please note that the report is more than 5 years old and might require an update.

 

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Lot 1941. An octagonal-shaped diamond, topaz and opal ring, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 480,000 - HKD 650,000 (USD 60,000- USD 80,000). Price realised HKD 875,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Centering on an octagonal-shaped diamond, weighing approximately 3.01 carats, atop an assembled topaz and opal, to the circular-cut diamond prong, gallery and hoop, mounted in gold, ring size 6. Signed Wallace Chan.

Accompanied by report no. 15009937 dated 6 March 2006 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is H colour, VS1 clarity.

Please note that the report is more than 5 years old and might require an update.

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Lot 1942. A set of topaz and diamond jewellery, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 240,000 - HKD 350,000 (USD 30,000- USD 44,000) © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Comprising a topaz pendant, centering on a cross-shaped diamond, weighing approximately 2.01 carats, to the circular-cut diamond outline and briolette diamond accents, and a ring en suite, centering on a circular-cut diamond, weighing approximately 1.02 carats, within a star-shaped diamond trim, atop a topaz and diamond gallery extending to the half-hoop, mounted in gold, pendant 6.0 cm, ring size 6 ½. Ring signed Wallace Chan.

Accompanied by report no. 13660059 dated 27 August 2004 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the 1.02 carat diamond is F colour, VVS2 clarity.

Report no. 12967054 dated 29 October 2003 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the 2.01 carat diamond is E colour, VS1 clarity.

Please note that the reports are more than 5 years old and might require an update.

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Lot 1943. A magnificent topaz sculpture, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 500,000 - HKD 800,000 (USD 65,000- USD 100,000). Price realised HKD 2,500,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

The surface carved with a ship and a profile of a woman overlooking a castle that is skillfully carved inside the blue topaz, to the two layered platform, 13.4 cm. Signed Wallace Chan

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Lot 1944. A diamond Rat ring, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 150,000 - HKD 250,000 (USD 20,000- USD 30,000). Price realised HKD 187,500. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Designed as a rat holding a circular-cut diamond, mounted in titanium, ring size 6 ¼. Signed Wallace Chan.

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Lot 1945. A diamond and garnet hulu pendant necklace, Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 80,000 - HKD 120,000 (USD 10,000- USD 15,000). Price realised HKD 100,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

The hulu pendant embellished with similar motifs set with circular-cut garnets and diamonds, to the hidden chain with diamond accents, mounted in titanium, pendant 7.5 cm, necklace 64.0 cm.

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Lot 1946. A jadeite, diamond and yellow diamond pendant necklace, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 1,600,000 - HKD 2,600,000 (USD 200,000- USD 330,000). Price realised HKD 2,000,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Suspending a jadeite finger citron carved with a mythical beast on both sides, surmounted by a yellow diamond hulu and foliate details, to the marquise-cut yellow diamond, pear and marquise-cut diamond accents, joined to the neckchain, mounted in gold, carving approximately 36.8 x 24.0 x 8.3 mm, necklace 48.5 cm. Signed Wallace Chan.

Accompanied by report no. KJ96722 dated 6 October 2017 from the Hong Kong Jade & Stone Laboratory stating that the carving is natural colour Fei Cui (Jadeite Jade) without any resin.

Please note that the coloured diamonds have not been tested for natural colour.

 

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Lot 1947. A jadeite, diamond and yellow diamond pendant necklace, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 800,000 - HKD 1,200,000 (USD 100,000- USD 150,000). Price realised HKD 1,125,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Suspending a jadeite plaque pierced and carved with chilong dragon and ruyi motifs, decorated with circular-cut yellow diamond and diamond clouds, to the neckchain, mounted in gold, plaque approximately 39.2 x 37.5 x 5.1 mm, necklace 44.5 cm. 

Accompanied by report no. KJ96723 dated 6 October 2017 from the Hong Kong Jade & Stone Laboratory stating that the plaque is natural colour Fei Cui (Jadeite Jade) without any resin.

Please note that the coloured diamonds have not been tested for natural colour.

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Lot 1948. A 6.25 carats fancy brownish yellow diamond, pink sapphire, amethyst and garnet ring, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 480,000 - HKD 650,000 (USD 60,000- USD 80,000). Price realised HKD 2,000,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Centering on a circular-cut fancy brownish yellow diamond, weighing approximately 6.25 carats, within a circular-cut pink sapphire trim, atop an amethyst, wrapped by an openwork stylized circular-cut garnet gallery, mounted in titanium, ring size 5 ¾. Signed Wallace Chan.

Accompanied by report no. 13388070 dated 20 May 2004 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is fancy brownish yellow colour, VS2 clarity.

Please note that the report is more than 5 years old and might require an update.

Lot 1949. A 7.39 carats cabochon opalgarnet and rock crystal ring, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 640,000 - HKD 950,000 (USD 80,000- USD 120,000). Price realised HKD 1,875,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Centering on a cabochon opal, weighing approximately 7.39 carats, within a circular-cut garnet border, atop a rock crystal, wrapped by a circular-cut diamond stylized gallery, mounted in titanium, ring size 6 ¼. Signed Wallace Chan.

Accompanied by report no. 6117368890 dated 11 November 2009 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the opal is of natural colour with no indications of colour treatment .

Please note that the report is more than 5 years old and might require an update.

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Lot 1950. A cushion-shaped green-yellow diamond, amethyst, opal and lapis lazuli ring, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 350,000 - HKD 550,000 (USD 45,000- USD 70,000) © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Centering upon a cushion-shaped green-yellow diamond, within a circular-cut diamond border, on top of a amethyst, opal and lapis lazuli, to the circular-cut yellow and brown diamond tentacle prongs extending to the half-hoop, with reverse-set circular-cut sapphire detail, mounted in titanium, ring size 6 ¼. Signed Wallace Chan.

 

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Lot 1951. A hexagonal-shaped diamondtopazdiamond and sapphire ring, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 400,000 - HKD 650,000 (USD 50,000- USD 80,000). Price realised HKD 750,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Centering on a hexagonal-shaped diamond, atop a topaz, to the stylized pavé-set circular-cut diamond and sapphire prongs, mounted in titanium, ring size 6 ¼. Signed Wallace Chan.

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Lot 1952. A pair of diamond and amethyst ear pendants, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 400,000 - HKD 600,000 (USD 50,000- USD 78,000). Price realised HKD 900,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Each amethyst drop, centering on a circular-cut diamond, enhanced by similarly-cut diamonds, extending to the triangular-shaped cabochon amethyst and hoop, mounted in titanium, 5.4 cm. Signed Wallace Chan.

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Lot 1953. Three multigem Butterfly brooches, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 65,000 - HKD 95,000 (USD 8,000- USD 12,000). Price realised HKD 175,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Each designed as a butterfly, the body set with a marquise-cut semi-precious gemstone, mounted in titanium, 7.1 to 7.0 cm. Signed W. C for Wallace Chan.

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Lot 1954. A multigem Butterfly brooch, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 300,000 - HKD 500,000 (USD 38,000- USD 65,000). Price realised HKD 375,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Designed as a butterfly, the body set with cushion and pear-shaped brown diamonds, to the butterfly specimen wings encased in carved rock crystal with mother-of-pearl back, enhanced by circular-cut brown and yellow diamond trim and accents, mounted in titanium and gold, 6.1 cm. Signed Wallace Chan.

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Lot 1955. A multigem 'Pride' brooch, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 600,000 - HKD 800,000 (USD 78,000- USD 100,000). Price realised HKD 1,025,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Designed as a butterfly, the body set with oval and pear-shaped garnets, circular-cut yellow and brown diamonds, to the openwork vari-cut garnet and circular-cut multi-coloured diamond wings with overlapping amethyst detail, mounted in titanium and gold, 9.9 cm. Signed Wallace Chan.

LiteratureFrom Heaven Brought-Craftsmanship of a SoulAn Exhibition on Sculpture Jewelry, China, Capital Museum, 2010, p. 112

ExhibitedBeijing, Capitol Museum, From Heaven Brought-Craftsmanship of a SoulAn Exhibition on Sculpture Jewelry, no. 97, June 2010

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Lot 1956. A multigem Butterfly brooch, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 1,200,000 - HKD 1,800,000 (USD 150,000- USD 123,000). Price realised HKD 3,220,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Designed as a butterfly, the body set with a square-shaped fancy intense yellow diamond, weighing approximately 3.28 carats, and oval and circular-cut yellow and brown diamonds, to the butterfly specimen wings encased in carved rock crystal with mother-of-pearl back, enhanced by circular-cut yellow and brown diamonds and diamond trim and accents, mounted in titanium and gold, 9.6 cm. Signed Wallace Chan.

Please note that some of the coloured diamonds have not been tested for natural colour.

Accompanied by report no. 10204687 dated 9 September 1997 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is fancy intense yellow colour, VS2 clarity.

Please note that the report is more than 5 years old and might require an update.

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Lot 1957. fancy-cut diamond flame, yellow and brown diamond and diamond brooch, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 160,000 - HKD 250,000 (USD 20,000- USD 30,000). Price realised HKD 275,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Designed as a hand holding a torch with circular-cut diamond detail, the fancy-cut diamond flame enhanced by yellow and brown diamond and diamond, mounted in titanium and gold, 7.0 cm. Signed Wallace Chan.

Please note that the coloured diamonds have not been tested for natural colour.

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Lot 1958. A stylish pair of diamond and yellow diamond ear pendants, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 800,000 - HKD 1,200,000 (USD 100,000- USD 150,000). Price realised HKD 2,375,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Each circular-cut diamond surmount, weighing approximately 0.57 and 0.51 carat, with similarly-cut diamond trim, suspending a tapered baguette-cut diamond, weighing approximately 3.13 and 2.88 carats, within a circular-cut diamond border enhanced by reverse-set diamonds, to the diamond links and pear-shaped diamond terminal, the backing suspending two circular-cut diamond and yellow diamond navette-shaped terminals, to the similarly-cut diamond links, mounted in titanium, 7.8 cm. Signed Wallace Chan.

Please note that the coloured diamonds have not been tested for natural colour.

Accompanied by four reports dated from 31 August 2000 to 30 March 2005 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America with the following details:

Report Weight Colour Clarity Cut
14282933 3.13 E VVS2 Tapered Baguette
14282858 2.88 E VS1 Tapered Baguette
11033581 0.57 E VVS2 Circular
11033578 0.51 E VVS1 Circular.

Please note that all the reports are more than 5 years old and might require an update.

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Lot 1959. An unique pair of white nephrite and diamond 'Innocence' ear pendants, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 800,000 - HKD 1,200,000 (USD 100,000- USD 150,000). Price realised HKD 2,250,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

Each paisley-shaped surmount pavé-set with circular-cut diamonds extending to the diamond terminal, suspending a carved paisley-shaped white nephrite with circular-cut diamond detail, centering on an oval-shaped diamond and reverse-set pear-shaped diamond accents, square-shaped diamond spacer, mounted in titanium, 11.5 cm. Signed Wallace Chan.

LiteratureFrom Heaven Brought-Craftsmanship of a SoulAn Exhibition on Sculpture Jewelry, China, Capital Museum, 2010, p. 124

ExhibitedBeijing, Capitol Museum, From Heaven Brought-Craftsmanship of a SoulAn Exhibition on Sculpture Jewelry, no. 106, June 2010.

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Lot 1960. A unique multi-gem 'Elan' brooch-sculpture, by Wallace Chan. Estimate HKD 400,000 - HKD 600,000 (USD 50,000- USD 780,000). Price realised HKD 1,500,000. © Christies Images Ltd 2017

The reversible brooch on one side designed as a porcelain fish encased in carved rock crystal, enhanced by circular-cut garnets, the other side designed as three circular-cut diamond fishes with circular-cut yellow, brown diamond and pink sapphire detail, mounted in gold, to the obsidian and titanium stand depicting waves, brooch 11.0 cm.

Please note that the coloured diamonds have not been tested for natural colour.

Christie's. Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels & The Pink Promise, 28 November 2017, Hong Kong.