(1977 - present)

Reclusive contemporary French artist noted for his collectable pavé jewelry. In 1977, Joel Arthur Rosenthal opened his firm JAR with his partner Pierre Jeannet.[1] Born in the Bronx in 1943, Rosenthal attended Harvard from 1964-1966, majoring in art history and philosophy. Upon graduation, he moved to Paris and tried his hand at various endeavors: Writing French and English movie-scripts, designing tapestries, opening a fine needlepoint shop, and working briefly for Bulgari. Finally, he began experimenting with jewelry. His work quickly became famous for its vibrant colors and organic shapes. Composed of darkly alloyed metals, including silver, the pieces are typically carpeted in tiny, brightly colored gradations of gemstones most typically in the form of a flower, insect, or mythological animal. The firm, located at Place Vendôme, produces only seventy to eighty new pieces of jewelry each year. It refuses to advertise, keep regular hours, or display its jewelry in window cases. Nonetheless JAR’s jewelry has a cult-like following and is highly sought-after on the auction market. .[2]


  1. Rosenthal, no page number.
  2. Adams, no page number.

Sources Consulted

  • Adams, Susan. "The Cult of Jar." Forbes (2006).
Biographical information about Joel Rosenthal and commentary about his
business strategy of “exclusivity.”
Gorgeous book, filled with photos of pieces exhibited at the Somerset
Exhibit in London from 2002-3. Virtually no information about the pieces
or their designer.