The Royal Jewellers S04 ep10 : Aardewerk Antique Jewellery [The Hague]

Interview with Esther Aardewerk

Emiel Aardewerk and his sister Esther are the directors of A. Aardewerk Antiquair Juwelier. The company specializes in superb quality antique Dutch silver dating from the sixteenth century onwards and in fine antique and period jewellery. In November 1970 Abraham Aardewerk and his wife Magdie opened the current showrooms in Jan van Nassaustraat in The Hague. Emiel and Esther, who were raised with antiques, joined their father in the business in 1995.They are the fourth generation of antiques experts in the family


My name is Ester Aardewerk, I’m a sister of Emile. We both fell into the business because one day my father said “Well I don’t
think you’re interested so maybe it’s best I get some outside help”. And then I thought now is the time, if I want to join, then it’s
now, now is the time. So I said “I would like to do something with jewelry”. He is a jeweler too and he has cut diamonds with his
uncle in Amsterdam. He said you “You will have to learn it somewhere else”. So I did and I came back and I love doing it. They
don’t necessarily have to have large stones or large diamonds, but the design is the most important thing.

In Holland you have a special school in Sconehob where you can learn about the profession of jewelry, to be a good
jeweler. That’s on modern jewelry of course and then you have a special course in gemology. So I’m also a gemologist and then
you have to read, read, read. And I went to a shop in Amsterdam, but they have a lot, that was my apprenticeship. Then my
father said “Okay is fine if you start with jewelry but it has to be on the same level as the silver”. So I skipped the whole first
stage and started at the top.

Aardewerk brooch

The pieces that’s over there is also from a private collection. Those are pieces made by Louis Marida a spanish designer.
Marida himself is just a nice story because he went to the Exposition Universale in Paris in 1895. He saw the work by Rene Lalique
and he was flabbergasted. He was “Oh my God”, that really impressed him and he went home to Barcelona. He closed his shop,
and melted down on all his traditional works and started works in the Art Nouveau style. These are the pieces he made.

Aardewerk brooch cartier

When I started nobody wanted to have JAR [Joel Arthur Rosenthal], it was very cheap. I came across some pieces and I said no you have to decide
what appeared you want to deal in. My father said “So restrict yourself”.

Aardewerk brooch

My brother is part of the team of a program which you can compare with the antique roadshow, in Holland is called "Dutch Antiques Roadshow". Emile does the silver and Ortane Akramond does the jewelry. There was this lady with a lovely brooch [from Rene Lalique] and she said “Well my mother thought it was very impractical, because it’s so three-dimensional and then she said “I don’t know what to do with it”. She wanted to sell it and it was in the Dutch press “Impractical brooch for sale at TEFAF”.


OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Aardewerk Antique Jewellery