LOTUS ARTS DE VIVRE ARE NOW EXHIBITING IN KUALA LUMPUR ON 8 AND 9 JUNE 2011 AT LARA GALLERY, 116 JALAN MAAROF, BANGSAR....MISS AT YOUR PERIL!
Kee Hua Chee wearing his favourite Lotus bling---a big cock bangle! Studded with white diamonds, black diamonds, rubies, mother-of-pearl and clad in pink and yellow gold, this cock costs RM 127,800.
This cock bangle rests on my wrist so comfortably with the cock head snuggling against my skin and goes with whatever I am wearing.
Sri von Bueren holding my cock which costs RM127,800
A silver iguana bustles about this natural wood drift
Nicky von Bueren, Kee Hua Chee and sri von Bueren who are now running the family business.
Nicky and Sri with their lion-headed chairs and solid silver, life-sized crocodile!
The handsome brothers Nicky and Sri von Bueren. Alas, both are married!
Sri and Nicklas aka Nicky von Bueren flew into Kuala Lumpur on Monday 6 June and phoned to thank me for blogging their event last month. How sweet of them. So today, Tuesday 7 June, I made it a point to visit them prior to the official opening tomorrow 8 and 9 June.
I know this handsome duo will be swamped with friends, customers and admirers tomorrow and would have just 5 minutes to canoodle with me. So today would be the best time to see them so I could monopolise their attention!
The exhibition is being held at Lara Gallery, an industrial looking edifice at 116 Jalan Maarof that looked like a warehouse or artist studio or some modern day blacksmith. It is owned by a Datuk Wong who rents it out for events as it does not appear to be lived in since there are half a dozen bicycles stacked on the first floor.
Have you seen such stunning chairs and crocodile? Each chair costs RM 172,300 and the crocodile is RM 355,600
I love the lion heads with claws as the feet of the chairs
Can you already visualise where to put this throne? RM 172,300 each chair
Each lion is hand tooled so each is unique and has a different expression!
This dragon has tiger's eye in its socket which was carefully chosen so the natural bands resemble slits. RM 183,400
This magnificent stallion is made of natural wood and silver and left partially painted and lacquered for a surreal feel!
A high-tech mythical creature to hold your bell chillies or fruits
A silver dragon coils and peers into this bowl of natural wood
Cute table decorative animals
A dragon appears to swim in and out of this bowl.
A dragon humidor atop a dragon table
A mythical sea creature rears out from the wooden bowl
Dragons guarding your precious fruits
Giant frog that holds your oranges nicely
Objects of whimsy
An ostrich egg is mounted with a winged dragon horse
So brilliant---2 nautilus shells are transformed into a ram's horns!
The nautilus shell can also be turned into the body of a flamingo!
This life-sized turtle costs RM 355,600 and has multiple uses as champagne cooler, coffee table, magazine rack, plant holder or anything you wish it to hold.
Kee Hua Chee and Sri. This photo taken on 9 June which explains my different attire!
Me with Niklas von Bueren and Tracy Ong of Elegance Club and Princess Dr Becky Leogardo
See how boring this picture is without me?
Here is another look as Niklas and I look so dashing!
Ming Shang, her husband Salim Cassim, Ming Suan and Kee Hua Chee
Sri von Bueren, Rekha Sen who is pregnant and married to Niklas von Bueren, Ferhat of Melium Group and Deborah Henry the current Miss Malaysia Universe
Ruben Emir Gnanalingam CEO of Westports, his wife Shirieene Hajamaideen and Brian Chow
Ming Chang, Salim Cassim and Ming Suen
John Chia and Mira
Babelicious! Yiu Lin and Zaireen, designers and owners of KLutched bags, the most sensational Malaysian designed bags
Inside is pure Lotus Arts de Vivre. The bling are beautifully displayed in Thai-style display cases
and beautifully matched with faux fruits, flowers and vegetables and some real carrots too as displayed in front of a silver rabbit.
Lotus Arts de Vivres started 30 years ago when Helen von Bueren could not find what she liked and begun commissioning Thai jewellers to make jewels to her designs. Her friends, both local Thais and farangs (foreigners) were amazed and asked her to sell some to them. The rest is history.
Today, their jewellery business has long branched into accessories like belts, cuff links. shoes, bags all the way to heavy furniture, home decor, lamps and one-off commissions. At their 25th anniversary party in Sukothai hotel in Bangkok, I was bowled over by a life-sized crocodile studded with amethysts, citrine, quartz and tiger's eye. A Swiss collector flew into Bangkok, paid over a million US dollars and carted it back to Switzerland in his private jet where it now resides in St Moritz.
My favourite cock! Notice the peanuts and pineapple whose nodules match the cock's scaly feathers! RM 127,800
Close-up of my dream cock! At RM 127,800, it remains a dream for now.
The beak is of mother-of-pearl
My second favourites are the dragon bangle and snake bangle. The dragon bangle costs RM 99,000.
I love the diamond horns! RM 99,000
Dragons always bring great good luck and I know this for a fact!
The head of this snake bangle is so realistic
This serpent is playfully coiled round an apple to evoke the snake in Garden of Eden that tempted Adam and Eve to eat the Apple of Knowledge!
The snakeskin bag also flaunts a pair of slitty snake eyes!
The Chinese horoscope rings
This necklace costs RM 221,000 but you get 17 real rings!
Funky mother-of-pearl sunglasses atop a kiwi of stingray skin
Humidor of lacquer and crocodile
If you insist on smoking, do so in style
Silver duck with body made of bamboo root!
The cutest rabboit ever of silver and bamboo root! This is the Year of the Rabbit so go for it!
Hedgehog or porcupine
Tanzanite earrings (108 carats) is RM 1.5 million, the triangular diamond earrings (18 carats) are RM 1.3 million and the Golconda diamonds (2.7 carats) and unheated ruby (4 carats) ring is RM 872,000.
Currently the biggest item available for instant gratification is a 3-metre statue of Ganesha, the Hindu God of wisdom and Remover of Obstacles. It is in Bangkok and to acquire it, you will have to remove RM 2 million from your bank account. It is crafted of rootwood and silver plus assorted gems and is an object worthy of worship.
The biggest and heaviest items in this current exhibition are a pair of high-backed chairs, silver life-sized turtle, standing dragon and silver crocodile. Of course such descriptions are simplisc and you must see them with your own peepers to appreciate the stunning craftsmanship possible only because the Thais are so good at producing such intricate works of art.
Each of the high backed chair with gold plated fibreglass back and armrests with silver lions costs RM 173,000 and you really need a pair, one for you and one for your better half so the total amount is RM 346,000 but you do get a total of 80 kg of silver! No way can you consider RM 346,000 cheap but it is not over-priced as the price can be considered reasonable even! Even if you were born a peasant you will feel like an emperor when seated on such a chair. Throw away the two chairs at the head table and replace them with this spectacular new pair of majestic proportions. Of course Lotus can custom make the matching table and as many chairs as you need depending on the number of guests you like to have at dinner.
The turtle which is as big as the ones that come ashore at Dungun, Trengganu to lay their eggs, is also perfectly at home on your coffeetable, side table, console, dining table or floor as a magazine container. It has multiple uses and can even be used as a wine or champagne cooler! The glass top can be made bigger to suit your requirements.
The standing dragon has a body of wavy wood with silver head, claws, belly and tail. Place it at your entrance and it will protect your home against unwanted guests and evil spirits while ushering in good luck.
While the lion-headed chairs are functional, my favourite decorative item is the life-sized solid silver crocodile. It comes in 3 separate pieces and appears to be floating and half-submerged on your water as if it is in the water! This is cheaper than the amethyst crocodile now in St Moritz as it costs a tenth of the Swiss croc at a mere RM 355,600. Of course if you wish, Sri von Bueren can pile on the semi-precious stones or even precious gems if you so desire. Each lion-headed chair costs only RM 173,000 and you get 40 kg of silver while the crocodile is onoy 19 kg of silver.
Are we getting short-changed?
"No, not all all. The crocodile is far more difficult to make and each is unique though mind you, each of the lion head is hand made and unique too!" explains the curly-haired Sri who is Creative Director of Lotus Arts de Vivre while his younger brother Niklas is vice-president. "The crocodile requires more time, expertise and experience. Personally I prefer to hang this 3-piece crocodile on a wall so it appears as if it is swimming up towards the ceiling! Or after a while you can change the position and make it swim down towards the floor!"
My favourite jewel is the Cock Bangle. Sighs Sri, "Please, can you refer to it as Rooster Bracelet?". Certainly not, it looks exactly like a cock and a very cock too and I do so love big cocks!
I try it on and it fits me as if it was made to measure for me! With an erect cockscomb and studded with diamonds, rubies, black diamonds, pink gold and beak of mother-of-pearl, this is a super cock! Strangely its feathers seem to resemble scales more suited for a dragon and you need to press the right scale to open and close it. The cock's head rests perfectly smoothly on my wrist and does not press into my skin at all so it is very comfortable. Only the price is not tailormade for me---RM 128,000.
Well, there is always the Dragon Bangle, one of Lotus's best-sellers and come in a dazzling variety. Most have been sold out and there is one left for immediate sale. Its robust, sturdy colours and strong features are suited for a businessman as it can hardly be considered delicate or feminine. I like the one which has green beetle wings covering its sinuous body but the one in Kuala Lumpur has black scales. At RM 99,000, it is cheaper than the cock bangle.
You can buy a Lotus earrings for RM 5,000 while their belts or cuff links can be RM 3,000 so it is not as it you need hundreds of thousands of ringgit to own a Lotus Arts de Vivre though many are the same price as a Lotus car! Like the Lotus Esprit for instance.
The most valuable item available are the tanzanite earrings for RM 1.5 million. The large 2 tanzanites and 2 smaller ones weigh 108 carats and tanzanites this size are rarer than diamonds.
Speaking of which, there are a gorgeous pair of triangular diamond earrings of 9.4 carats and 8.8 carats. Yours for RM 1.3 million.
Or the 3-stone ring for RM 872,000. It boasts 2 Golconda diamonds and an unheated Burmese ruby of nearly 4 carats. The two diamonds weigh 1.35 carats each and are I, VVSI.
If you are reading this post now, hurry to Lara Gallery, 116 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar on 8 and 9 June 2011!