Designer Spotlight

Heritage Handcrafted: The Jewelry of McTeigue & McClelland

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A couple of weeks ago I visited the showroom of McTeigue & McClelland (McII) in New York.  Fighting my way through the busy rush hour mobs scurrying to get home after a long day’s work, I found myself in the incredible Art Deco lobby of McII’s Fifth Avenue building just a stone’s throw from 47th street.

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After ringing the door bell, I was greeted by Walter McTeigue who invited me in to see some of McII’s latest creations.

Walter, who was joined by his wife that evening, is a fourth generation jeweler who started working for his father, a diamond and precious stone dealer, at the age of 20.  For over 20 years, Walter worked in New York’s Diamond District, gaining a reputation for specializing in diamonds and estate jewelry.  His keen eye for quality stones and fine craftsmanship landed him a job at prestigious New York jewelry firm Harry Winston, where we served first as their Estate Jewelry Buyer and later becoming Director of Purchasing.

Walter & Tim

The other half of this jewelry dynamic duo is Tim McClelland, the artistic mastermind with an unparalleled imagination for fanciful designs.  After studying and apprenticing for years under some of the industry’s master jewelers and contemporary metalsmiths, Tim struck out on his own as a freelance designer and jewelry make in New York City.

Diamond Quadrille Bracelet, 18K Yellow Bloomed Gold

McTeigue & McClelland Diamond Quadrille Bracelet
The Diamond Quadrille Bracelet features 10 round brilliant cut diamonds weighing 1.17 carats total, F color and VS clarity. The Bracelet is comprised of 9 Quadrille Links each centering a diamond set in a custom platinum bezel. The bracelet is 18 karat yellow bloomed gold and handmade exclusively by McTeigue & McClelland.

As fate would have it, the two met in an elevator near the Diamond District in 1984 and immediately realized they were one’s yin to the other’s yang, in jewelry that is.  Soon, they began working together – Walter sourcing the precious gemstones and Tim designing and making the jewelry.  In 1996, their success in the city led them to open an office/workshop in Barrington, Massachusetts, a favorite town frequented by Berkshire vacationers.

McTeigue & McClelland Large Blueberry Earrings

The Large Blueberry Earrings each feature 3 blue sapphire beads, 6 weighing 10.15 carats and 3 round brilliant cut diamonds, 6 weighing 0.17 carats total, F color and VS clarity. The earrings are 18 karat yellow gold, platinum and plique-a-jour enamel. Handmade exclusively by McTeigue & McClelland.

Today, the jewelry created by McTeigue & McClelland continues to be exceptional, invoking the natural beauty and surroundings of their country boutique tucked away in the Berkshires.  With their fresh perspective ever present as soon as I stepped foot in their showroom, Walter walked me through a handful of jewels from their latest collection.

The very first jewel to catch my eye was a stunning, though beautifully refined, gold floral necklace with antique cut diamonds.  Exquisitely handcrafted, the antique European cut of the diamonds made the necklace glow ever so subtly, adding just a hint of sparkle to the delicate gold flowers.

McTeigue & McClelland Flora Centrix Diamond Necklace

The Flora Centrix Diamond Necklace features 19 Old European Cut diamonds with a total weight of 17.60 carats, G/VS. The necklace is 18 karat bloomed yellow gold and platinum. One of a kind, exclusively by McTeigue & McClelland.

While it was hard to pry my eyes off the extraordinary workmanship of the floral necklace, Walter unveiled the next jewel extraordinaire: a one-of-a-kind sapphire and diamond pierced Flora Noir bracelet.  The antique-style bracelet features 27 cushion-cut Ceylon blue sapphires and 178 old European-cut diamonds and 57 single-cut diamonds set in yellow gold and silver, all of which glistened and glimmered with an old world appeal.

McTeigue & McClelland Sapphire & Diamond Pierced Flora Noir Bracelet

This one of a kind bracelet features 27 Cushion cut Ceylon Blue Sapphires weighing 39.49 carats, 178 old European cut diamonds and 57 single cut diamonds weighing 13.46 carats total, G-H/SI. The bracelet is entirely hand pierced and crafted in 18KT yellow gold and silver. Handmade exclusively by McTeigue & McClelland.

As we talked over the jewels on the table, Walter became rather excited when he open a small leather box and pulled out a loose diamond of a very unique cut.  The diamond exhibited McII’s proprietary Barrington cut, an antique-style cut that is part cushion, part emerald.  Walter, a fan of antique diamond cuts, has been experimenting with various new versions that emulate the aesthetic and subtle sparkle of antique diamonds.

McTeigue & McClelland Barrington Cut Open Flora Ring 1.77cts, Platinum

This Open Flora Diamond Ring centers one Barrington cut diamond weighing 1.77 carats, G/VVS1 (GIA), cut exclusively by McTeigue & McClelland. The center stone is accented by 8 round brilliant cut diamonds, 0.07carat total, F/VS. The ring is platinum and handmade exclusively by McTeigue & McClelland.

Next, Walter shared with me one of Tim’s newest pieces that he very recently made:  a vibrantly colored necklace of Egyptian Revival inspiration.   The turquoise, ruby and jade drops colorfully spray about the neck in a design that would make a modern-day Cleopatra proud!

McTeigue & McClelland Necklace

One of the last jewels Walter showed me was a spectacular bib necklace weaved with a fountain of round pressed gold medallions.  With every subtle movement, the medallions coyly jingled and jangled, a sound that was very pleasing to the ear.  The striking statement necklace was the perfect hurrah to end our joyous jewelry meeting.

McTeigue & McClelland Medallion Necklace

The Medallion Necklace hand crafted in 18 karat yellow gold, exclusively by McTeigue & McClelland.

Filled with respect for Walter’s immense passion for jewelry, I left feeling hopeful that there exists jewelers like him and his partner Tim who take pride in making jewelry not for the masses but for jewelry lovers who truly appreciate the process and craft of fine jewelry.

Berry Cluster Group

McTeigue & McClelland assorted Berry Cluster jewels

Here are a few more pieces from McTeigue & McClelland’s latest collection:

McTeigue & McClelland Flora Rhodolite Garnet Drop Earrings, 18 KT Yellow Bloomed Gold

The Flora Rhodolite Garnet Drop Earrings each feature one 7mm round brilliant cut Rhodolite Garnet. The briolette garnet drops weigh 8.50 carats total. Separating the tops from the drops is a bezel set round brilliant diamond, 0.14 carat total, F color VS clarity. The earrings are 18 karat bloomed yellow gold and platinum. Handmade exclusively by McTeigue & McClelland.

McTeigue & McClelland Ruby & Diamond Antique Button Bracelet

This bracelet features 7 antique buttons, circa 1920, incorporated into an Art Deco inspired bracelet design by McTeigue & McClelland. The bracelet contains 189 old European cut and brilliant cut diamonds weighing approximately 7.80 carats and 245 calibré cut Burma Rubies weighing approximately 15.00 carats. 18KT yellow gold and silver. Handmade by McTeigue & McClelland using original antique buttons.

McTeigue & McClelland Flora Fish Pin

The Flora Fish Pin is made in 18 karat bloomed yellow gold and features 1 cabochon ruby eye weighing 0.10 carat. Handmade exclusively by McTeigue & McClelland.

McTeigue & McClelland Black Opal and Sapphire Drop Earrings, 18Kt

These Black Opal, Sapphire and Diamond Earrings feature 2 pear shape black opals weighing 13.79 carats total. The black opals are accompanied by 2 cushion cut orange pink sapphires weighing 6.13 carats total. The sapphires are naturally colored with no heat treatment. The earrings are accented with 2 round brilliant diamonds weighing 0.33 carats total, G color, VS clarity. The earrings are 18 karat yellow gold and are handmade exclusively by McTeigue & McClelland.

McTeigue & McClelland Dandelion Choker Necklace

The Dandelion Choker Necklace is 18 karat bloomed yellow gold and green enamel. Handmade exclusively by McTeigue & McClelland.

McTeigue & McCelland Diamond Pinecone Earrings

The Pinecone earrings are 18 karat yellow bloomed gold. Each earring contains one, bezel set round brilliant diamond, 1/4g carats total weight. Handmade exclusively by McTeigue & McClelland.

McTeigue & McClelland Round Diamond Bella Flora Ring 1.70cts, 18 KT Gold & Platinum

This Bella Flora Ring centers one round brilliant cut diamond weighing 1 3/4 carats. The ring is 18 karat bloomed yellow gold and platinum. Handmade exclusively by McTeigue & McClelland.

McTeigue & McClelland Flora Lion Pin

The Flora Lion Pin features 2 round cognac diamond eyes weighing 1/4 carat. The pin is 18 karat bloomed yellow gold and is handmade exclusively by McTeigue & McClelland.

McTeigue & McClelland Turquoise Flora Collar, 18Kt

The Turquoise Flora Collar features 8 oval cabochon cut turquoise weighing 33.59 carats total and 2 round brilliant cut diamonds weighing 0.21 carats, F/VS. The necklace is entirely handmade in 18 karat bloomed yellow gold. Exclusively by McTeigue & McClelland.

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