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Hollander - A Dutch Jewelry Design Legend


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Written by E.J. Webber

04/2018


Cornelis Hollander, who is survived by his strong family, could certainly have a book or two written about his extraordinary life. Adventurous, successful at anything he tried, lover of globetrotting, fast cars, and motorcycles, as well as designing the most wondrous pieces of jewelry, Cornelis will be remembered for a long time. But honoring a legend is not easy in just a few words.


His son, Walter, who is a designer in his own right and carries on the business now with his mother, gave us little historical insight: “My dad began designing in the garage at home. He worked for a jeweler in 1982 that entered one of his ring designs for their company. My father also entered his own design – winning first place and the Grand Prize. He always won or placed in any jewelry design contest he ever entered!”


Cornelis Hollander turned his ideas into reality in not only creating one of a kind pieces for celebrities such as Michael Jordan’s wife, but for many others who appreciated the skill and craftsmanship of the designer. 1984 was the turning point for him, founding his own company. Soon, he and his wife Christa, who worked with him to grow the jewelry company, began selling their sculptured designs with distinctive colored gems to well known big stores such as Neiman-Marcus and Nordstrom. Split shank rings that sparkled with colored gemstones, diamonds, and geometric gem shapes became the stock in-trade of his finely sculptured designs.


Walter Hollander took his training by a legend to heart, working under his father’s tutelage for ten years as a designer. “We both had a similar feel for design and since he was so easy going and had a loving personality, it was a joy to learn from him. The focus for us today, will always be custom designs to include the rich heritage begun by my father.”


One of the company’s new directions is to recreate some of the discovered designs from early company catalogues of his father’s; designs that Cornelis was noted for and retouching these classic styles to give them a contemporary look and feel.


The other avenue Walter is eagerly exploring is to take heirloom pieces and older jewelry to make them fresh again. With the rise in prices of estate jewelry by sophisticated auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Bonhams, older classic jewelry that is a reminder of a dear family member, or a valuable coveted work can be turned into stylish contemporary pieces, explained Walter. “These re-imagined rings, necklaces, earrings, and pins will last well into the future for generations to cherish.”


Second Article Image The man born in Amsterdam, who loved Arizona and who began it all so successfully, will always be thought of as a quintessential artist and designer, as well as a most fun loving and positive person. One of the powerful leaders in American designer jewelry, Cornelis Hollander jewelry will continue to be sought after. The Hollander family will carry forward the tradition of design excellence for many more years.


For more information on Cornelis Hollander jewelry call (480) 423-5000 or visit www.CornelisHollander.com



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