You may have seen a few images of this custom creation being touted as the “World’s Most Expensive Glove” but it is so much more than that.
The artisanal creation, a collaboration between legendary style icon Daphne Guinness and fine jeweller Shaun Leane took over four years to be realized. Named Contra Mundum (translated as Against the World), the armour-inspired gauntlet is made up of more than a thousand grams of gold and is set with over 5,000 pavé white diamonds and was unveiled in a very dramatic fashion.
Weighing over 1,000 grams, the 18k white gold chain maille glove has striking diamond birds cascading around the arm, as though caught in mid-flight. The hand is protected with a bold 18k brushed white gold metal cuff, hand-forged and beautifully engraved.
Made in two parts, the cuff can be worn alone as a hand glove, or extended into an evening glove. Every detail in the piece, including the chainmail, has been carefully constructed by hand to ensure a perfect fit to Daphne’s arm.
This collaborative effort was unveiled in typically dramatic fashion. The piece was exhibited by Jay Jopling of White Cube gallery, in an exclusive viewing in London, with Daphne lying in state only to be wakened by a kiss from director and designer Tom Ford as her fashionable Prince Charming.
Guests watched Daphne’s beautiful presentation of the piece – dressed in the bespoke glove and shrouded in white silk tulle, her lie-in state symbolised the concept of the objet d’art; Sir Thomas Malory’s compilation of the legendary tales of the Knights of the Round Table.
As the evening drew to a close, guests (which included Tom Ford, Suzy Menkes, Lily Cole, Livia Firth and Alexander McQueen’s Creative Director Sarah Burton) were presented with a gift bag containing a solitaire diamond and a beautiful message signed by Shaun and Daphne as a remembrance of a beautiful summer evening.