Perhaps Ilias Lalaounis was destined for a career in jewellery, being the descendant of Delphi goldsmiths and watchmakers, however, it was his talent for design which made him burst on to the international scene, gaining a star-studded line-up of fans including Jackie O, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand and Charlize Theron.

original-26 Ruby double bull's head crossover ring

Inspired by the art of ancient, Lalaounis' designs revived using 22kt yellow gold, whist his contemporaries were concerned with single stones. Lalaounis also brought back to life age old techniques such as granulation and filigree to create contemporary pieces which have a link to a distant past.

Lalaounis started his career for his uncle, eventually taking over the company in 1940 and designing all of their jewellery collection.

original-25 Knot ring

In 1968, Lalaounis broke away to form his own firm, which, from 1957-2001, create over 18 000 pieces of jewellery from 50 collections. Lalaounis would go on to  launch his brand in Athens, Paris, Geneva, New York, Hong Kong and London. Today, following his passing in 2013, Lalaounis' daughters have taken over the administration of the firm.

original-28 Pair of 'Animal Head' earrings in the shape of lions' heads, with ruby eye highlights

Ilias Lalaounis Jewellery Museum, Athens Ilias Lalaounis Jewellery Museum, Athens

The impact Lalaounis made on jewellery design during the 1960s and 1970s was incredible. In 1970, his Blow Up collection caused a sensation, as for the collection he draped his models in gold jewellery from head to toe - a look the conservative and 'diamond-obsessed' jewellery market had never seen before.

original-27 A pair of ruby and diamond lion earring

Hot on the heels of his sensation, Lalaounis organised an international exhibition of jewellery in Athens. Van Cleef and Arpels, Bulgari and Harry Winston were amongst the names who exhibited alongside Lalaounis - no doubt eager to see what the designer was going to do next and be part of the jewellery revolution.

original-24 Diamond and gem-set double lion head bangle

In 1976, Lalaounis had one of his most important commissions which would prove to be the one of the most inspiring for his portfolio. His Majesty the Empress Farah of Iran, commissioned Lalaounis to create a collection of jewellery and objects inspired by Persian art, which went on display at the Imperial Palace in Tehran.

Lalaounis contributions to jewellery have not gone unrecognised, in 1986 he became the only jeweller ever to be inducted into the Académie des Beaux-Arts.

All pieces featured will be part of Fellows Antique & Modern Jewellery sale on 13th April, 2017. Check out the full catalogue here.