Born in London, England, Clive Kandel is descended from prominent Spanish- and Portuguese-Amsterdam Jews. During the 20th century, Kandel’s family was involved in the Amsterdam-based diamond trading business. Well known as industrial diamond traders, the family owned a diamond tool factory in Hatton Garden, London employing over 200 technicians and diamond specialists. Clive Kandel started collecting Cartier jewels when he was an 18-year old, studying law. In the 1970s, he opened a shop in Grafton Street, London, opposite that of Wartski, the world-renowned shop specializing in works of art by Faberge, where he met many influential people, most especially pre-war Cartier clients. He introduced the late Hans Nadelhoffer to several resources for the latter’s celebrated book, CARTIER Jewelers Extraordinary, published by Harry Abrams.
Clive Kandel moved to the United States in 1983 to work with the Art Deco illustrator Romain de Tirtoff, known as Erté, in the design and creation of the Erté Jewelry Collection. It was during this period that Clive Kandel recognized the importance of pre-war American costume jewelry, and collaborated and co-wrote with Deanna Farneti, JEWELS of FANTASY, published by Harry Abrams. In 1991, he elevated vintage costume jewelry from its mediocre sales venues to be showcased by Bergdorf Goodman and Harrods London, where it remained in the stores’ main floor jewelry departments for 14 years. Clive Kandel serves as Curator of Fine Jewelry for and Consultant to 1stdibs.com, as well as advising museums, private collectors and retail specialists. In 2000, he was awarded by Colin Powell for his contribution to African-American development. He is a supporter of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Clive Kandel is currently researching the Nazi Aryanization, theft and destruction of Jewish owned jewelry businesses throughout Europe from 1933 to 1945.