Inspired by the Gang
The silhouettes of women become more and more visible against the fog and rain drops. The time suddenly seems so slow, each drop hits the muddy ground of the 19th century London streets. The women stop right in front of the luxury jewellery shop. Just a moment, and serenity turns into mayhem….
Back in the day, a ruthless, all-female Forty Elephants gang ran the capital’s biggest shoplifting racket. LASVIT teamed up with HBA Dubai to create a unique lighting installation which tells a story about this infamous gang of women. The installation called “Diamond’s Hostage” now hangs in the Great Scotland Yard Hotel.
What used to be Scotland Yard’s headquarters has been turned into the luxury Hyatt Hotel, developed by Galliard Homes. The bar was named Forty Elephant – a nod to the 19th and 20th century all-female London crime syndicate who specialized in shoplifting.
Chandelier Hides a Stolen Jewel
“A notable element in Forty Elephants is the stunning glass art installation. It’s created through a series of broken glass signifying the female gangsters broke into the bar… Buried in the center of the installation is a jewel toned necklace,” says HBA partner David T’Kint.
Story in Glass
LASVIT’s designer followed this brief from HBA and created the image of a “robbery” by means of the glass pieces. The buried necklace in the centre of the ball of glass shards consists of exactly 40 ‘diamonds’ – each symbolizing one woman of the gang,“ says designer Linda Procházka.
The installation was named “Diamond’s Hostage,” referring not only to the precious jewel which the Forty Elephants loved to steal, but also to their formidable queen – Alice Diamond. The criminal, who ruled the gang for decades.
Each glass shard in Diamond’s Hostage is hand-split to represent the most precise visual rendition of a broken window. The torn necklace inside is composed of hand-blown pieces which shine like diamonds.
The sculpture is fixed to the skylight. LASVIT had to customize the distribution of shards, so when you stand right under the installation and look above, each piece is precisely lined up with the pattern on the glass ceiling.