A selection of period and vintage pieces and a rare collection of 18th century jewelry designs to lead Sotheby's London sale
March 16, 2015: Sotheby’s London Fine Jewels sale on March 18, 2015 will present a stand-out selection of exceptionally crafted period jewels of and vintage pieces signed by some of the world’s greatest makers, including Cartier, Bulgari and Boucheron. Covering defining eras of jewellery design, from delicate creations of the 18th century, to the sophistication of Art Deco and the glamour of modern style, the auction is also distinguished with a rare collection of jewellery designs from the 1780s.
The centerpiece of this spring’s sale is a rarity: a collection of 23 jewellery designs from the second half of the 18th century. These drawings, probably in life size, display an asymmetrical, serendipitous flavor and typify the light and open designs of the period. Utilizing flowers, leaves, ribbons and tassels, the format would suggest that they were assembled for potential distribution to goldsmiths (lot 24, est. €54,000-80,500/ $60,000-90,000).
The period jewel section comprises examples of late 19th century jewellery, including two emerald and diamond brooches/pendants. The first features a square step-cut Colombian emerald (lot 94, est. £20,000-30,000 / €26,800-40,200 / $30,000-45,000), the second, of foliate and scroll design, set with a trapeze-shaped emerald, also of Colombian origin (lot 95, est. £12,000-15,000 / €16,100-20,100 / $18,000-22,500). Another fine example of Colombian emerald is to be found in an early 20th century ring by Tiffany & Co., claw-set with a cabochon emerald between diamonds (lot 214, est. €26,800-40,200 / $30,000-45,000)
Well represented in the sale are impressive statement jewels from the 1920s and 1930s. Among them is the cover lot – an Art Deco diamond pendant/brooch, 1930s, notable for its exceptional workmanship with highly articulated tassels (lot 290, est. €33,500-46,900 / $37,500-52,500).
An example is the brooch created by Henri Picq, whose Paris workshop in Marais was responsible, from the early years of the 20th century through into the late 1920s, for some of the most iconic designs of the period. Working largely, though not exclusively, for Cartier, they pioneered the use of novel materials and executed some of Cartier’s most avant-garde creations. Picq was the creator of the very first of Cartier’s ‘tutti frutti’ jewels, at the time described simply as ‘pierres de couleur’, which was a bracelet designed for the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1925. Made in the 1920s, this garland brooch, set with carved emeralds, rubies and sapphires is an early and stunning example of ‘tutti frutti’ design (lot 279, est. €4,050-6,700 / $4,500-7,500).
The sale also includes a number of gentleman's accessories by some of the world’s leading makers. Capturing the powerful aesthetic of Verdura is a pair of diamond cufflinks (lot 239, est. €3,350-4,700 / $3,750-5,300), while the discreet and timeless elegance of the pearl is exemplified in an irresistible pair of natural pearl, cultured pearl and diamond cufflinks (lot 243, est. €2,700-4,050 / $3,000-4,500) and a lot comprising three natural pearl and diamond buttons by Bulgari (lot 244, est. €3,350-4,700 / $3,750-5,300).