Bonhams London Jewels Sale to highlight Van Cleef & Arpels rubies, Kashmir sapphires & rare jewels by Mario Buccellati
September 5, 2019: Following suit on Bonhams’ weakness for coloured gemstones, the Bonhams London Jewels sale this September will be led by with Van Cleef & Arpels’ rubies, Kashmir sapphires and Colombian emeralds, all going under the hammer on September 24, 2019.
Our eyes are caught by a superior collection of “Mystery-Set” jewels by Van Cleef & Arpels. The mystery setting is their most famous invention, encapsulating Van Cleef & Arpels’ spirit for innovation and exceptional craftsmanship. It includes a ruby and diamond bracelet (est. $120,000-180,000); a ruby and diamond ‘Bellegarde’ necklace (est. $49,000-73,000); a ruby and diamond Bombé ring (est. $24,000-36,000); a pair of ruby and diamond ‘Lampion’ earrings (est. $36,000-49,000); and a ruby and diamond ‘Noeud Ruban’ brooch (est. $30,000-43,000).
Two impressive Kashmir sapphires are also expected to garner attention. The first, a Sapphire and Diamond Three-Stone Ring, features an oval-cut sapphire, weighing 5.16 carats, set between brilliant-cut diamonds. It is estimated at $97,000-150,000 and accompanied by three reports confirming its Kashmir origin and no evidence of heat treatment. The second ring, also a Sapphire and Diamond Three-Stone Ring, dated circa 1900, boasts a cushion-shaped sapphire, weighing 4.46 carats, set between cushion-shaped diamonds, with smaller old brilliant-cut diamond highlights. It has a pre-sale estimate of $120,000-180,000 and is accompanied by four reports stating that the sapphire is of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating.
Emeralds are represented by two notable pieces in the sale: the first, an Emerald and Diamond Bracelet by Graff, set with a row of step-cut Colombian emeralds and diamonds, estimated at $120,000-180,000. The second, an Art Deco Emerald, Diamond and Enamel Brooch by Hennell, the distinguished British jeweller, is dated circa 1925 and contains an engraved emerald, dated 1813-14, which is thought to have been presented by the Mughal Emperor Akbar II to Lady Mary Hood. It has a pre-sale estimate of £40,000-60,000 (US$49,000-73,000).
Along with all this magnificence, 20 pieces from the private collection of the Buccellati family are set to be offered at Bonhams this September. The lots, all designed by the great Mario Buccellati, the “Prince of Goldsmiths” himself, date from 1919 to the 1960s, and span Buccellati’s meteoric rise from a small firm operating in Milan to one of the world’s most recognised jewellery houses.
Highlights from Buccellati include a Varicoloured Gold and Multi Gem-Set Bangle by Mario Buccellati, circa 1930-1940, estimated at $9,700-15,000. The bangle, set with cushion-shaped and circular-cut amethyst and varicoloured tourmalines, features three of the elaborate engraving Buccellati is perhaps best known for: ‘modellato’, ‘rigato’ and ‘ornato’.
The sale is not complete with the artistic brooches by Andrew Grima and a superb one by Lalique as well.