Bonhams auctions rare Kashmir Sapphire and other rare, vintage American jewels

The auction highlights some delightful designs and brand under the hammer

November 26, 2020: Bonhams New York is offering a Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Brooch, circa 1910, estimated at $500,000–$800,000, from a private collection that has delighted the descendants of a prominent American family, on December 7, 2020.

sapphire diamond brooch bonhams auction

The Kashmir sapphire has remained in the same family for more than 100 years. The Smith family, of Vermont, were politicians, entrepreneurs, farmers, philosophers, philanthropists and writers. The patriarch, Gov. J. Gregory Smith, led Vermont in the 1860s during the Civil War and was one of the founders of the Northern Pacific Railway. His wife, Ann Eliza Smith, was an American author whose father was a prominent figure in the Underground Railroad and used his home and other properties to hide freedom seekers. The son of Gov. J. Gregory Smith, Edward Curtis Smith, also served as the governor of Vermont and was the one to acquire this remarkable brooch for his wife, Anna Bailey James Smith. Passed down through generations, the jewel was later worn by Margaret Smith at Richard Nixon’s inauguration. She wore the brooch frequently, never realizing the rare treasure she held.

Also in the same family for a century, the auction will sell property from the collection of Grace Underwood Barton, including A Diamond Ring (5.80 carats E VS1 pear shape type IIA), $80,000-100,000 and a Carved Emerald and Diamond Pendant by Georges Le Saché, French, circa 1915 (Le Saché created jewels for Cartier, Tiffany, Boucheron and other great houses), estimated at $40,000–$60,000.

emerald diamond bonhams auction

Bonhams New York Jewels also offers an impressive selection of both vintage and contemporary jewelry and gemstones that includes several important signed jewels, including an unusual Diamond and Gem-set Horse Bangle, Bulgari, circa 1960, estimated at $30,000–$50,000. Author and Bulgari specialist Amanda Triossi said of the bangle: “Bulgari's confronted overlapping horse head bangle is probably one of the first of its kind, it is most likely unique and thanks to its restrained use of gemstones it is also very wearable.”

bvlgari horse bangle bonhams auction

Also of note are a set of Carved Jade, Enamel, Coral, Diamond and Gem-set Foo Dog Boxes, David Webb, estimated at $100,000–200,000, a Diamond Bracelet, Schlumberger Studios for Tiffany & Co. estimated at $25,000–$45,000, and a fancy Colored Diamond and Diamond Ring, (2.32 carats fancy intense orangey pink SI1), estimated at $275,000-$375,000.

diamond bracelet bonhams auction

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