Sotheby's New York to hold Magnificent Jewels auction
December 5, 2013: Sotheby’s Is hosting an auction of Magnificent Jewels which will be held on December 11, 2013 in New York, with a public exhibition beginning December 7 in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries.
The auction is distinguished by a number of true masterpieces, including five rare Art Deco Egyptian-revival jewels designed by Cartier, and an iconic Boucheron bracelet of African inspiration. Two important private collections are also on offer: one from the family of an American heiress, whose jewels have spent most of the last 60 years secreted in a bank vault and testify to a glamorous lifestyle in the first half of the 20th century, and the other a contemporary collection of sensational emerald jewels and fancy vivid yellow diamonds.
More than 30 jewels from a Distinguished Family Collection provide a fascinating look at the taste of an American heiress who lived in Europe in the 1930s–50s. She favoured Cartier, Boucheron and Van Cleef & Arpels for her own jewels, and refashioned others inherited from her mother. The collection is led by a magnificent platinum and diamond ring, set with a 24.48 carat D-color, VS1 clarity emerald-cut diamond, as well as an Indian inspired important 18 karat gold, emerald and diamond necklace from Cartier.
Also from Cartier is a pair of 18 karat gold, emerald, ruby and diamond earclips, inspired by the lush flora and fauna of India. Complementing the Cartier jewels is a gold, emerald, diamond and ruby brooch. A selection of Art Deco evening bags, fine gemstone rings and decorative jewels complete the collection.
The discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 ignited a blaze of Egypt-mania and the instantaneous introduction of decorative elements from Egyptian culture into fine arts, interior design, fashion and jewelry. Louis Cartier, a collector of Egyptian antiquities, thus reincarnated some of his ancient Egyptian faience fragments by mounting them into modern settings. It is believed that Cartier produced only 150 such Egyptian-revival jewels in the mid-to-late 1920s, and several very rare examples are featured in the December auction. The magnificent and rare Egyptian-revival faience and jeweled brooch is designed as an Egyptian fan centering an ancient green glazed bust of the goddess Sekhmet, set against the lapis lazuli sky twinkling with diamond stars.
Sotheby’s also will offer property formerly from the Estate of Iya, Lady Abdy, which includes four Egyptian-Revival jewels – two signed by Cartier. Lady Abdy was a part of Parisian society in the 1920s-30s, a friend of Coco Chanel and Jean Cocteau, and a style icon in her own right. She was much photographed by Man Ray and Cecil Beaton, and for Vogue by George Hoyningen Huene. Her remarkable collection at Sotheby’s includes the rare and important 18 karat gold, platinum, faience, diamond, colored stone and enamel ‘Sekhmet’ brooch, Cartier and the platinum, gold, diamond, faience and colored stone ‘Pylon’ brooch, Cartier.
The custom Bulgari earrings we talked about earlier will also be auctioned during this event.