Bonhams Fine Jewelry – New York – December 12th, 2012


I believe this is my last auction post for December, and for the year.  Bonhams Fine Jewelry sale in New York on December 12th, 2012 offers some exciting pieces to round out the busy auction season.  Unfortunately I’m pressed for time today, so commentary is limited.  As such, here are my selections:


Lot 24 – A belle époque enamel and diamond pendant, Cartier

Estimate:  US$ 5,000 – 7,000

Depicting the Madonna with a rose-cut diamond halo praying before plique-a-jour enamel stained glass windows, surrounded by an old European and rose-cut diamond piercework vine motif, with millegrain accents; with maker’s mark for Cartier, no. 35198, and French assay mark; mounted in platinum and eighteen karat gold; length: 1 3/4in.


Lot 32 – A purple sapphire and diamond ring, Buccellati

Estimate:  US$ 6,000 – 9,000

Designed as a purple cabochon sapphire blackberry accentuated by a round brilliant-cut diamond dewdrop, within a textured mount and engraved leaf-form base, completed by a ridged shank; signed Buccellati; mounted in eighteen karat gold; size 5 1/4


Lot 42 – A pair of peridot and diamond earclips, Valentin Magro

Estimate:  US$ 15,000 – 20,000

Each designed as pavé-set round brilliant-cut diamond blossom with curling tendrils centering a cushion-cut peridot; signed Valentin Magro; estimated total peridot weight: 22.25 carats; estimated total diamond weight: 4.57 carats; mounted in platinum and eighteen karat gold; length: 1 1/2in.

Lot 44 – An eighteen karat gold and emerald necklace, Ilias Lalaounis

Estimate:  US$ 6,000 – 8,000

Designed as woven herringbone rope chain, gathered by a slide accentuated by circular-cut emeralds, terminating in sea creature motifs with scrolling tails highlighted by applied wirework; signed Ilias LaLaounis, with signed box; gross weight approximately: 140.8 grams; length: 26in


Lot 45 – An art moderne diamond and ruby brooch, Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin

Estimate:  US$ 30,000 – 50,000

Designed as a scrolling swirl of pavé-set round brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds, accentuated by cabochon and calibré-cut rubies; signed Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin; estimated total diamond weight: 11.60 carats; mounted in platinum; diameter: 2 3/4in


This striking brooch, with its streamlined, Machine Age form, represents Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin’s best work of the late 1930s. The firm’s characteristic use of high relief, sculptural forms, a dichromatic palette, and cabochon gems explains why Hollywood so warmly embraced the firm’s jewelry. These bold designs, worn by screen sirens Marlene Dietrich, Paulette Goddard, and Claudette Colbert as they starred opposite actors like Gary Cooper and Clark Gable, helped make definite statements of feminine glamour and audacity on film. Off screen, Marlene Dietrich, who seemed to wear her oversize T&H-M emerald and diamond bracelet and clip on every public occasion, came to personify the new ideal – a self-assured, liberated woman who was equal to any situation.


Lot 47 – A retro emerald, ruby and diamond ‘Reflection’ brooch Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin

Estimate:  US$ 12,000 – 15,000

Designed as a bombé cabochon emerald blossom accentuated by single-cut diamonds, the naturalistic leafy stem highlighted by circular-cut rubies; signed Trabert & Hoeffer Mauboussin Reflection; mounted in fourteen karat gold and platinum; length: 3 1/4in.


Lot 51 – A pair of enamel bangle bracelets, Van Cleef & Arpels, French,

Estimate:  US$ 4,000 – 6,000

Each hinged form designed with alternating sections of blue basse taille and en plein white enamel; both signed VCA for Van Cleef & Arpels, no.C69 B2999 Z2 and Z1, with French assay mark; mounted in eighteen karat gold; gross weight approximately: 113.2 grams; diameter: 2 1/4in.


Lot 52 – A pair of diamond and emerald earclips, Van Cleef & Arpels,

Estimate:  US$ 20,000 – 30,000

Of floral design, centering a cluster of circular-cut emeralds within petals of pavé-set round brilliant-cut diamonds; one signed VCA NY, no. 37830; estimated total diamond weight: 5.40 carats; mounted in gold washed platinum and eighteen karat gold; length 1 1/4in., (one earclip unsigned)


Lot 55 – An eighteen karat bicolor gold, diamond, and colored diamond ‘Fairytale Shield’ bracelet, Paul Morelli

Estimate:  US$ 3,000 – 5,000

Designed as a flexible mesh of square links highlighted by shield motifs, accentuated by bands of round brilliant-cut diamonds and black round brilliant-cut diamonds, suspending a flexible heart-shaped fringe; signed Morelli; estimated total diamond weight: 3.50 carats; gross weight approximately: 50.7 grams; mounted in eighteen karat bicolor and blackened gold; length: 6 5/8in


Paul Morelli credits his deep well of creativity to a hereditary trait. Initially on the path to become a journalist, his career was waylaid accidentally when he was asked to help create accessories for a New York City designer doing a fashion show. Growing up in a family that worked with their hands and loved fashion – Morelli’s father was a costume designer, his grandfather was a tailor, and everyone in his large, extended family sewed – it is not surprising that he was both resourceful and manually adept.

Today, Morelli oversees the jewels made by hand in Philadelphia. His approach is old world when it comes to dealing with clients. He is intrigued and delighted to design unique, one-of-a-kind jewels, as exemplified by the Fairy Tale bracelet. He frequently likes to transform everyday, ordinary objects with gems, as illustrated in the double compartment “Pill Box” necklace.


Lot 56 – A pink sapphire, diamond and enamel ring

Estimate:  US$ 12,000 – 15,000

Of crossover design, set with a pear-shaped diamond and pink sapphire, with black enamel shoulders and shank;pink sapphire weighing approximately: 2.90 carats; diamond weighing approximately: 1.05 carats; mounted in eighteen karat white gold; size 5 1/2, (enamel loss


Lot 57 – A peridot and diamond brooch, Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co.,

Estimate:  US$ 7,000 – 9,000

Designed as a seahorse set with circular-cut peridot, accentuated by round brilliant-cut diamonds and a circular-cut ruby eye; signed Schlumberger, Tiffany & Co., made in France, with French maker’s mark and assay mark; mounted in eighteen karat gold; length: 3 1/2in


Lot 74 – An aventurine quartz and diamond brooch, David Webb

Estimate:  US$ 10,000 – 12,000

The blossom composed of elongated aventurine drops, centering a cluster of round brilliant-cut diamonds, set over a textured leafy stem; signed David Webb; estimated total diamond weight: 3.50 carats; mounted in eighteen karat gold; length: 2 3/4in.


Lot 87 – A diamond, ruby, and turquoise ‘Clip Danseuse’ brooch, Van Cleef & Arpels

Estimate:  US$ 25,000 – 45,000

Designed as a ballerina with pear-shaped rose-cut diamond face, her tiara, skirt and bouquet accentuated by circular-cut rubies, old European and single-cut diamonds, and cabochon turquoise; signed Van Cleef & Arpels, N.Y. no. 4157; mounted in eighteen karat gold; length: 2 3/4in.


This gem-set dancer, with her fan and flounced skirt, belongs to the “danseuse espagnole” creations. These figural brooches were inspired by Louis Arpels’s lifelong passion for dance; with the collaboration of Parisian designer, Maurice Duvalet, and, initially, the workshop of John Rubel & Company, the dancers were first introduced early in the 1940s. A symbol of hope during the war, the “danseuse” series included figures represented in a large variety of classical ballet positions, as well as particular historical Russian and French ballerinas. One of the firm’s most famous dancer jewels was that of Marie Camargo, set with large, fine rose-cut diamonds reputed to have originated from the Spanish Crown jewels. Camargo, a favorite of the Bourbon court, was an early innovator in modern classical ballet, inventor of the ballet slipper and the shortened skirt. The brooches were a great success with Arpels’s society clients in New York, where they were first made, and in Paris, from the war years through to the 1960s. Van Cleef & Arpels continues to produce different collections of ballerina brooches.


Lot 92 – A colored diamond and diamond monkey brooch

Estimate:  US$ 5,000 – 7,000

Designed as pair of embracing monkeys with pavé-set round brilliant-cut diamonds and yellow diamonds, accentuated with round brilliant-cut ruby eyes; estimated total diamond weight: 13.05 carats; mounted in eighteen karat gold; length: 1 3/4in., (colored diamonds not tested for origin of color)


Lot 104 – A diamond and colored diamond brooch

Estimate:  US$ 12,000 – 15,000

Designed as a frond, the stem pavé-set with round brilliant and single-cut diamonds, the articulated leaves with yellow, yellow-orange, brown and brownish-orange round brilliant-cut diamonds; estimated total diamond weight: 15.00 carats; mounted in eighteen karat gold and platinum; length: 5 3/4in. (colored diamonds not tested for origin of color)


Lot 120 – A diamond, coral, and emerald brooch

Estimate:  US$ 6,000 – 8,000

Designed as Pegasus with carved coral wings, body accentuated by round brilliant-cut diamonds and circular-cut emerald eyes; estimated total diamond weight: 2.50 carats; mounted in eighteen karat gold and platinum; gross weight approximately: 52.4 grams; width: 2 5/8in.


Lot 149 – A diamond and chalcedony brooch, Valentin Magro

Estimate:  US$ 10,000 – 15,000

Designed as a baby turtle with cabochon chalcedony body and pavé-set diamond head, flippers and tail, accentuated by cabochon ruby eyes; signed Valentin Magro; estimated total diamond weight: 3.60 carats; mounted in eighteen karat gold and platinum; length: 2 1/2in.


Lot 158 – A sapphire and diamond ‘Legacy’ pendant necklace, Tiffany & Co.

Estimate:  US$ 3,000 – 5,000

Designed as flexible cascades of circular-cut sapphire bar links shading in hue from violet to blue, interspersed with round brilliant-cut diamonds, suspended from a delicate trace link chain accentuated by round brilliant-cut diamonds;signed Tiffany & Co.; estimated total sapphire weight: 2.85 carats; estimated total diamond weight: 1.60 carats; mounted in platinum; length of necklace: 16 1/4in.; length of pendant: 3 3/8 in.


Lot 202 – A pair of emerald and diamond pendant earrings

Estimate: US$ 70,000 – 100,000

Designed as emerald briolettes, measuring approximately 18.6 x 12mm, suspended from round brilliant-cut diamonds;mounted in platinum; length: 1 1/2in


Lot 203 – An art deco sapphire and diamond bracelet, Cartier, French

Estimate:  US$ 100,000 – 150,000

Centering a cushion-cut sapphire, joining a slender looped line of old European and single-cut diamonds, accentuated by calibré-cut sapphires; signed Cartier Paris London New York, no. 4262, with French assay mark and maker’s mark for Renault, within original fitted box; sapphire weighing approximately: 17.20 carats; estimated total diamond weight: 2.60 carats; mounted in platinum; length: 7 1/4in


Accompanied by AGL report # CS 51805, dated October 17, 2012, stating the sapphire as: Ceylon (Sri Lanka) origin, with no evidence of heat or clarity enhancement.

This sapphire and diamond bracelet is a rare and beautiful jeweled example by Cartier. The evolving form signifies a departure from the delicate monochomatic characteristics of the belle époque to the linear, bold and colorful palettes of art deco; it also employs the signature elements found in the brilliant and innovative creations of designer Charles Jacqueau. The articulated loop clasp served as a decorative and functional element which was incorporated into several important pieces, including carved gem-set sautoirs and a bracelet belonging to Daisy Fellowes. The Renault, Lavabre and Picq workshops executed many of these leading designs because of their technical excellence. Following Jacqueau’s design orders, “surtout très léger”, these creations were “above all very light”.


Please be sure to check back after the sale as I update each lot with its realized sale price.

All photos, estimates and descriptions courtesy of Bonhams

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