Sotheby’s The Jewellery Collection of the Late Michael Wellby: An Eclectic Eye – Jewels Spanning Four Centuries

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Scheduled in London on December 11th, 2012, Sotheby’s upcoming sale of The Jewellery Collection of the Late Michael Wellby is a journey through jewelry history.  Born into a family of silver dealers, Mr. Wellby found that period jewelry piqued his curiosity rather than silver, collecting exceptional pieces from periods spanning five centuries.

While antique jewelry often lacks the refined settings and precisely cut precious stones that developed over time, the intricate detail of the gold craftsmanship denotes the antique jewels’ rarity and value.  The jewels in this collection include exemplary works from some of the great goldsmiths of the last five centuries.  Also of note are the important Renaissance jewels and exquisite creations of 19th Century novelty and sentimentality.  A fine taste for Art Nouveau, Mr. Wellby’s collection encompasses several pieces by the era’s best jewelers, including Fouquet and Lalique.

Here is my selection of jewels from this extraordinary jewelry collection of the late Mr. Wellby.  I tried to zoom in as close as possible so that you are able to see just how intricate the gold detailing is, it’s simply amazing.

 

 Lot 28 – An important diamond devant de corsage, Late 18th Century

Estimate: 60,000 – 80,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 385,250 GBP

Composed of a series of swags, with ribbon and floral motifs, suspending three detachable tassels, set with rose diamonds, measuring approximately 240 x 130mm, later fitted case.

Catalogue Note

This piece demonstrates the 18th Century Fashion for using jewellery to decorate not only the neck but also the dress as well. A jewel of this size is extremely rare as many pieces were often broken up and sold or re-set to keep up with ever changing fashions. The use of rose diamonds allowed the jeweller to shape the stones into the design they wanted while foiling on the reverse of the stones gave a beautiful soft sparkle in the candlelight. The quality of the work on this jewel is evident not only in the articulation but also in the layer of gold applied on the reverse which would have protected the valuable garments from being soiled through the oxidization of the silver mounts.

This piece would have been sown onto the front of the bodice, the loops on either end allowing for a ribbon to be added so the jewel could be worn as an elaborate choker.

 

Lot 166 – An attractive diamond wheat sheaf tiara, Second half of 19th Century

Estimate: 60,000 – 80,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 373,250 GBP

Designed as two wheat sheaf’s each tied together with a ribbon bow, set throughout with cushion-, pear-shaped, circular-, single-cut and rose diamonds, inner circumference approximately 330mm, few small diamonds deficient, each wheat sheaf detachable from frame and can be worn as brooches, bows detachable with additional brooch fittings, accompanied by later fitted case.

Catalogue Note

Although the 19th century was a period of great change through industrialisation jewellery designers often looked to the past for inspiration.  This tiara in the neo-classical taste, is composed of a wreath of ears of wheat and is emblematic of prosperity, abundance and fruitfulness; it would be highly appropriate if such a tiara were worn at a wedding.  In ancient Greece, tiaras of laurel leaves, oak or naturalistic branches would crown the victorious or be worn by women to display their prominent status in society.  Emperor Napoleon I was often depicted in portraiture in his coronation robes and wearing a golden laurel wreath to display his status and grandeur.

Cf: Queen Victoria Receiving the Sacrament at her Coronation, 28th June 1838, Charles Robert Leslie(1794-1859), where we see the Queen’s train bearers are depicted wearing hair decorations of wheat-sheaf design.

 

Lot 209 – Diamond bracelet, Tiffany & Co., circa 1930

Estimate: 40,000 – 60,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 127,250 GBP

The wide band of geometric design, millegrain-set with variously cut diamonds, length approximately 180mm, signed Tiffany & Co.

Lot 6 – Gold, baroque pearl, enamel and diamond pendant, Southern Italian, 17th Century

Estimate: 30,000 – 40,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 79,250 GBP

Designed as a dancing carnival figure of lady, with a fruit and floral head dress, highlighted with pendants set with rose diamonds, the body composed of a baroque pearl, to a pierced scroll work skirt further highlighted with rose diamonds and polychrome enamel.

Catalogue Note

The use of the baroque pearl in this jewel clearly demonstrates the skill of the jeweller in adapting a natural phenomenon as a sculptural element. Baroque pearls were skilfully incorporated into jewels from the 16th century and remained popular into the 18th.  The colourful enamel to the headdress, shoulders and torso as well as the presence of further botanical elements incorporated in the pierced scrolling foliate skirt can be found on Spanish and Southern Italian jewels of the late 17th and early 18th centuries.  Note the similar use of polychrome enamelled floral  elements  in the pendant in the Real Monasterio de la Encarnacíon illustrated in the Joyeria Espanola museum catalogue and the floral dress brooch in the Museo Regionale Pepoli  in Sicily (inv. No.5478).

Related Literature:
Ori e Argenti  in Sicilia,  exh.cat.Museo Regionale Pepoli, Trapani, Milan 1989
La Joyeria Espanola de Felipe II a Alfonso XIII, Ministerio de Educacion y Cultura , Madrid 1998 no 113.

 

Lot 207 – Enamel, lapis lazuli and diamond bracelet, 1920s

Estimate: 12,000 – 15,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 56,450 GBP

The reversible band depicting ancient Greek scenes of ladies worshipping Athene on one and a battle scene on the other side, highlighted at intervals with rotatable plaques millegrain set with circular-cut diamonds set at the centre with polished lapis lazuli, length approximately 175mm.

Catalogue Note

Art Deco was the antithesis of the Art Nouveau period. After the 1st World War the way women dressed and embellished themselves saw a drastic change: gone were the naturalistic Art Nouveau pieces and corseted dresses,  in were trousers and loose fitting dresses with dropped waists. The jewellery of this period changed along with the fashions, now women wore bracelets, often several at a time, lined up their wrists and long sautoir necklaces. The origin of the term Art Deco was a shortening of the title of the ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes’ in Paris, 1925, of which a large section was dedicated to jewellery. Art Deco jewels incorporated vivid primary colours, geometric and linear patterns, with inspiration coming from the Far East, Middle East and South America. These styles were taken up not only by French, but international jewellers such as Tiffany & Co. from the United States and Janesich from Italy.

 

Lot 169 – Turquoise, natural pearl, enamel and diamond pendant necklace, Gautrait, Circa 1900

Estimate: 12,000 – 15,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 51,650 GBP

Of abstract design, set with cabochon turquoise, a natural pearl drop, cushion-shaped and rose diamonds, highlighted with plique-à-jour, opaque and pearlescent enamel, suspended from a chain set at intervals with similar motifs, length approximately 620mm, pendant detachable, signed L.Gautrait, French assay marks.

Catalogue Note

Accompanied by The Gem & Pearl and Laboratory report no. 06280, stating that the pearl was found to be natural, saltwater.

Lucien Gautrait, a predominant Parisian jeweller noted for his use of enamel and peacock feather motifs. Little is known about him, even the records dispute if he was called Lucien or Leopold, although he did work as a modeller and chaser for Leon Gariod a firm established in 1859 by Gaucher and Tonnelier forming a partnership with Gariod in 1875. Many of Gautrait known pieces show a strong similarity to the jewels of Lalique in the use of enamel and precious stones as discreet accents.

 

Lot 167 – Natural pearl, gem set and diamond brooch- pendant, Georges Fouquet, Late 19th Century

Estimate: 12,000 – 15,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 97,250 GBP

Designed as a lady with flowing hair and headdress, the face and hair composed of carved chalcedony, applied with plique-à-jour enamel and highlighted with cabochon and circular-cut rubies, circular-cut and rose diamonds, suspending a natural pearl, pendant loop, signed G. Fouquet and numbered, French assay marks, case, Fouquet.

Catalogue Note

Accompanied by report from The Gem & Pearl Laboratory no. 06292 stating the pearl was found to be natural, saltwater.

Georges Fouquet 1862-1957 was a third generation Parisian jeweller and one of the leading exponents of Art Nouveau jewellery winning great praise at the Paris International Exhibition in 1900 with jewels designed by Alphonse Mucha. Mucha was also responsible for designing Fouquet new salon at 6 Rue Royale which Fouquet moved to in 1900. His jewels are typically heavily inspired by nature infused with the female form, utilising fine enamel work.

The Art Nouveau movement was a short lived flowering of creativity which grew out of the reaction against mechanisation of the second half of the 19th century. Its period of creativity was short lived lasting from the closing decades of the 19th century until just before the Great War of 1914. A reactionary movement, it sought inspiration from the organic forms of nature and femininity, infused with a dream like quality. Many of the plants and flowers beloved of the Victorians, the iris, fuchsia and lily, were adopted by the Art Nouveau movement, but took on a more realistic and life like form.

This change in attitude to the depiction of nature was influenced by the works of John Ruskin, Owen Jones and A.W.N. Pugin as well as the emerging interest in Japanese decorative arts. Jewellers of this period drew on these influences and re-worked it into the new ideology with its interest in nature’s cycle of death and rebirth, infused with the feeling of movement. Other favoured motifs of the movement where fantastical zoomorphic animals, sea monsters, serpents, chimeras and the dragonfly, sometimes merged with the contours of the female form.

 

Lot 160 – Natural pearl, spinel and diamond brooch-pendant, Late 19th Century

Estimate: 12,000 – 15,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 39,650 GBP

Set with a cushion shaped spinel within a border of cushion-shaped and circular-cut diamonds, suspending a detachable natural pearl drop, brooch and pendant fittings detachable, fitted case.

Accompanied by The Gem & Pearl Laboratory report no. 06275, stating that the pearl was found to be natural, saltwater.

 

Lot 168 – Gold, turquoise, enamel, and diamond brooch-pendant, G.R. Sandoz, circa 1900

Estimate: 10,000 – 15,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 27,500 GBP

The scene decorated in opaque enamel, depicting a lotus flower surrounded by water lillies, surmounted by two dragonflies, the wings set with Plique-à-jourenamel, highlighted with turquoise drops, circular- and single-cut diamonds, signed G.R.Sandoz, French assay marks, detachable brooch fitting.

Catalogue Note

Gustave-Roger Sandoz, succeeded to his father’s jewellery business in Paris 1891. Initially based in the Palais Royal he moved to the Rue Royale in 1895 retaining premises in the Palais Royal. He embraced the Art Nouveau idiom producing jewels in the new style as well as working in collaboration with Emile Galle producing elaborate mounts for some of his glass objects. He exhibited at the Paris International Exhibition in 1900 where he also sat on the jury.

 

Lot 1 – Gold, pearl and enamel pendant, 16th Century

Estimate: 10,000 – 15,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 25,000 GBP

Designed as a pouncing lion, the main body set with a baroque pearl, the legs and face decorated with enamel, later pendant loop, together with a later chain highlighted with pearls, length approximately 445mm.

Catalogue Note

The use of the baroque pearl demonstrates the skill of the jeweller to adapt nature to a work of art.  Such pendants were popular from the second half of the 16th century in particular in Spain and Germany and the Netherlands . Note in particular the design by Nacis Amat of 1605 in the Llibres des Passanties illustrated by Muller ( op.cit. fig 142. Note also the naturalistic anatomical detailing to the undersideof the lion.

 

Lot 195 – Diamond fob watch, Boucheron, 1940s

Estimate: 8,000 – 12,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 23,750 GBP

Designed as a stylised fir cone suspended from a bow motif, set with circular- and single-cut diamonds of yellow and near colourless tint, the reverse set with a circular dial applied with blued steel hands and Arabic numerals, signed Boucheron, Paris, French assay and maker’s marks, case, Boucheron.

 

Lot 194 – Ruby and diamond clip, 1950s

Estimate: 8,000 – 12,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 22,500 GBP

Of waterfall design, set with calibré-cut rubies, circular-cut and baguette diamonds, numbered, French assay and indistinct maker’s marks.

 

Lot 182 – Enamel and diamond watch, Agassis, circa 1925

Estimate: 8,000 – 12,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 17,500 GBP

The circular dial applied with blued steel hands and Arabic numerals, suspended from a mount set with millegrain-set black enamel, circular-, single-cut, pear-shaped, and rose diamonds, French assay marks, indistinct maker’s marks, movement signed Agassis.

 

Lot 173 – Natural pearl, enamel and diamond pendant, Beaudoin, circa 1900

Estimate: 8,000 – 12,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 79,250 GBP

Depicting the profile of a lady, possibly Ophelia, set with polychrome and plique-à-jour enamel, suspending a natural pearl drop, highlighted with circular-cut diamonds, signed Beaudoin, Paris, French assay marks.

Catalogue Note

Accompanied by The Gem & Pearl Laboratory report no.06517, stating that the pearl was found to be natural, saltwater.

Ophelia was the tragic character in Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’. Many of the Pre-Rafaelite artists took inspiration from the character and one of the most famous paintings was by John Everett Millais, depicting Ophelia floating down a river.

 

Lot 141 – Gem set and diamond brooch

Estimate: 8,000 – 12,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 16,250 GBP

Designed as a dragonfly set throughout with variously cut emeralds, sapphires and rubies, highlighted with pear-shaped and rose diamonds, detachable brooch fitting.

 

Lot 184 – Natural pearl, cultured pearl and diamond necklace, late 19th Century

Estimate: 6,000 – 8,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 16,250 GBP

Designed as a graduated fringe, set with cushion shaped, circular- and single-cut, and rose diamonds, suspending natural pearls with cultured pearls towards the clasp, the clasp set with a pinched collet-set circular-cut stone, length approximately 385mm.

Accompanied by The Gem & Pearl Laboratory report no. 06232, stating that the majority of the pearls were found to be natural, saltwater and five of the pearls were found to be cultured.

 

Lot 178 – Emerald and diamond brooch

Estimate: 6,000 – 8,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 20,000 GBP

Designed as a lozenge set with step-, circular-cut and shield-shaped emeralds, circular- and single-cut diamonds, detachable brooch fitting.

 

Lot 176 – Enamel, opal and diamond pendant, Guillemin Frères, circa 1900

Estimate: 6,000 – 8,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 30,000 GBP

Designed as a cluster of stylised flowers, set with polished opals, circular-cut and rose diamonds, highlighted with translucent matt enamel, detachable pendant fitting, French assay and maker’s marks.

 

Lot 171 – Tourmaline and diamond brooch, Vever, Circa 1900

Estimate: 6,000 – 8,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 11,250 GBP

Designed as an open work stylised fuchsia set with circular-, single-cut and rose diamonds, later set with a marquise-shaped tourmaline, suspended from a fine fancy link chain, length approximately 435mm, signed Vever, Paris and numbered, French assay marks, accompanied by brooch, hair fittings and screw driver, fitted case, Vever, chain not illustrated.

Catalogue Note

Vever one of the leading French jewellery firms of the 19th Century was founded in 1821 by Pierre Vever in Metz, moving to Paris in 1871. They exhibited at Moscow, Chicago, and Brussels winning a Grand Prix at the Paris International Exhibition in 1900. Henri Vever 1854-1942, Pierre’s grandson, was a renowned jewellery historian and author of the seminal work on 19th Century jewellery, ‘La Bijouterie Francaise au XIXe siecle’ , published in 1908 of which the third volume covers the leading Art Nouveau jewellers of the period.

 

Lot 159 – Diamond brooch, Mellerio dits Meller, Late 19th Century

Estimate: 6,000 – 8,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 21,250 GBP

Designed as a floral spray of Cattleya Orchids set en tremblant, set with cushion-shaped, circular-cut and rose diamonds, three flower head jewels detach, can be worn with accompanying sprung hair and brooch fittings, French assay and maker’s marks, fitted case Mellerio dits Meller.

Catalogue Note

Mellerio dits Meller is the oldest family-run business in Europe, since its creation in 1615 the business has passed through fourteen generations. With a legacy of eminent clients such as Marie Antoinette and Empress Josephine, the brand is renowned for its refined elegance.

 

Lot 3 – Gold, enamel and paste pectoral cross, 16th Century

Estimate: 6,000 – 8,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 12,750 GBP

Designed as a pectoral cross set with red foiled paste stones and decorated to the front and reverse with translucent and opaque enamels with strap work design.

Catalogue Note

This form of pectoral cross is a design that was prevalent in Europe  from the second half of the 16th and into the early 17th century. For a Spanish origin note the cross pendant in the Walters Art Gallery as well as the design by Ramon Carlo of 1612 in the LLibres de Passanties both  illustrated by Muller, ( op.cit.).  However the use of pastes as well as  the fine basse taille translucent enamelling on the back with its interlacing strapwork are closer to a German tradition.  For examples of such Moresque designs see  the drawings  by Virgil Solis dating from circa 1550 as well as the wood cuts published by Rudolff Wyssenbach of Zurich in 1549, illustrated by Hackenbroch (op.cit)

 

Lot 200 – Pair of sapphire and diamond pendent ear clips, Boucheron, 1940s

Estimate: 5,000 – 7,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 13,125 GBP

Each of scroll and tassel design set with circular- and calibré-cut sapphires and single-cut diamonds, signed Boucheron, Paris, stamped with French assay and maker’s marks, clip fittings, one diamond deficient.

 

Lot 199 – Gold and diamond bracelet, Marchak, 1950s

Estimate: 5,000 – 7,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 15,000 GBP

Designed as a wide mesh band highlighted with a brilliant-cut diamond fringe and clasp, length approximately 194mm, signed Marchak, Paris and numbered.

 

Lot 198 – Diamond brooch, Cartier, Circa 1960

Estimate: 5,000 – 7,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 7,250 GBP

Designed as a stylised wing, set with brilliant-cut diamonds, signed Cartier, made in France and numbered, French assay and British import marks for London 1960.

 

Lot 189 – Natural pearl and diamond pendant necklace, Early 20th Century

Estimate: 5,000 – 7,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 51,650 GBP

Set with variously coloured natural pearls, millegrain set with circular- and single-cut diamonds, length approximately 420mm.

Accompanied by The Gem & Pearl Laboratory report no. 06278, stating that the three pearls tested were found to be natural, one freshwater, two saltwater.

 

Lot 186 – Emerald and diamond necklace-brooch, Circa 1905

Estimate: 5,000 – 7,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 16,250 GBP

The central jewel of folded lace ribbon design, set with calibré-cut emeralds, millegrain set with circular-cut and rose diamonds, suspended from knife edge linking, highlighted at intervals by diamonds, length approximately 450mm, accompanied by original screw driver and alternative brooch fitting, fitted case, Koch.

 

Lot 115 – Gold and enamel Royal presentation bangle, circa 1879

Estimate: 5,000 – 7,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 6,500 GBP

The oval clasp set to the centre with the profile of Queen Victoria within a border of briar thorns, a Tudor rose, thistle, shamrock, crown and the initials VR in polychrome enamels, the reverse inscribed ‘To Lady Southampton from her affectionate VIR, February 1879′, accompanied by a hinged bangle applied with twisted briar thorns, inner circumference approximately 160mm.

Catalogue Note

Lady Southampton (Ismania Catherine née Nugent, 1838 – 1918) was the second wife of the 3rd Baron of Southampton, Charles Fitzroy.   They were married on 25th February 1862. She was a Lady of the Royal bedchamber (1878 – 1901)  to Queen Victoria and was presented with The Royal Order of Victoria and Albert, third class.

Queen Victoria founded The Royal Order of Victoria and Albert on 10th February 1862. The family order had four classes and was only granted to female members of the British Royal Family and female courtiers.  The honour did not bestow a rank or title upon the recipient, but a recipient was entitled to use the letters ‘VA’, no further awards were issued after the death of Queen Victoria.

 

Lot 88 – Gold and gem set demi-parure, 1830s

Estimate: 5,000 – 7,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 12,500 GBP

Comprising: an articulated corsage ornament and pair of pendent earrings, of floral and foliate repoussé work, set with aquamarine, pink topaz and cabochon turquoise, corsage length approximately 170mm, earrings with hook fittings, detachable pendants, French import marks, fitted case.

 

Lot 210 – Diamond brooch-pendant, 1920s

Estimate: 4,000 – 6,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 17,500 GBP

The surmount of foliate design, suspending an articulated fringe, millegrain-set with variously cut diamonds, pendant bail, French import marks.

 

Lot 188 – Diamond brooch, Hennell, Circa 1913

Estimate: 4,000 – 6,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 6,875 GBP

Designed as a lace ribbon tied into a bow, set with circular-, single-cut and rose diamonds, signed Hennell.

Catalogue Note

Hennell was founded in London in 1736 and started producing jewellery in the late 18th Century. They were known predominantly as silversmiths but also for dealing in pearls and producing fine jewellery in the first half of 20th Century.

 

Lot 177 – Sapphire and diamond brooch, circa 1910

Estimate: 4,000 – 6,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 9,375 GBP

Designed as an open work plaque millegrain set with calibré-cut sapphires, circular-cut and rose diamonds, indistinct marks, fitted case signed London & Ryder, 17, New Bond St., London, W.

 

Lot 170 – A gem set and diamond brooch, early 20th Century

Estimate:  4,000 – 6,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 13,750 GBP

Designed as a dragonfly set at centre with a circular opal cabochon, the wings composed of plique-a-jour enamel, the body and wings decorated with mother of pearl, circular-cut and cabochon rubies, circular-, single-cut and rose diamonds, detachable brooch fitting.

 

Lot 133 – Gold necklace, Louis Wièse, circa 1890

Estimate: 4,000 – 6,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 21,250 GBP

Suspending an open work pendant of foliate Gothic design, to a chain composed of oval and foliate links, length approximately 750mm, French assay and maker’s marks.

Catalogue Note

Louis Wièse (1852-1923) went  to considerable lengths to give his jewels the appearance of age.  His revivalist pieces were treated with mercury oxide, producing a reddish patina intended to give the impression that the jewels were ancient artefacts recovered from the ground.   Using high carat gold and sometimes deliberately  making pieces misshapen added to the allusion that jewels could be ancient were it not for the Wièse signature on the piece. The inspiration for this Gothic foliate designed piece would have been taken from architectural details and sculpture or possibly from prints by the 15th Century German artist Martin Schongauer.

 

Lot 105 – Diamond brooch, first half of 19th Century

Estimate: 4,000 – 6,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 21,250 GBP

Of floral design, set with pear-, cushion-shaped, circular-cut and rose diamonds, the flower head set en tremblant, originally part of a larger jewel, later pin fitting.

Catalogue Note

During the 19th century there was a growing interest in the natural world through the study of nature, botany and the influence of romantic poetry including that of William Wordsworth.  Jewelled flowers and foliage were very popular due to their beauty and also their wearability.  Larger pieces such as tiaras, were able to be dismantled into several smaller parts including brooches.

Earlier pieces were delicate, with more stylised designs and later compositions became more complex and with more realistic depictions of flowers, leaves and insects.  Designs might even encorporate flowers that were fashionable at the time or those that could convey romantic messages; ivy for fidelity and the forget-me-not for true love.  Towards the Mid 19th century jewels included movement by being set en tremblant, as with this example, jewels were set on a spring and would quiver when the wearer moved.

 

Lot 100 – Topaz and diamond brooch, Late 19th Century

Estimate: 4,000 – 6,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 12,500 GBP

Set with oval pink topazes, circular-cut and rose diamonds, one small diamond deficient.

 

Lot 98 – Gem set and diamond brooch, Late 19th Century, possibly Turkish

Estimate: 4,000 – 6,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 6,250 GBP

Of bombé cluster design, set with cabochon emeralds, inset with gemstones including cabochon and faceted rubies, cushion-shaped, single-cut and rose diamonds, detachable brooch fitting, French import marks.

 

Lot 89 – Gold and topaz necklace, Early 19th Century

Estimate: 4,000 – 6,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 10,000 GBP

Designed as a series of graduated oval pink topaz within fine cannetille work borders, suspending a pendant of cruciform design, similarly set, length approximately 370mm.

 

Lot 32 – A diamond brooch, late 18th Century, possibly Portuguese

Estimate: 4,000 – 6,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 10,625 GBP

Designed as a bow with an articulated pendent tassel, set with cushion-shaped, circular- and single-cut, and oval diamonds, later brooch pin to reverse.

Catalogue Note

A similar example of this jewel can be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

 

Lot 5 – Gold, seed pearl and enamel pendant, circa 1700

Estimate: 4,000 – 6,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 20,000 GBP

Designed as a devotional pendant of The Madonna of the Pillar, against a background of foliate design, highlighted with seed pearls, translucent and opaque enamel, losses to enamel.

Catalogue Note

Legend has it that in circa 40 AD the Virgin miraculously appeared on the banks of the river Ebro near Saragossa to assist the Evangelist St. James the Greater. Before she returned to Palestine she gave instructions for a church to be built around the marble pillar on which she stood. The cult of the Virgin of the Pillar grew in strength in the middle ages with such devotional jewels made for the pilgrims to the Cathedral in Saragossa.  The present example would appear to date to the turn of the 17thcentury and was probably made in Saragossa for the pilgrims to the shrineRelated Literature:
Princely Magnificence, Court Jewels of the Renaissance 1500-1630, exh.cat Victoria and Albert Museum 1980-1981, nos.95, 104-107

 

Lot 203 – Gem set and diamond demi-parure, Boucheron, 1980s

Estimate: 3,000 – 5,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 6,875 GBP

Comprising: a pair of ear clips and a dress clip set with carved rock crystal, cabochon and calibré-cut sapphires and brilliant-, and carré-cut diamonds, all signed Boucheron, stamped with French assay marks, dress clip numbered, additional fitting to enable ear clips to be worn together as a brooch; accompanied by associated case signed Boucheron, Paris.

 

Lot 196 – Gold, enamel and ruby lipstick holder, René Boivin, circa 1950

Estimate: 3,000 – 4,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 5,250 GBP

Set with round cabochon rubies, highlighted with black enamel, signed Boivin, Paris, French assay and maker’s marks.

 

Lot 191 – Natural pearl, gem set and diamond brooch-pendant, Early 20th Century

Estimate: 3,000 – 5,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 6,250 GBP

Of open work foliate design set with cushion-shaped rubies, circular-cut emeralds, circular-cut and rose diamonds, suspending a natural pearl drop, pendant loops, brooch fitting detachable, French import marks, two small stones deficient.

 

Lot 123 – Lady’s seed pearl and diamond pendant watch, Linzeler Freres, circa 1890

Estimate: 3,000 – 5,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 6,000 GBP

The circular dial applied with Roman numerals, outer Arabic minute track, the case set with seed pearls and highlighted with rose diamonds, similarly set brooch and connection, French assay and maker’s marks, cuvette signed Linzeler Freres, 15 Boulevard de la Madeleine, Paris and numbered, two small pearls deficient, three small diamonds deficient.

 

Lot 110 – Natural pearl, ruby and turquoise necklace, mid 19th Century

Estimate: 3,000 – 5,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 26,250 GBP

Designed as a graduated series of coiled snake links set with cabochon turquoises and pearls, five suspending natural baroque pearl drops, the eyes set with cabochon rubies, length approximately 430mm, fitted case.

Catalogue Note

Accompanied by The Gem & Pearl Laboratory report no. 06279, stating that the pearls were found to be natural, saltwater.

Snakes have often been used as a popular motif in jewellery, in some instances it is worn as a talisman to ward off evil and if the tail is held in the snake’s mouth, the ouroborus, it is symbolic of eternity or everlasting love.

 

Lot 109 – Turquoise and ruby bangle, Circa 1850

Estimate: 3,000 – 5,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 17,500 GBP

Designed as a coiled snake, the body set with cabochon turquoises, the eyes set with circular-cut rubies, inner circumference approximately 165mm, one small turquoise deficient.

 

Lot 94 – Gold and gem set bracelet, early 19th Century

Estimate: 3,000 – 4,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 13,750 GBP

The cushion-shaped clasp chased with leaves and flowers in three coloured gold applied with cabochon turquoise and faceted amethysts with bead surrounds, to a wide bracelet of similar design, length approximately 195mm.

 

Lot 175 – Gold and enamel brooch, Lalique, Circa 1900

Estimate: 2,000 – 3,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 30,000 GBP

The plaque depicting a line of angels singing, applied with translucent pearlescent enamel, signed Lalique, French assay marks.

Catalogue Note

Rene Lalique was probably one of the most famous of all jewellers to embrace the Art Nouveau doctrine. Renowned for his fantastical zoomorphic forms merging naturalism and the feminine form with insect motifs. From 1891 to 1894 he made a series of dramatic jewels for the actress Sarah Bernhardt and was to triumph at the Paris International Exhibition in 1900 with an amazing display of jewels. He was particularly fond of experimenting with a variety of unusual materials of low commercial value such as horn and glass, which were given equal prominence alongside precious stones and diamonds in his jewels. After 1908 he was to devote his energies to glass making for which he has a lasting reputation today.

 

Lot 124 – Lady’s gold and enamel pendant watch, Henry Capt, late 19th Century

Estimate: 2,000 – 3,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 3,000 GBP

The circular white enamel dial applied with Roman numerals and outer Arabic minute track, the case decorated with polychrome enamel with an acanthus leaf pattern, to a similarly decorated brooch, cuvette, dial and movement signed Henry Capt Genève.

 

Lot 108 – Gold, turquoise and diamond brooch, Mid 19th Century

Estimate: 2,000 – 3,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 7,500 GBP

Designed as a ribbon tied as a bow, set with cabochon turquoises and highlighted with rose diamonds.

 

Lot 67 – Gold and seed pearl demi parure, circa 1850

Estimate: 2,000 – 3,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 23,750 GBP

Comprising: a pair of pendent earrings, two brooches and bracelet, each of fruiting vine design, set with seed pearls, earrings with later post and butterfly fittings, bracelet length approximately 180mm, one brooch with a few seed pearls deficient.

Catalogue Note

Vine jewels became a recurring theme during the Victorian era as they looked back to the Ancient World. The seed pearls were commonly attached to the jewels using horsehair or silk.

A similar brooch by Messrs. Benson can be found in ‘The Illustrated Exhibitor, 1851′, page 95, other examples can be found in the Hull Grundy Collection at the British Museum and in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Cory Bequest.

 

Lot 55 – Gold and citrine brooch, Early 19th Century

Estimate: 2,000 – 3,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 5,250 GBP

Designed as a butterfly, the wings applied with floral motifs and beading, highlighted with foiled back oval citrines.

 

Lot 49 – Gold and enamel necklace, Late 17th or early 18th Century, possibly French

Estimate: 2,000 – 3,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 11,875 GBP

Composed of nineteen plaques applied with monochrome enamel depicting the life of Christ including the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, length approximately 440mm, two links later added.

Catalogue Note

Monochrome enamel is also referred to as en grisaille, this type of enamelling consisted of applying the base with a dark enamel and then gradually adding layers of translucent white enamel, making the images appear as if they are in relief. This technique was developed in Limoges, France, in the 16th Century.

An example of a pendant in grisaille enamel depicting scenes from the passion of Christ from the mid-late 17th Century can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum, given by Alfred William Hearn.

 

Lot 46 – Diamond brooch, Early 19th Century

Estimate: 2,000 – 3,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 10,000 GBP

In the form of a Knight in 17th Century style armour with a plumed helmet holding a drum, between pennants, set with pear-, cushion-shaped and circular-cut diamonds, later brooch fitting.

Catalogue Note

These brooches were given as a military trophy and also as a sign of love.

A similar example of this brooch from the 18th Century can be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum, given by the American Friends of the V&A through the generosity of Patricia V. Goldstein.

 

Lot 78 – Gem set and diamond brooch, early 19th century

Estimate: 1,500 – 2,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 10,625 GBP

Composed of cannetille work set with oval pink sapphires and chrysoberyls, highlighted with cushion-shaped diamonds, three pendant loops to reverse.

 

Lot 62 – Pair of gold and gem set pendent earrings, Circa 1825, composite

Estimate: 1,500 – 2,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 10,000 GBP

Each suspending a pendant composed of fine cannetille work, highlighted throughout with circular-cut and pear-shaped foiled back garnets and cabochon turquoises.

Catalogue Note

Similar examples of garnet and turquoise cannetille jewels can be found in the British Museum, in the Hull Grundy Collection.  The technique of cannetille work was very popular in the 1820s and 30s  in Europe and uses very fine gold wires wound into tight coils and scrolls.  This decoration is often further embellished with burr and bead work granulation.  The inspiration of cannetille work is thought to be derived from fine embroidery from Portugal or India using twisted gold or silver threads.

 

Lot 26 – A ruby and diamond ring, Early 19th Century

Estimate: 1,500 – 2,000 GBP

LOT SOLD. 5,000 GBP

Set at the centre with a ruby carved as two hearts within a border of cushion-shaped and rose diamonds, size I, maker’s mark.

Catalogue Note

The two hearts together symbolise marriage and passion.

 

Lot 111 – Seed pearl, enamel and diamond bracelet, mid 19th Century

Estimate: 1,200 – 1,500 GBP

LOT SOLD. 5,000 GBP

The central lozenge depicting Cupid in relief, decorated with polychrome enamel and accented with rose diamonds, within a border of seed pearls, to a tapered bracelet, length approximately 185mm, centre with glazed compartment to reverse, indistinct maker’s mark.

 

Lot 174 – Fire opal, enamel and diamond brooch, Circa 1900

Estimate: 1,000 – 1,500 GBP

LOT SOLD. 7,500 GBP

Of foliate design, set with cabochon fire opals, the leaves decorated with guilloché green and white enamel, highlighted with rose diamonds.

 

Lot 138 – Enamel, sapphire and diamond brooch, late 19th Century

Estimate: 800 – 1,200 GBP

LOT SOLD. 7,500 GBP

Designed as a cockerel, set with circular-cut and rose diamonds, highlighted with guilloché and opaque enamel and a cabochon sapphire eye.

 

Lot 81 – Pair of gold pendent earrings, Early 19th Century

Estimate: 800 – 1,200 GBP

LOT SOLD. 4,750 GBP

The surmounts and drop pendants applied with gold granulation, pendants detachable.

 

Lot 76 – Gem set ‘regard’ brooch, Early 19th Century

Estimate: 800 – 1,200 GBP

LOT SOLD. 4,500 GBP

Designed as a dove composed of cannetille work highlighted with variously cut gemstones including garnet, amethyst, emerald, diamond and ruby, suspending a heart-shaped locket.

Catalogue Note

Acrostic jewels are those set with gems arranged in such a way that the first letter of each gemstone when combined together, form a word.  The name of a loved one or even a romantic message.  Some popular sentiments were ‘Dear’ and ‘Dearest’ or in this example ‘Regard’, set with Ruby, Emerald, Garnet, Amethyst, Ruby and Diamond.

 

 

Lot 69 – A gold brooch, mid 19th Century

Estimate: 800 – 1,200 GBP

LOT SOLD. 6,875 GBP

Designed as an oak tree composed of three coloured gold, later pin fitting.

 

Lot 7 – Garnet and diamond brooch, Mid 18th Century

Estimate: 800 – 1,200 GBP

LOT SOLD. 2,750 GBP

Designed as a bird in flight, the body set with foiled back variously shaped garnets, the eye set with a rose diamond, later brooch fitting.

 

Lot 137 – Enamel and diamond brooch, early 20th Century

Estimate: 600 – 800 GBP

LOT SOLD. 3,750 GBP

Designed as a crowing cockerel, the body set with a synthetic sapphire, the wings with circular-cut and rose diamonds, highlighted with red and yellow enamel, mounted in silver and gold.

 

Lot 54 – Gold and gem set brooch, 1870s

Estimate: 600 – 800 GBP

LOT SOLD. 2,375 GBP

Designed as a butterfly, the tortoiseshell wings applied with fine gold filigree work and highlighted with cabochon turquoises and seed pearls.

 

Lot 122 – Micromosaic plaque, Early 19th Century

Estimate: 500 – 700 GBP

LOT SOLD. 3,750 GBP

Depicting an emblematic trophy with a fire and cascading items including a lyre and urn, may have been originally been used as a decanter label, two later pendant loops, fitted case.

 

Lot 114 – Gold and coral brooch, Mid 19th Century

Estimate: 500 – 700 GBP

LOT SOLD. 2,375 GBP

The coral carved as cupid looking out from the clouds, framed by a twisting branch, mounted in gold.

 

Lot 71 – Gold and seed pearl brooch, circa 1840

Estimate: 400 – 600 GBP

LOT SOLD. 2,750 GBP

Depicting a sprig of gooseberries in three coloured gold, highlighted with seed pearls.

 

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 Sotheby’s

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3 Comments

  1. margaret hamilton on

    hello i think that i have a 18 th century edwarian brooch i think that their is diamonds on it isit worth anything

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