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A Bounty of Bracelets in September’s Auctions

Bracelets

From fabulous to funky, bracelets abound in the first jewelry auctions of the autumn season. The September sales at Bonhams, Skinner and Sotheby’s offer a number of bracelets whose designs range from the Art Deco era to the mod styles of the 1960s and 70s. One element remains consistent with my favorite bangles from the sale: they’re all made with yellow gold.

My favorite bracelet of the bunch is this Kutchinsky tiger’s eye and textured gold number, circa 1972, at Bonhams Fine Jewelry sale in London on September 17. The navette-shaped links of silky smooth tiger’s eye set against the punctuated texture of the yellow gold creates a very groovy effect.

A TIGER'S EYE AND GOLD BRACELET, by Kutchinsky, 1972

A tiger’s eye and gold bracelet, by Kutchinsky, 1972 Designed as an articulated series of navette-shaped slices of tiger’s eye, within a layered surround of textured 18 carat yellow gold, signed Kutchinsky, London hallmarks, length 19.0cm                                            Estimate: $8,300 – $12,000

Two other bracelets at Bonhams are also great examples of design in their respective periods, the first is a Cartier yellow gold and diamond bracelet made in 1955. The three-dimensionality of the gold wirework flowerheads with diamond stamens adds some eye-catching volume to any stacked wrist.

A DIAMOND-SET BRACELET, by Cartier, circa 1955

A diamond-set bracelet, by Cartier, circa 1955 Designed as three rows of tightly packed wirework flowerheads, each with a brilliant-cut diamond stamen, applied to a double sprung band of woven chevron linking, to a concealed clasp, signed Cartier Inc, numbered 30570, French assay marks, length 19.2cm – Estimate: $25,000 – $33,000

Bright polka dots pop in the third bracelet that caught my eye at Bonhams: a gem-set bangle by Angela Cummings for Tiffany & Co, circa 1980. The subdued style and basic circular shape and colors of the inlaid lapis lazuli, jasper, onyx and mother-of-pearl are in line with the minimalist fashions of the early 1980s.

A GEM-SET BANGLE, by Angela Cummings for Tiffany & Co, circa 1980

A gem-set bangle, by Angela Cummings for Tiffany & Co, circa 1980 The wide bangle inlaid with circular lapis lazuli, jasper, onyx and mother-of-pearl, maker’s mark ‘C’, signed Tiffany & Co, inner dimensions 6.0cm x 5.0cm – Estimate: $8,300 – $12,000 – Footnotes: Angela Cummings joined Tiffany & Co in the late 1960s and by 1975 was designing jewellery for the firm under her own name. Eugenia Sheppard, columnist for the New York Post, prophesised that year “the exotic materials, the individuality and fascinating techniques will all appeal to a sophisticated audience”. The materials and forms in Cummings’ work have been described in the book “Tiffany et les joailliers américains”, by Penny Proddow and Debra Healy, as being inspired by the traditional arts of Japan. In 1984, she opened her flagship boutique at Bergdorf Goodman, followed by another boutique at Neiman Marcus. She became one of America’s best known contemporary designers. Angela Cummings closed both concessions and her Manhattan office in 2003.

At Sotheby’s Important Jewels sale set to take place in New York on September 27th, another trio of bracelets are unique pieces that range from the rare to the simply fun. The first, and most important of the three, is an Art Deco chimera bangle bracelet, circa 1925. The bracelet combines a number of elements inherent of the Art Deco era, including the linearity of the enamel pattern on the yellow gold portion, the carved chimera – a popular figure in the 1920s – out of pâte-de-verre (literally meaning “glass paste”), and the color combination of green, blue and white diamonds.

18 KARAT GOLD, PLATINUM, PÂTE-DE-VERRE, DIAMOND AND ENAMEL BANGLE-BRACELET, FRANCE 2

18K Gold, Platinum, Pâte-de-Verre, Diamond and Enamel Bangle-Bracelet, France – The opposing chimeras composed of carved pâte-de-verre segments, accented by round, rose and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately .55 carat, highlighted with blue enamel in scale-like motifs, internal circumference 6¾ inches, numbered 75054, with French assay and partial maker’s marks; circa 1925. – Estimate: $40,000 – $60,000

The next bracelet, a gold and favrile glass scarab bangle-bracelet by Montréal jewelers Primavesi & Kaufmann, comes with an interesting story. The bracelet, along with a matching necklace, incorporates scarabs purportedly made by Tiffany & Co. around 1915, originally set in a necklace inherited by a woman from her father in 1920. She had the scarabs from the original necklace re-designed into a more fashionable necklace and bracelet suite by Primavesi & Kaufmann in the late 1950’s. The vibrant color of the glass scarabs against the yellow gold as well as the scale of the bangle remains en vogue today.

18 KARAT GOLD AND FAVRILE GLASS SCARAB BANGLE-BRACELET, PRIMAVESI & KAUFMANN

18K Gold and Favrile Glass Scarab Bangle-Bracelet, Primavesi & Kaufmann – The three large favrile glass scarabs applied to the textured finish bangle-bracelet of hinged design with polished gold borders, gross weight approximately 116 dwts, internal circumference 6½ inches, with maker’s mark; late 1950s. – Estimate: $15,000 – $20,000

The last bracelet from Sotheby’s that I find fun and of great design is a gold and citrine bracelet by Seaman Schepps. Reminiscent of scales on a fish, the articulated layers of citrine cabochons give this bracelet a playful texture.

18 KARAT GOLD AND CITRINE BRACELET, SEAMAN SCHEPPS

18K Gold and Citrine Bracelet, Seaman Schepps – Composed of numerous citrine cabochons, length 8 inches, numbered 19440A, with maker’s mark. Catalogue Note: A bracelet of similar design composed of sapphires is illustrated in Seaman Schepps: A Century of New York Jewelry Design by Amanda Vaill and Janet Zapata, page 83. – Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000

The last bracelet that I love, and would love to own myself, is from Skinner’s Fine Jewels sale in Boston on September 9th. A classic and highly covetable design, the bracelet is also one of the most iconic pieces of jewelry ever made: an 18k gold and enamel “Dot Losange” bracelet by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. The lost art of paillonné enamel was revived by Schlumberger, who used it in a number of different colors and styles in his trademark bangle bracelets loved by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – who even had one of the styles named after her. This particular design, with alternating gold dots and lozenges in white and gold paillonné panels is very chic and wearable, the gold and white going with nearly everything.

18kt Gold and Enamel "Dot Losange" Bracelet, Schlumberger, Tiffany & Co., France, of alternating paillonne enamel and gold panels, interior cir. 6 in., maker's mark and export stamps, signed.  Estimate $20,000-30,000

18kt Gold and Enamel “Dot Losange” Bracelet, Schlumberger, Tiffany & Co., France, of alternating paillonné enamel and gold panels, interior cir. 6 in., maker’s mark and export stamps, signed. – Estimate $20,000-30,000

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    alexandriaginni
    August 27, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    I could be very happy with the gold and favrile glass scarab bangle-bracelet, thank you very much!

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