Sotheby’s kicks off its autumn auction season with a loaded Important Jewels sale this September. Rather than endless lots of diamonds and rare colored stones with million dollar estimates, the 428-lot sale is packed with great jewelry – fabulous signed and period jewels with estimates below $100,000. That’s not to say diamonds don’t have a presence, they most certainly do. The highest estimated lot is a 22.79-carat brilliant cut diamond with H color and VS1 clarity (est. $1.y to $2.2 million).
Platinum and diamond ring – The round brilliant-cut diamond weighing 22.79 carats, illustrated unmounted. Estimate: $1.7 to $2.2 million
The top lots that aren’t diamonds or precious stones shine the brightest in the sale, led by Schlumberger’s ‘Oiseau de Paradis’ (est. $150,000 to $250,000). A few other whimsical Schlumberger brooches will also be offered alongside the fantastical, iconic bird of a brooch.
Coming off a $1,000,000 plus auction price this summer, another Bulgari Serpenti watch (est. $125,000 – $150,000) is sure to cause a bidding war when it hits the auction block. These iconic pieces by the Italian jewelry house continue to be in high demand for jewelry collectors and connoisseurs.
18K Gold, Enamel and Diamond Wristwatch, Bulgari – Designed as a serpent with scales applied in red and black enamel, the mouth opening to reveal a round dial with baton indicators, completed by two pear-shaped diamond eyes, gross weight approximately 133 dwts, mechanical movement, exapandable, the dial signed Movado, the bracelet signed Bulgari. Estimate: $125,000 – $150,000
For collectors of David Webb, plenty of pieces designed by the American jeweler abound with highlights including a pair of diamond pendant earrings with interchangeable enamel and diamond earring jackets by David Webb (est. $1 to $1.5 million); a vibrant and bold emerald, diamond, coral, amethyst and enamel pendant necklace (est. $90,000 – $120,000); and two impressive chimera bracelets – one made of azurmalachite, ruby and diamond (est. $80,000 – $120,000) and the other more voluminous version composed of rock crystal, diamond and ruby (est. $80,000 – $120,000).
18K Gold, Platinum, Emerald, Diamond, Coral, Amethyst and Enamel Pendant-Necklace, David Webb – Supporting a fluted pear-shaped cabochon emerald pendant measuring approximately 30.0 by 21.9 by 14.1 mm, suspended from a necklace set with pear-shaped carved and pierced coral plaques, spaced by 11 fluted amethyst beads measuring approximately 18.2 mm within white enamel frames, accented with round diamonds weighing approximately 11.00 carats, length 23¼ inches, signed Webb; emerald pendant detachable. Estimate: $90,000 – $120,000
In addition to Webb, there are signed jewels by the most prestigious jewelers including the usual suspects of Bulgari, Buccellati, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Verdura, and more. Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the sale.
PAIR OF DIAMOND PENDANT-EARRINGS WITH THREE INTERCHANGEABLE DIAMOND AND ENAMEL EARRING JACKETS, THE EARRING JACKETS BY DAVID WEBB – Estimate $1,000,000 to $1,500,000
The pendant earrings topped by two round diamonds weighing 3.00 carats each, suspending two pear-shaped diamonds weighing 6.31 and 6.29 carats; pendants detachable; together with three pairs of earring jackets, the first set with round diamonds weighing approximately 1.65 carats, applied with black enamel, mounted in 18 karat gold and platinum, signed David Webb, numbered CC85
The second pair set with round diamonds weighing approximately 1.70 carats, applied with white enamel, mounted in 18 karat gold and platinum, signed David Webb, numbered CC86
The third pair set with round diamonds weighing approximately 3.15 carats, mounted in platinum, signed David Webb, numbered CC84; in addition to the earring pendants being detachable, the three sets of earring jackets are also interchangeable to allow for a variety of wear.
18 KARAT GOLD, PLATINUM, PÂTE-DE-VERRE, DIAMOND AND ENAMEL BANGLE-BRACELET, FRANCE – Estimate: $40,000 – $60,000
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.
For a bangle-bracelet of identical design, see Art Deco Jewelry by Sylvie Raulet, page 161.
PLATINUM AND DIAMOND BRACELET, CARTIER, PARIS – Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000
The delicate oval-shaped links composed of floral and foliate motifs, set with numerous old European, single and old mine-cut diamonds weighing approximately 9.40 carats, length 7 inches, signed Cartier Paris, with French assay and maker’s marks; circa 1910.
Suspending two emerald beads measuring approximately 13.7 by 8.1 by 15.4 mm and 13.4 by 9.9 by 15.1 mm, topped by bow motifs set with old European, rose and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 1.05 carats. Estimate: $50,000 – $70,000
Designed as tassels composed of 11 strands of pearls graduating from approximately 6.4 to 2.0 mm, topped by rose and French-cut diamonds weighing approximately 3.75 carats. Estimate: $50,000 – $70,000
The two natural pearl drops measuring approximately 10.5 by 9.5 mm and 10.2 by 9.8 mm, the tops set with baguette, old European and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 3.30 carats, signed Boucheron Paris, with French assay marks. Estimate: $15,000 – $20,000
The Art Deco-style earrings suspending two old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 4.75 carats, further set with numerous round, old European and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 2.25 carats, decorated with buff-top rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000
Centering two coral cabochons measuring approximately 12.8 by 12.6 mm, framed by rows of gold beads and coral beads measuring approximately 6.2 mm, signed Verdura. Estimate: $8,000 – $12,000
The flowerheads centered by numerous round citrines, framed by curled gold petals, gross weight approximately 35 dwts, signed Verdura, with French workshop and export marks. With signed box. Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000
The graduated octagonal links anchored by two old mine-cut diamonds weighing 3.03 and 2.87 carats, further set with baguette, square and old mine-cut diamonds weighing approximately 3.50 carats, within calibré-cut coral frames. Estimate: $30,000 – $40,000
Art Deco Jewels
Centering an oval-shaped jade plaque carved and pierced with floral and coin motifs, within a rock crystal frame accented by old European and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 2.15 carats, signed Cartier, numbered 2716997; circa 1925. Estimate: $12,000 – $15,000
The rock crystal frame set at the sides with old European and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 2.35 carats, highlighted with black enamel, signed Lacloche Frères, numbered 67493, with French assay marks; circa 1925. Estimate: $8,000 – $12,000
The rock crystal platform centering two old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 1.30 and .55 carat, accented by smaller old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 5.00 carats, further decorated with onyx segments, with French assay and partial maker’s marks, one diamond and one onyx segment missing; circa 1932-1940; suspended from a chain of later addition. Estimate: $15,000 – $20,000
The diamond-set frame decorated with an articulated bouquet set with carved rubies, sapphires and emeralds, accented by old European, single, baguette and transitional-cut diamonds weighing approximately 5.20 carats, signed Made in France; circa 1930. Estimate: $15,000 – $20,000
The carved rock crystal frame set at the sides with French-cut aquamarines accented by single-cut diamonds weighing approximately .50 carat, highlighted with black enamel borders, signed BS&F; circa 1925. Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000
Designed as buckles applied with black enamel, set with round, square and bullet-shaped diamonds, both signed Charlton; circa 1925. Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000
The oval-shaped fire opal measuring approximately 33.8 by 12.9 by 8.1 mm, accented by single-cut diamonds weighing approximately .40 carat, size 7. Estimate: $15,000 – $20,000
The carved coral Guan Yin within a polished gold frame anchored by a lotus blossom, set with old European and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately .70 carat, accented by one round sapphire, signed Cartier, numbered 8274; circa 1950. Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000
Of floral design, set with numerous cabochon rubies, gross weight approximately 13 dwts, signed M. Buccellati. Estimate: $6,000 – $8,000
Of floral design, with wooden petals, centering three round diamonds weighing approximately .50 carat, signed VCA, numbered 124342, with French assay and maker’s mark; circa 1970. Estimate: $12,000 – $15,000
Designed as a coned flowerhead set with round and oval-shapped sapphires weighing approximately 12.00 carats, accented by round diamonds weighing approximately 2.95 carats, gross weight approximately 18 dwts, signed Tiffany & Co., Schlumberger, Made in France, with French assay and maker’s marks; circa 1955. Estimate: $6,000 – $8,000
Tiffany’s 20th Century: Portrait of American Style by John Loring, page 147. As featured in Loring’s book, this brooch was worn by a model in a photograph published in the June 1957 issue of Vogue.