Spring’s unseasonably chilly weather can’t cool the heating up of this season’s magnificent jewelry auctions slated for next month. As the third Magnificent Jewels sale in April, Sotheby’s New York has seemingly saved the best for last.
The sale’s grand finale, the perfect 100.2-carat emerald-cut diamond, has already generated quite a buzz and will serve as a fitting culmination for the auction. The incredibly rare stone is expected to fetch upwards of $25 million. In addition to the rare and extraordinary diamond, the sale offers such a great number of gems and jewels that it was very difficult to select a few highlights.
Among the major diamonds in the sale, the “Perfect 100” is followed by a 52.26-carat pear-shaped diamond (est. $3.8 to 4.2 million) of D color and SI1 clarity, a colored diamond ring (est. $3.5 to 4.5 million) featuring a 6.06-carat Fancy Blue diamond, and a pink diamond and sapphire ring (est. $2.5 to 3.5 million) centering a 6.24-carat pear-shaped Fancy Purplish Pink diamond flanked by Kashmir sapphires weighing 2.44 and 2.36 carats.
Following on the heels of these extraordinary diamonds, several exceptional sapphires and emeralds are also among the highlights, including a stunning 11.90-carat Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring, by Cartier, circa 1915 (est. $1.4 to 1.8 million); The Flagler Emerald – a 35.02-carat Colombian emerald and diamond pendant (est. $1 to 1.5 million) formerly owned by Henry Flagler and his wife Mary; and a sapphire and diamond brooch, by Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., circa 1950 (est. $750,000 to 1 million) centering a 17.00-carat Kashmir sapphire – the brooch was formerly from the property of Mrs. Paul Mellon.
Finally, the jewelry highlights are the real stars of the sale, in my opinion. As the cover star of the catalogue, an elegant emerald, sapphire, lapis lazuli and diamond pendant-necklace, designed by Charles Jacqueau for Cartier, Paris (est. $1.8 to 2.2 million) evokes the extravagance as well as the magnificence of the Art Deco era. The Mughal-style necklace, whose pendant suspends from a pear-shaped emerald a carved Kashmir sapphire and a carved emerald, was originally purchased by Baron Eugène de Rothschild for his new wife, Catherine Wolff, whom he married in 1924. Strung with 41 sapphire beads predominantly of Kashmir origin, the striking design by Cartier’s chief designer is a brilliantly blend of Eastern and Western motifs popular during the period.
The necklace is followed by another of Cartier’s masterpieces from the Art Deco era, one of the Maison’s iconic ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelets (est. $1.3 to 1.8 million). No two ‘tutti frutti’ bracelets are alike, and the one in this sale is composed for carved rubies and emeralds blooming from diamond-set branches outlined with black enamel. The current record price for a Cartier ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelet is $2,165,000 set by the sale of Evelyn H. Lauder’s bracelet at Sotheby’s in December 2014.
Before Art Deco jewels were a la mode, Archaeological-Revival was all the rage during the late 19th century and Castellani was the name to beat. The sale includes two historic and important pieces made by the renowned Italian jeweler famous for making archaeological-revival jewels: the Archaeological-Revival Gold ‘Millefiori’ Brooch, circa 1860 (est. $85,000 to 95,000); and an Archaeological-Revival gold and hardstone cameo brooch, circa 1880 (est. $75,000 to 85,000)
Additional noteworthy jewels include:
- A silver, gold, jade, horn and amethyst letter opener, by René Lalique, Paris, circa 1903 (est. $125,000 to $175,000)
- A hardstone, coral, ruby and lacquer desk clock, by Lacloche Frères, circa 1930 (est. $75,000 to $100,000)
- An 18k gold bracelet, by Jean Després, Franch, circa 1935 (est. $75,000 to 85,000)
- A sapphire and diamond owl clip-brooch, by René Boivin, Paris, circa 1942 (est. $65,000 to 75,000)
- A sapphire and diamond ‘Ribbon’ bracelet, by Paul Flato, circa 1935 (est. $50,000 to 70,000)
- A diamond, gem-et and enamel ‘Rabbit Waiter’ brooch, by Raymond Yard, circa 1935 (est. $50,000 to 70,000)
- A ruby, diamond and colored diamond orchid brooch, by Marcus & Co., circa 1940 (est. $45,000 to 65,000)