In the past week, two fibula brooches by JAR have dazzled me with their striking beauty and distinct styles. The first, a multi-colored gem-set stunner, I saw at Christie’s as one of the highlights for its upcoming May 13th Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale. Vivid greens, brilliant blues, vibrant pinks and golden yellows comprise the kaleidoscopic mix of gems featured in the brooch, which glistens with a sprightly spirit.
Then, I was amazed to see a second JAR fibula brooch in Sotheby’s catalogue for its Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale on May 12th. Ever so sweet and beautiful, this rendition takes on a more romantic air. Made in 1994, the delicate, utterly elegant jewel is set with natural pearls in soft shades of gray, diamonds, a pear-shaped lilac purple topaz, and a briolette French rose pink spinel. The gentle purple and pink hues combined with the pearlescent sheen render the brooch to be the definition of feminine grace.
It is not surprising that JAR created these two virtually distinct fibula brooches. After all, he is best known for his unbounded brilliance and these two jewels demonstrate superbly the far-reaching realm of his imagination. Each one uniquely showcases his rarefied sensitivity to color, proportion, and design as well as his keen ability to select stones for their inherent beauty rather than market value – though the two qualities sometimes overlap with his pieces.
Over the years, JAR has created a few fibula brooches, two of which were on display at the ‘Jewels by JAR’ exhibition at the Met last year. Another one was sold at auction recently: Lily Safra’s natural pearl and diamond iteration brought in close to $350,000 at Christie’s in 2012.
If the prices achieved for the JAR earrings in Christie’s recent New York sale are any indication of the market for his work, it is abundantly clear that the demand is on fire. What these two fibula brooches will pull in is anyone’s guess, but be prepared for some sky high numbers.