Next week is shaping up to be one exciting stretch of auctions and Bonhams London has perhaps the most anticipated sale of them all. With just under 147 lots, the September 24th Fine Jewelry sale is on the small side but that by no means reflects its impressive lineup of jewels.
Leading the pack is the historic Hope Spinel, which captivated readers around the world as it snatched up news headlines last week. Just as impressive, albeit in a wholly different way, an Art Deco ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelet by Cartier, circa 1929, will surely incite a bidding war. Highly sought after by collectors, the Tutti Frutti style bracelets by Cartier have generated eye-popping prices each instance one comes up for sale. The iconic design, an homage to the Indian Mughal style jewelry, is featured in this latest version to hit the auction block and is estimated to fetch $550,000 to $860,000. The current record price for a Cartier ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelet is $2,165,000 set by the sale of Evelyn H. Lauder’s braceletat Sotheby’s in December 2014.
Jean Ghika, Bonhams head of jewelry in the UK and Europe, said: “Cartier first started experimenting with Indian-inspired jewels as early as 1901 when they made a necklace for Queen Alexandra. When Jacques Cartier visited the subcontinent in 1911, he was exposed to traditional Indian jewels that were rich in color and set with carved gemstones.
“While Art Deco styling remained the key motif of the time, the latterly named “tutti frutti” jewelry pieces were a clear homage to the color and vitality Jacques Cartier found on his ventures to India.”
Also a beautiful example of jewelry from the Art Deco era, a Van Cleef & Arpels octagonal step-cut emerald and diamond ring features a classic Colombian emerald in a minimalistic 1920s setting. At 18-carats, the large verdant stone is estimated at $190,000 to $230,000.
Another major lot in the sale is a diamond ‘Torsade’ bangle bracelet by Suzanne Belperron. The bold bangle is similar to a pair owned by Helena Rubinstein, the 20th century cosmetics entrepreneur renowned for her collections of jewelry and art. Known for designs starkly veering from the style of jewelry at the time, Belperron created jewelry for the modern woman of any era. Her striking jewels are just as wearable today as they were nearly a century ago. Estimated at $63,000 to $94,000, this bangle was made in 1932, making it one of her earliest pieces created under her own name. It is a superb example of her signature style.
In addition to the main attractions, the sale features a wonderful range of Art Deco jewels by Cartier as well as dazzling creations from the turn of the century. Here are some of my favorites: