With more than 1,300 lots, Leslie Hindman’s upcoming Important Jewelry sale is arguably the largest spring jewelry auction of the bunch. The two day sale, scheduled for April 3rd and 4th, offers an impressively wide range – with multiples at every increment – of jewelry for every collector and budget. From a selection of lots with estimates under $100 to a couple of Type IIa five-plus carat diamonds with six-figure estimates, the mammoth sale hits all the price points any buyer could ask for.
At the top of the pyramid is a perfect octagonal step-cut diamond (est. $275,000-325,000), weighing 5.94 carats and graded D color, Internally Flawless clarity and identified as Type IIa (or Golconda-type). The sale also includes a second Type IIa diamond, a 5.99-carat octagonal step-cut stone of D color and VS1 clarity (est. $250,000-300,000). Like the legendary Golconda diamonds mined from the source these rare stones are named after in India, newer diamonds identified as Type IIa exhibit the same purity as the old Golconda diamonds and comprise less than 2 percent of all gem diamonds.
As to be expected of all jewelry auctions, the sale features a selection of impressive colorless diamonds as well as a handful of colored diamonds in hues like Fancy Bluish Green, Fancy Intense Green, Chameleon and Fancy Deep Pink-Purple. Important loose colored gemstones also count among the highlights in the sale, including a 5.03-carat Padparadscha sapphire (est. $20,000-30,000), a 104.27-carat tanzanite (est. $18,000-22,000), a 3.01-carat pigeon’s blood Burmese ruby (est. $10,000-15,000), a 2.51-carat alexandrite (est. $7,000-9,000), and a 429.28 golden beryl (est. $4,500-6,500).
Moreover loose gems and important diamonds, the sale boasts a number of exceptional jewels – both signed and unsigned – from the Victorian period to present day. In fact, the very first lot in the sale are among the most interesting of all the highlights. The first lot is a pair of Victorian yellow and rose gold bracelets (est. $3,000-5,000), circa 1870, signed by Tiffany & Co. and stamped Union Square, and accompanied by a fitted original box also signed “Tiffany & Co. Union Square”. In 1869, Charles Lewis Tiffany commissioned John Kellum to design the building that would become Tiffany’s 19th century headquarters at 15 Union Square West. From the day it opened in 1870 until moving uptown in 1906, the store was described as “the largest of its kind devoted to this business of any in the world” and dubbed the “palace of jewels” by the New York Times.
Displaying the ingenuity of the French high jewelry house Van Cleef & Arpels, the firm’s iconic mystery-setting seamlessly sparkles in a pair of sapphire and diamond ‘Campanule’ earclips (est. $50,000-70,000) and matching brooch (est. $50,000-70,000). The mystery-setting originated in the late 1920s but became synonymous with Van Cleef & Arpels by 1933 after the Parisian jeweler patented their technique and began producing jewels incorporating their ‘Serti-mysterieux’ technique with abandon. The two ‘Campanule’ pieces were made by the renowned New York firm Oscar Heyman Brothers, who made a number of commissioned jewels for Van Cleef & Arpels as well as other high jewelry houses.
Several other important jewels by Van Cleef & Arpels in the sale include a pair of emerald and diamond convertible Day/Night earclips (est. $65,000-85,000), circa 1960; a diamond and tsavorite garnet bangle bracelet (est. $125,000-175,000), set with six tsavorite garnets totaling 15.16 carats, and a matching ring (est. $35,000-55,000) set with a 6.84-carat tsavorite garnet; and a suite of multi-colored diamond and diamond jewels – an ‘Ode Printemps’ bracelet (est. $70,000-90,000), a pair of ‘Aquarelle Century Collection’ earrings (est. $70,000-90,000), and a ‘Century’ necklace (est. $35,000-55,000).
Worthy of mention, too, are two jewels set with Montana sapphires. Known for their cornflower blue color and high uniform clarity, Montana sapphires were first discovered in 1865. They were not widely valued at first but became more appreciated after Tiffany began incorporating the precious, ‘home-grown’ stones in their jewelry in the early 20th century. One of the lots is an important Belle Époque bracelet (est. $75,000-100,o00) featuring seven square step-cut Yogo Gulch Montana sapphires altogether weighing 10.60 total carats. The second jewel in the sale to display the beauty of Montana sapphires is a butterfly brooch (est. $6,000-8,000), by Marcus & Co., which is set with 79 old European and rose-cut diamonds and 152 round mixed-cut Montana sapphires in silver topped gold.
Additional favorites from the sale include: a diamond and sapphire spray brooch, Harry Winston, circa 1966 (est. $60,000-80,000); a Colombian emerald and diamond ring, Tiffany & Co. (est. $30,000-50,000); a Retro ruby, diamond and sapphire brooch, Van Cleef & Arpels (est. $6,000-8,000); a Retro ruby and diamond quiver brooch, Cartier, Paris (est. $3,000-5,000); a diamond, emerald and ruby ring, Buccellati (est. $3,000-5,000); an aquamarine Turban ring, Verdura (est. $3,000-5,000); a Victorian Grand Tour micromosaic bracelet (est. $2,000-3,000) set with six plaques depicting classical Roman architecture; a pair of gold, platinum and diamond pendant earclips, Cartier, French (est. $2,000-3,000); and a yellow gold minimalist sculptural pendant, John Henry, circa mid-1970’s (est. $1,500-2,500).