Blue must be the couleur du jour in gemstones at auction of late, with the bevy of blue diamonds on the block this spring. At Bonhams New York, however, the sapphire rules the blue roost. Among the myriad of highlights in Bonhams Fine Jewelry set to take place this Monday in New York is a trio of exceptional blue sapphires, two Kashmirs and one Burmese.
Gracing the cover and headlining the sale, a magnificent 8.07-carat Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring (est. $400,000-600,000) exemplifies all the qualities one could hope for in this rare gem. Of quintessential cornflower blue hue, the sapphire is believed to have been purchased by Bernard Golson for his wife in the early 1920’s. Golson worked with the Guggenheims while also aiding the U.S. authorities in the pursuit of Pancho Villa, an endeavor that ultimately led to Villa chasing Golson out of Mexico. Though Golson and his family lost most of their belongings, they were able to smuggle in their most precious family heirlooms, such as this ring, by sewing them into their clothing when escaping to the United States.
Equally noteworthy for its rare velvety blue hue is a 3.49-carat Kashmir sapphire, of an antique cushion brilliant-cut, and diamond ring by Black, Starr & Frost (est. $250,000-350,000).
Rounding out the rare sapphire triumvirate is a Burmese sapphire of 10.94 carats, set in a Belle Époque ring by Tiffany & Co., circa 1910 (est. $100,000-150,000). The oval-shaped stone exudes the desirable ‘royal blue’ hue sought after in sapphires hailing from Burma. More importantly, the ring itself speaks of the beauty, quality and design for which Tiffany & Co. was most revered at the turn of the century.
While sapphires may play front and center in the 138-lot sale, there are a number of covet-worthy pieces to consider as well. Changing shades of blue to emerald green, a pair of Colombian emerald and diamond ear pendants, by Ruser (est. $40,000-60,000) will surely leave underbidders green with envy.
Important gemstones aside, the sale features collectible signed pieces by Bulgari, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels as well as contemporary creations by Carvin French, to name a few. Three Cartier Panthère rings – one pavé-set with diamonds (est. $35,000-45,000), another of diamonds with sapphire spots (est. $60,000-80,000), and a third of gold decorated with black enamel spots (est. $15,000-18,000) – fiercely stalk an iconic Van Cleef & Arpels ballerina, circa 1944 (est. $50,000-70,000), while floral earrings from both houses bloom resplendently in the sale.
A striking dome ring by Cartier (est. $15,000-20,000) playfully sets a confetti of colorful gems within a soaring lattice of gold rope. Of a similarly colorful palate, a pair of gem-set and pearl drop earrings by Van Cleef & Arpels (est. $20,000-30,000) invokes the exotic Indian motifs that transformed jewelry design throughout the 20th century.
Additional highlights in the sale include: