Awaking from the summer lull for jewelry auctions, Leslie Hindman revs up the autumn season with an exciting Important Jewelry sale scheduled for Sunday, September 11th through Monday, September 12th. The Chicago-based auction house has put together a helluva September sale packed with impressive diamonds and colored stones, signed jewels by the usual suspects as well as modernist designers, and important antique pieces.
Diamonds & Colored Stones
Leading the auction in terms of estimate value is an electric blue Kashmir sapphire. Weighing 6.40 carats, the antique cushion cut beauty is estimated to fetch up to $250,000. Kashmir sapphires of this size and cut have averaged roughly $60,000 to 70,000 per carat at auction in the last year, so the one in this auction should exceed its high estimate comfortably.
While Kashmir sapphires are the rarest and most coveted of blue corundum, other sources can produce similarly beautiful shades of blue, and this sale features a handful of fine examples. A pair of floral earrings by Julius Cohen (est. $60,000-80,000) feature a pair of cushion cut blue sapphires originating from Thailand. While not among the top three sources for sapphires, these Thai sapphires are incredibly rare as they exhibit the desirable traits for a blue sapphire, and seldom are specimens of this size and quality found in Thailand.
In addition to sapphires, the sale also features a number of fine rubies and emeralds. For ruby lovers, there is a 1.30-carat Burmese unheated ruby set in a ring flanked by diamonds, circa 1910 (est. $15,000-20,000). The fiery red stone has been graded “pigeon’s blood”, the designation of rubies exhibiting the rare blend of rich red hue and strong saturation. Across the color spectrum, emerald collectors will be delighted by an octagonal step cut Colombian emerald weighing 6.28 carats (est. $40,000-60,000), set in a three-stone ring with two pear shape diamonds.
Apart from the standard triumvirate of colored stones, the sale includes a few less populous, but just as collectable colored stones. The most interesting piece of jewelry of this group is a fine spinel bead and natural pearl necklace (est. $80,000-120,000), composed of 13 large spinels and clusters of 83 natural pearls. Among the unmounted stone lots, a watery bright blue Brazilian Paraiba tourmaline is an electrifying example of this rare colored gem. The 4.01-carat stone is expected to fetch up to $60,000. Of additional note is an amazing blue zircon set in a platinum and diamond Art Deco ring (est. $2,000-3,000).
Colored diamonds and diamonds are not to be forgotten in the sale, which features a 2.58-carat Fancy Orangy Pink diamond (est. $150,000-200,000); a 7.25-carat Fancy Yellow diamond in a three-stone diamond ring by Graff (est. $130,000-150,000); an important diamond rivière necklace set with old European cut diamonds, the three largest of which weighing just under 8 carats each (est. $100,000-120,000); a diamond three-stone ring by Graff centering a 5.31-carat round brilliant cut diamond (est. $100,000-120,000); and another important diamond three-stone ring by Tiffany & Co. featuring a 5.33-carat emerald-cut center stone (est. $100,000-120,000).
For many collectors, jewelry by traditionally recognized designers and jewelry maisons continue to be sound investments, and this sale offers a diverse selection of important jewels from the likes of Cartier, Jean Schlumberger, and Tiffany & Co. amongst many others. Most prominent of this group of signed jewelry is an exquisite open-work link necklace by Tiffany & Co., circa 1915, set with 15 cushion cut aquamarines of 132.52 total carats and 19 old European cut diamond accents (est. $30,000-50,000). The complex detailing of the platinum work strong suggest that Louis Comfort Tiffany, and even Meta Overbeck, had a hand in designing the necklace.
Another highly notable designer tapped by Tiffany & Co., Jean Schlumberger remains beloved figure of jewelry history whose work is seriously sought after for both its whimsy and wearability. While the sale offers several pieces by the designer, the most notable is his “Leaves” bracelet composed of platinum, gold and diamonds (est. $18,000-22,000).
Though created in the 21st century, a pair of “Victoria” sapphire, emerald and diamond pendant earrings by Cartier, circa 2008 (est. $225,000-275,000), demonstrates the delicate artistry and exceptional craftsmanship inherent of the French maison since its founding in 1847.
For the more intrepid collector, modernist jewelry abounds as well in the sale, with works by artists such as Ed Wiener, Angela Cummings, Horaldo Burle-Marx and Andrew Grima.
Additional signed and modernist jewelry highlights include:
Antique jewelry collectors will be delighted with the range of pieces in the sale, from a pristine Georgian gold repoussé link bracelet, circa 1835, set with vivid green emeralds and old mine cut diamonds (est. $18,000-22,000) to a fine Victorian Burmese ruby and diamond cluster ring (est. $40,000-60,000). Also from the Georgian period are a few diamond jewels set in silver-topped gold, which has blackened over time and resulted in the ever popular dark metallic setting used by contemporary designers today.
The Victorian period is well-represented by highlights including a convertible diamond tiara/necklace (est. $12,000-18,000) and a micromosaic bracelet (est. $3,000-5,000) depicting various locations along the world tour popular during the period.
Turn-of-the-century jewels from the Belle Epoque, Edwardian and Art Nouveau periods are also well represented, noteworthy pieces include an Edwardian natural pearl and diamond ring by Tiffany & Co. (est. $15,000-20,000), a Belle Epoque diamond and demantoid garnet necklace (est. $10,000-15,000) and an Art Nouveau amethyst and yellow gold link bracelet (est. $3,000-5,000).
Rounding out the antique jewels is a great example of Art Deco pieces, led by an Art Deco diamond necklace suspending a drop shaped natural saltwater pearl measuring over 16mm in length (est. $40,000-60,000), an Art Deco Burmese sapphire and diamond ring (est. $45,000-65,000), an intricate Art Deco diamond bracelet, by Oscar Heyman Brothers, circa 1925 (est. $15,000-20,000), and a Deco-inspired circular brooch set with old European cut diamonds and centering a high relief emerald cameo (est. $5,000-7,000).