18 avril 2015

A yellow-ground green-enamelled ‘Longevity’ dish, Jiajing mark and period

A yellow-ground green-enamelled ‘Longevity’ dish, Jiajing mark and period

A yellow-ground green-enamelled ‘Longevity’ dish, Jiajing mark and period (verso)

A yellow-ground green-enamelled ‘Longevity’ dish, Jiajing mark and period. Estimate 15,000 — 20,000 GBP (20,348 - 27,130 EUR). Photo courtesy Sotheby's

the shallow rounded sides rising from a tapered foot to a flared rim, incised and decorated with green enamels against an egg-yolk yellow ground, the interior with a central medallion enclosing a stylised shoucharacter formed from entwined branches bearing eight fruiting peaches in a garden with lingzhi, the exterior similarly decorated with shou characters amongst meandering branches of fruiting peaches, the white base inscribed with a six-character reign mark, Japanese wood box. Quantité: 2 - 14.5cm., 5 3/4 in.

ProvenanceMayuyama & Co. Ltd., Tokyo.

NotesThis dish depicts a fruiting peach tree, an auspicious symbol in China, with the bark contorted to form a shou (longevity) character and bearing eight peaches, to represent the Eight Immortals. The Jiajing Emperor was a devout Daoist and as a result, decoration influenced by Daoist iconography was favoured during his reign.

A closely related dish in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, was included in the Museum’s exhibition Good Fortune, Long Life, Health and Peace. A Special Exhibition of Porcelains with Auspicious Designs, Taipei, 1995, cat. no. 2; and another from the Sir Percival David collection and now in the British Museum, London, is illustrated in R.L. Hobson, The Wares of the Ming Dynasty, London, 1923, pl. 39, fig. 2. See also a dish similarly incised with a pine tree in the form of a shou character, in the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, illustrated in Lu Minghua, Mindai guanyao ciqi, Shanghai, 2007, pl. 1-64.

This motif is also known from yellow-and-green enamelled bowls of Jiajing mark and period, such as one illustrated in L. Reidemeister, Ming. Porzellane in Schwedischen Sammlungen, Berlin, 1935, pl. 32a; and from dishes painted in the wucaipalette; see one in the Norton collection, sold twice in these rooms, 5th November 1963, lot 182, and 1st/2nd April 1974, lot 231; and a pair from the H.M. Knight collection, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 20th May 1980, lot 72, and again in these rooms, 13th July 2005, lot 186. 

Sotheby's. The Soul of Japanese Aesthetics – The Tsuneichi Inoue Collection, Londres, 13 mai 2015, 10:00 AM

Fondation Gandur pour l'Art opens first traveling exhibition in Japan

A mummy board

A mummy board. Wood, gessoed (plastered) and painted, 157.5×44.5×10.0cm. Third Intermediate Period © Fondation Gandur pour l'Art, Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: Sandra Pointet.

GENEVA.- The Fondation Gandur pour l’Art opened its first traveling exhibition in Japan on 17 April at the Asahikawa Museum of Art, in Hokkaido. The exhibition will run until 21 June before continuing its journey to three more Japanese cities, including Tokyo. 

The special loan exhibition, Ancient Egyptian Art and Magic, Treasures from the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, presents 150 works of art drawn from the Foundation’s archaeological collection, some of which are on view for the first time. The works span the four millennia history of pharaonic Egypt from the predynastic through to the ptolemaic periods.


Buste de Ramsès II, XIXe dynastie

Bust of Ramsès II, 19th dynasty. Red granite. Height 72 cm. FGA-ARCH-EG-133 © Darwin Media Ltd.

Jean Claude Gandur, founder and Chairman of the Fondation Gandur pour l'Art, explains: “The objects exhibited were selected for both aesthetic and didactic reasons. As always, our aim is to help the public understand and appreciate the ancient Egyptian civilisation and the significant contribution that civilisations like these have made to our societies.” 

Bas-relief aux cartouches d’Alexandre le Grand, Période macédonienne

Relief with cartouches of Alexander the Great, Macedonian period. Painted limestone, 42 x 70 cm. FGA-ARCH-EG-162 © Fondation Gandur pour l'Art. Photographe : Sandra Pointet.

The exhibition stresses the central role of magic in furthering our understanding of the nature of ancient Egyptian art. It is organised around three themes: hieroglyphs, materials and colour. All three elements symbolically reinforce each object’s function. Together, the works of art reflect the ancient Egyptian world view of a cosmos in which human beings, animals and plants are harmoniously integrated.  

Statuette de Maât, XXVIe dynastie

Statuette of Maât, 26th dynasty. Bronze, 25 x 4,8 x 7,1 cm. FGA-ARCH-EG-325© Fondation Gandur pour l'Art. Photographe : Sandra Pointet.

Japan is the third country to host a significant traveling exhibition from the archaeological collection of the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, after Switzerland and the United States, and before France in June (at the MUCEM in Marseille). The exhibition is accompanied by a bi-lingual catalogue, in Japanese and English, written by Dr Robert Steven Bianchi, chief curator and curator of the archaeology collection of the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art. 

Vase au nom de Darius Ier, XXVIIe dynastie

Vase inscribed for Darius Ist, 27e dynasty. Alabaster, 31 x 14 cm. FGA-ARCH-EG-356© Fondation Gandur pour l'Art. Photographe : Sandra Pointet.

Shabti of Ramses IX, 20th dynasty

Shabti of Ramses IX, 20th dynasty. Wood, bronze, black and white stones. Height 30.5 cm. FGA-ARCH-EG-317© Fondation Gandur pour l'Art. Photographe : Sandra Pointet.

Amulette d’un dieu à tête de bélier, XXVIe dynastie – période ptolémaïque

Amulet of a god with  ram's head, 26th dynasty – Ptolemaic period. Faïence, 3,9 x 1 x 1,6 cm. FGA-ARCH-EG-165. © Fondation Gandur pour l'Art. Photographe : Sandra Pointet.

Bonhams to auction five masterpieces of the Meiji period

Iron model of a spiny lobster, made by an unknown artisan

Iron model of a spiny lobster, made by an unknown artisan. Estimated at £30,000-40,000 (€42,000 - 56,000). Photo Bonhams.

LONDON.- Five exquisite items from the Meiji Period, including delicate cloisonné and magnificent ironwork, will lead the Fine Japanese Art auction at Bonhams New Bond Street on 14 May. Estimates for the lots, made by some of the greatest craftsmen of the era, range from £5,000-8,000 to £30,000-40,000. 

The top lot of the Meiji Period items in the auction is a fully articulated iron model of a spiny lobster, made by an unknown artisan. Estimated at £30,000-40,000, the model’s reddish-brown body is formed from individually cast, hammered and carved sections, painstakingly crafted to resemble the crustacean’s shell with finely chiselled details. The fully articulated joints allow the model life-like mobility, and it measures 43.7cm (17¼ inches) when the antennae are fully extended. 

Nouveau Dessin OpenDocument

A fine iron kusshin jizai (fully articulated) okimono model of a spiny lobster, Anonymous, Meiji PeriodEstimated at £30,000-40,000 (€42,000 - 56,000). Photo Bonhams. 

The reddish-brown body formed from individually cast, hammered and carved sections crafted to resemble the lobster's shell with finely chiselled details, assembled with fully articulated joints to allow lifelike mobility, unsigned; with wood storage box. 43.7cm (17¼in) long with fully extended antennae. (2).

Note: For another fully articulated iron lobster of similarly fine quality by an unknown artist, see Hirose Mami, et al. (eds.),Chozetsugiko! Meiji Kogei no Iki (Kogei: Superlative Craftsmanship from Meiji Japan), Tokyo, Asano Laboratories, 2014, p.110, pl. nos.6-10.

The Meiji period began in 1868 with the defeat of the forces of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the last feudal military government of Japan, by the armies seeking the restoration of Emperor Meiji. The victory ushered in the new era of Meiji, meaning ‘enlightened rule,’ which lasted until the death of the Emperor on 30 July 1912. Under his rule, Japan underwent social, political and industrial revolution, and emerged as one of the world’s great powers. 

The nation’s success during this period was reflected in the quality of its artisans, and Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), the creator of two items offered at Bonhams, was among the very greatest. Born in 1845, Yasuyuki started a cloisonné business in Kyoto in 1873 which grew to include more than 20 employees by the 1880s, selling to private clients and fulfilling imperial commissions. He won 11 overseas awards between 1876 and 1904, and built such an impressive reputation that his wares were purchased the moment they were unpacked at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universalle, selling for more than ten times their estimated price.

Two cloisonné enamel pieces by Yasuyuki, a jar and cover and a small vase, are offered at Bonhams with estimates of £8,000-12,000 and £12,000-15,000 respectively. The jar, worked with silver wire, depicts three sparrows standing among wild violets, with four sparrows in flight on the reverse. The domed cover is decorated with a band of stylised flower-heads. The vase, meanwhile, bears an all-over design of stylised cherry blossoms and roundels on a midnight-blue ground, worked with silver and gold wire.

A cloisonné-enamel jar and cover by Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), Meiji Period, circa 1900

A cloisonné-enamel jar and cover by Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), Meiji Period, circa 1900. Estimate £8,000 - 12,000 (€11,000 - 17,000). Photo Bonhams.


The rounded ovoid squat body worked in silver wire with three sparrows standing among wild violets on a light brown ground, the reverse with four sparrows in flight, applied with silver rims and supported with four bracket feet, the domed cover decorated with a band of stylised flowerheads corresponding to the decoration on the shoulder and surmounted with a silver chrysanthemum-finial; the base signed on a silver tablet Kyoto Namikawa11cm (4¼in) high. (2).

Provenance: an English private collection.

Note: Born in 1845 to a rural samurai family, Namikawa Yasuyuki started his cloisonné business in Kyoto in 1873 and by the 1880s was successful enough to build, and then extend and upgrade, a large compound that eventually included workshops housing 20 or more employees, a showroom, a family residence, and a garden with a fishpond. He used these facilities to create a carefully orchestrated private retail experience that was described in admiring detail by American and European travel writers, selling many of his finest wares directly to private clients, as well as carrying out imperial commissions and participating in international expositions. Between 1876 and 1904 he won 11 overseas awards and in 1896, along with his unrelated namesake the Tokyo enameler Namikawa Sosuke (the two family names are written with different characters), was among the first individuals to be appointed to the ranks of Teishitsu Gigeiin (Artist-Craftsmen to the Imperial Household, see also lot nos. 393, 401, 402, 403). Such was his reputation that at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle his wares were snapped up the moment they were unpacked and sold for up to ten times the amount anticipated. For a detailed biography of Namikawa Yasuyuki see Frederic T Schneider, The Art of Japanese Cloisonné EnamelHistory, Techniques and Artists1600 to the Present, Jefferson NC, McFarland, 2010, pp.86–87.

A cloisonné-enamel small vase, by Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), Meiji Period

A cloisonné-enamel small vase, by Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), Meiji Period. Estimate £8,000 - 12,000 (€11,000 - 17,000). Photo Bonhams.


Intricately worked in silver and gold wire with an all-over design of stylised cherry blossoms and overlapping differently coloured roundels scattered over a midnight-blue ground, the neck and foot with matching floral arabesque motifs, signed on the base with chiselled cursive characters on a silver plaque Kyoto Namikawa, applied with a gold rim and foot; with wood storage box. 9cm (3½in) high. (2)..

The auction will also feature two cloisonné enamel works by Namikawa Sōsuke, one of the greatest craft entrepreneurs of the later Meiji era, best known for his set of 32 decorative panels commissioned for Tokyo’s Akasaka Rikyū Palace in 1909. But it was three decades earlier that Sōsuke began experimenting with musen shippō (wireless enamelling), his most enduring contribution to the art form. Previously, wire was required to fix enamels in place during the firing process, but Sōsuke improved the chemistry of the enamels so that they adhered more securely, allowing him to emulate the effects of brush painting on paper or silk. 

The two Sōsuke pieces to be auctioned at Bonhams are a kidney-shaped tray, estimated at £10,000-15,000, and a box and cover, estimated at £5,000-8,000. The tray, worked in musen and silver wire, bears a design of two quails on a ground of pale grey rising to blue, while the reverse depicts cherry blossoms on a dark plum background. The box is decorated in wireless enamel with a prunus branch rising before a full moon. 

A cloisonné-enamel kidney-shaped tray, By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji Period, 1890-1895

A cloisonné-enamel kidney-shaped tray, By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji Period, 1890-1895Estimate £10,000 - 15,000 (€14,000 - 21,000). Photo Bonhams.


Worked in musen and silver wire with a design of two quails, the ground of a pale grey rising to light blue, within ashakudo rim, the reverse worked in gilt wire enamel with numerous densely patterned cherry blossoms in pale brown on a dark plum-coloured ground; signed in silver wire with a single character Sakigake (the seal of Namikawa Sosuke).26cm x 30cm (10¼in x 11¾in).

Provenance: a European private collection.

Note: One of the greatest craft entrepreneurs of the later Meiji era, Namikawa Sosuke was until recently best known in Japan for a set of 32 decorative panels commissioned for Tokyo's Akasaka Rikyu Palace, completed in 1909. These date from the last years of his very productive life, nearly three decades after he began to experiment with the technique known as musen shippo (wireless enameling), his most enduring contribution to an art form that developed at extraordinary speed in Japan between the mid-nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth century. In Chinese cloisonné enameling, the wires separating the different areas of fused and polished enamels that made up a design also served to hold the enamels in place during the firing process, and the individual areas of color were relatively small. Sosuke, followed shortly after by his rivals, managed to improve the chemistry of the enamels so that they adhered more securely to the metal bases of his wares, allowing him to introduce large areas of color into his designs, although it is thought that wires between different colors still had to be painstakingly applied and removed at each stage of manufacture. Thanks to these and other technical breakthroughs, later Meiji-era enamelers were often able to emulate the effects of brush painting on paper or silk. In recognition of his achievements, in 1896 Sosuke was appointed to the order of Teishitsu Gigeiin (Artist-Craftsman to the Imperial Household).

A cloisonné-enamel box and cover, By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji Period

A cloisonné-enamel box and cover, By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji PeriodEstimate £10,000 - 15,000 (€14,000 - 21,000). Photo Bonhams.

image (1)

Of shallow rounded square form, bearing a pale-grey ground and decorated in musen shippo (wireless enamel) with a prunus branch rising up before the full moon, the rims mounted with shakudo and the interior of dark-brown enamel, the base signed in thick silver wire with the Sakigake mark of Namikawa Sosuke. 3.8cm x 12.4cm (1½in x 4 7/8in). (2).

Provenance: an English private collection.

The auction of these magnificent items follows the highly successful non-selling exhibition of Meiji-era craft, titled ‘Transformation, Summation, Creation’, which took place at Bonhams New York from 12 - 22 March as part of the Asia Week events. The exhibition showcased 22 works by some of the leading Japanese artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


 Transformation, Summation, Creation’, Japanese Masterpieces From The Meiji Era. Photo Bonhams.

30 masterpieces from St. Petersburg shown in UK for the first time as part of 'Francis Bacon and the Masters'

Francis Bacon, Study for a Portrait of Van Gogh, England, 1956

Francis Bacon, Study for a Portrait of Van Gogh, England, 1956. Oil on Canvas © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2014.

NORWICH.- From 18 April, 30 masterpieces on loan from the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg will go on display in the UK for the first time as part of Francis Bacon and the Masters at the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich (18 April – 26 July). The major loan includes important works by Picasso, Velazquez, Rodin, Titian and Matisse, as well as outstanding examples of antique Greek, Roman and Egyptian sculpture. 

Chaïm Soutine, Self-Portrait

Chaïm Soutine, Self-Portrait. c. 1920–1. Oil on canvas, 54 x 30.5 cm. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.

Francis Bacon and the Masters is a ground-breaking exhibition in which Bacon’s obsession with the art of the past will be brought into full focus. A major body of works by the artist will be juxtaposed with masterpieces by some of the greatest painters and sculptors in the history of art, in a spectacular exploration of Bacon’s working methods and ideas.  

Francis Bacon, Portrait of R

Francis Bacon, Portrait of R.J. Sainsbury, 1955. Oil on canvas; 115 x 99 cm. Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2014. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.

The exhibition comes to Norwich following its internationally acclaimed opening at the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, where it marked the culmination of the celebrations for the 250th anniversary of the Hermitage and concluded the UK/Russia Year of Culture.  

Alonso Cano (1601, Granada – 1667, Granada), The Crucifixion

Alonso Cano (1601, Granada – 1667, Granada), The Crucifixion. Oil on canvas, 265 x 173 cm. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.

The founders of the Centre, Robert and Lisa Sainsbury were important early patrons of Francis Bacon. They purchased their first Bacon painting, Study for a Nude, in 1953, and went on to commission their portraits from him. The thirteen Bacon paintings in the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection will form the core group of works in the exhibition but they will be joined by important loans drawn from public and private collections across Britain and Ireland. In all, more than 3o works by the artist will be shown.  

Francis Bacon, Crucifixion, 1933

Francis Bacon, Crucifixion, 1933. Oil on canvas, 62 x 48.5cm. Private Collection © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2014. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd. 

The exhibition includes documentary and archive material, including photographs of Bacon’s studio, palettes, books, catalogues and materials owned by the artist and loaned by Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane. Bacon’s preoccupation with the art of the past is vividly revealed in the material drawn from his studio.  

Rembrandt Harmensz

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606, Leiden – 1669, Amsterdam), Portrait of an Old Man. Oil on canvas, 109 x 85 cm. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.

The exhibition has been created by a team comprised of guest curator Dr Thierry Morel, curator of the Houghton Revisited exhibition in 2014, Lisa Renne from the State Hermitage Museum; and from the Sainsbury Centre, Chief Curator, Amanda Geitner and Calvin Winner, Head of Collections.  

Francis Bacon, Head of a Man, 1960

Francis Bacon, Head of a Man, 1960. Oil on canvas; 38 x 32 cm. Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2014. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.

Speaking of the exhibition, Sainsbury Centre Director, Professor Paul Greenhalgh said: “Bacon felt intensely close to his painter forebears, the grand masters, and he endlessly made use of them in the search for his own language. Like Picasso, he was an eclectic Modernist, who took what he needed from the art of the past to make it the art of the present. This exhibition is about the use of the past by one of the greatest modern painters: the past re-interpreted and refigured in the psychologically tense, frenetic world of a man searching for meaning at the boundary edge of life”.

Sotheby's Geneva announces Sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels on 12 May


GENEVA.- Sotheby’s auction of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva this spring promises a breath-taking array of stunning and important jewels, whose breadth and variety represents a veritable treasure chest of exceptional jewels. The auction, to be held on 12 May, includes ‘The Historic Pink Diamond’, an extremely rare and highly important Fancy Vivid Pink diamond of 8.72 carats, alongside ‘The Sunrise Ruby’, a superb and extremely rare Burmese ruby weighing 25.59 carats with outstanding depth of colour. In addition to diamonds and gemstones of the very highest quality, the event will showcase signed jewels and historic pieces with exemplary provenance, including a stunning private collection of jewels by Cartier and no fewer than five exquisite tiaras – three of them formerly in the collection of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe. 

Looking ahead to the sale, David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, commented: “I have remained in awe of the ‘Sunrise Ruby’ since the first moment I set eyes on it. In over 40 years, I cannot recall ever having seen another Burmese ruby of this exceptional size possessing such outstanding colour. We are also very excited to be offering a worldclass fancy vivid pink diamond, dubbed the ‘Historic Pink Diamond’ by the GIA*, along with a remarkable wealth of signed pieces, including a private collection of extraordinary jewels by Cartier. We’ve had a tremendous response from those who’ve viewed the wonderfully rich selection to be offered in our Geneva sale.” 

The Historic Pink Diamond – a 8

The Historic Pink Diamond – a 8.72-carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamondLot 460, estimate: CHF 13,650,000 - 17,500,000 / US$ 14,000,000 – 18,000,000. Photo courtesy Sotheby's

Sotheby's will present in May 'The Historic Pink Diamond', an extremely rare and highly important Fancy Vivid Pink diamond which, according to the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA), is believed to have been part of the collection of Princess Mathilde, niece of Napoleon I. This exquisite stone boasts VS2 clarity and mesmerising colour. 

The 8.72-carat stone is also remarkable for its classic non-modified cushion cut, unusual in a pink diamond and a highly sought-after shape for connoisseurs of the very finest precious jewels. 

The market for coloured diamonds and precious gemstones has never been stronger, and pink diamonds rank among the rarest of all. In October, Sotheby's set a new benchmark for pink diamonds, with the sale of a superb and highly important Fancy Vivid Purplish-pink diamond weighing 8.41 carats, which achieved $17.8 million. 

In its assessment of this diamond, the GIA declares that it "takes its place amongst fabled Vivid Pink gems" known in the world. 



The Sunrise Ruby – a 25

Sothebys_Most Valuable Ruby_Sunrise Ruby from the top

The Sunrise Ruby – a 25.59-carat Burmese RubyLot 502, estimate: CHF 11,700,000 – 17,500,000 / US$ 12,000,000 – 18,000,000Photo courtesy Sotheby's

Described as a ‘unique treasure of nature’ by the Swiss Gemmological Institute, the ‘Sunrise Ruby’ leads this exceptional collection of Cartier Jewels. 

This superb and extremely rare Burmese ruby weighing 25.59 carats is breathtaking in its extraordinary size and outstanding depth of colour. Untouched by heat treatment, the stone is of ‘pigeon’s blood’ red: the rarest and most soughtafter of hues.

Cartier Diamond Ivresse Necklace

Cartier Diamond Ivresse NecklaceLot 501, estimate: 5,850,000 – 9,750,000 / US$ 6,000,000 – 10,000,000Photo courtesy Sotheby's

The collection of exceptional Cartier jewels also features a magnificent diamond necklace, featuring diamonds totalling more than 190 carats. Custom-made for the owner, this captivating jewel is designed as a cascade of diamonds, the front accented with a floral motif and suspending a fringe of nine pear-shaped stones. 

A 30

A 30.23-carat Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Brooch, by CartierLot 499, estimate: CHF 3,410,000 – 5,850,000 / US$ 3,500,000 – 6,000,000Photo courtesy Sotheby's

Alongside it, the sale will offer a ravishing brooch set with a 30.23-carat sapphire from Kashmir – the most highly coveted origin for sapphires. The Swiss Gemmological Institute describes the sapphire’s colour as ‘velvety and saturated’, due in part to a ‘combination of well-balanced trace elements in the gemstone, typical and characteristic for the very finest sapphires of Kashmir’.

A Pair of Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Earrings by Cartier

A Pair of Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Earrings by Cartier. Lot 500, estimate: CHF 780,000 – 1,170,000 / US$ 800,000 – 1,200,000Photo courtesy Sotheby's

Completing this stunning private collection is a pair of elegant sapphire and diamond earrings, made with two exceptionally well-matched Burmese Mogok sapphires of 15.77 and 16.90 carats respectively. The jewels stand out for the exquisite quality and symmetry of the gemstones and the design. 

Sotheby’s will offer exceptional jewels from the Estate of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe, granddaughter of Rothschild heiress Hannah and British Prime Minister the Earl of Rosebery, whose wedding to the Duke of Roxburghe brought together two of Britain’s great aristocratic families. The collection includes no fewer than three stunning tiaras, along with a strikingly varied and rich selection of the finest jewels. 

The tiaras are led by a stunning piece created by Cartier in the 1930s, of geometric design delightfully expressing this era of the designer’s creation. 

A Diamond Tiara, by Cartier, circa 1930s

The Estate of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe. A Diamond Tiara, by Cartier, circa 1930sLot 497, estimate: CHF 295,000 – 485,000 / US$ 300,000 – 500,000Photo courtesy Sotheby's

A 19th Century Diamond TiaraNecklace

The Estate of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe. A 19th Century Diamond Tiara-NecklaceLot 493, estimate CHF 295,000 – 485,000 / US$ 300,000 – 500,000Photo courtesy Sotheby's.

The second dating from the 19th century, is a wonderfully intricate tiara / necklace composed of fleurs de lys and confronting scroll motifs, delightfully swing-set with a graduated row of twenty superb pear-shaped diamonds. 

The third tiara in this collection is a delicate ruby and diamond creation (LOT 490, estimate: CHF 78,000 – 98,000 / US$ 80,000 – 100,000). 

Other pieces from this extraordinary ensemble of jewels include an important mid-19th-century diamond rivière necklace (LOT 492, estimate: CHF 245,000 – 340,000 / US$ 250,000 – 350,000); an exquisite natural pearl and diamond necklace dating to around 1920 (LOT 496, estimate: CHF 245,000 – 345,000 / US$250,000 – 350,000); and a perfectly-proportioned natural pearl and diamond double-clip brooch made by Cartier in the 1930s (LOT 495, estimate: CHF 49,000 - 69,000 / US$ 50,000 – 70,000). 

In addition to the three exquisite examples from the Roxburghe Estate, the Geneva auction will offer a further two stunning tiaras – a total of five very fine pieces in a single sale, which is extremely rare. 

From the Collection of the Earl of Mar and Kellie, a breath-taking diamond tiara / necklace, designed in the style of a ‘tiare russe’, dating back to the 1880s and drawing inspiration from the Russian kokoshniks - traditional fan- shaped head ornaments inspired by the cockscomb. This tiara was worn by the 12th Countess of Mar at the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902 (LOT 477, estimate CHF 145,000 – 285,000 / US$ 150,000 – 295,000). 

The fifth tiara to be offered in May is a very elegant emerald and diamond tiara dating to the early 20th century. The piece is designed as two lines of circular-cut diamonds, surmounted with scroll and fleur de lys motifs, the scrolls topped with drop-shaped emeralds (LOT 370, estimate: CHF 39,000 – 59,000 / US$ 40,000-60,000).  

Connoisseurs of the very finest natural pearls will no doubt be captivated by the exceptional quality of this superb and extremely rare natural pearl necklace. The jewel is composed of two stunning graduated rows strung with seventy-eight splendid natural pearls.  

This captivating ruby and diamond jewel boasts illustrious provenance, having been in the collection of a European Princely Family, and is set with an enchanting Burmese ruby weighing 14.89 carats. In its assessment of the stone, the Gübelin Gem Lab states that the ‘remarkable gemstone’ ‘possesses a richly saturated and homogenous colour’, free from heat treatment – which is ‘rare in natural Burmese rubies of this size.’ (LOT 476, estimate CHF 1,170,000 – 2,140,000 / US$ 1,200,000 – 2,200,000). 

The Geneva evening event will include a number of very impressive colourless and coloured diamonds, including a superb cushion-cut diamond ring weighing 33.58 carats. This beautiful stone is D colour, Flawless, Type IIa (LOT 447, estimate: CHF 4,870,000 – 6,800,000 / US$ 5,000,000 – 7,000,000). 

Also worthy of note is an impressive pear-shaped colourless diamond weighing 31.93 carats; the elegant stone is also D colour and possesses VS1 clarity (LOT 452, estimate CHF 3,400,000 – 3,800,000 / US$ 3,500,000 – 4,000,000). 

The selection of coloured diamonds will feature a stunning Fancy Yellow cushioncut diamond of VS2 clarity, weighing 53.17 carats (LOT 425, estimate: CHF 1,560,000 – 2,150,000 / US$ 1,600,000 – 2,200,000). 

LOT 498, estimate CHF 2,920,000 – 4,870,000 / US$ 3,000,000 – 5,000,000  

The most accomplished design and craftsmanship underscore the selection of fine jewels on offer in May. Standout signed pieces showcasing the very finest in jewellery design include a rare and superb gem set vanity case by Cartier, made in 1925. This example combines the very finest elements of Cartier’s production in this period (LOT 451, estimate: CHF 110,000 – 160,000 / US$ 115,000 – 165,000). 

Admirers of Cartier’s Art Deco designs will also have the opportunity to own a delightful example of the jewellery house’s “Tutti-Frutti” design, in the form of a pair of captivating gem set and diamond clips. These covetable clips, created in the 1930s, were formerly in the collection of Lydia, Lady Deterding (LOT 469, estimate: CHF 69,000 – 98,000 / US$ 70,000 – 100,000). 

Among the rich selection of Noble Jewels to be featured in the auction, an important ruby and diamond bangle-bracelet illustrates the flair and bold design of Boucheron. Of hinged design, the jewel is decorated with rubies in a concealed setting, and has been in the collection of a European Imperial Royal Family (LOT 472, estimate: CHF 390,000 – 680,000 / US$ 400,000 - 700,000). 

French design is also represented by the striking creations of Jean Schlumberger: the sale in May will offer a selection of fabulously ornate jewels from the 1960s, including a gem-set and diamond demi-parure (LOT 453, estimate: CHF 69,000 – 105,000 / US$ 70,000 – 110,000).

Posté par Alain Truong à 12:34 - -