A Spectacular Sapphire and Diamond Brooch, by René Boivin, circa 1936, designed as a pigeon’s wing pave-set with circular and baguette-cut diamonds and calibre-cut sapphires, mounted in platinum, subsequently gilt. Est $50,000 to $75,000. Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s

One especially dramatic example of the highly creative jewels designed by Boivin in 1936, one of which was sold in Sotheby’s Geneva in 1991, was a pair of brooches designed as the wing of a pigeon.  With the impressive wingspan of almost 13cm in width of each brooch, the wing’s glorious plumes consisted of pave-set circular and baguette-cut diamonds and calibre-cut sapphires.

Some of the specially cut sapphires were acquired by Daisy Fellowes in Ceylon during one of her voyages aboard her yacht Sister Anne.  She reportedly spent many hours on the sun-drenched deck of the boat musing as to what jewel the stones should embellish, the brooch possibly being inspired by the countless winged species soaring in and out of view.