From Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels to David Webb and beyond, the September 22nd sale of Important Jewels in New York is headlined by a vast selection of signed jewels from a variety of celebrated makers. Classic white diamonds, such as this 27.35 carat oval-shaped diamond, and colored stones are also on offer in this first sale of the fall auction season. Whether you are seeking bold gold looks for daytime or diamond-set dazzlers for the evening, the Important Jewels sale will ensure your fall gets off to a fashion-forward start.
Lot 192. Magnificent Platinum and 27.35 carats, D color, VS2 clarity Type IIa Diamond Ring. Estimate 2,000,000 — 2,500,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's
Centering an oval-shaped diamond weighing 27.35 carats, size 6½.
Accompanied by GIA report no 5171479088 stating that the diamond is D color, VS2 clarity. Together with a letter from the GIA stating that the diamond has been determined to be Type IIa.
Lot 191. Platinum, Moonstone, Lapis Lazuli and Diamond Necklace, Tiffany & Co., Designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, circa 1915. Estimate 20,000 — 30,000. Photo: Sotheby's
The drop-style necklace of slightly graduated design, composed of variously-shaped moonstone cabochons, each decorated with lapis lazuli segments, further set with round, old European and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 2.90 carats, length 16 inches, signed Tiffany & Co.; circa 1915.
Lot 190. Platinum, Gold, Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Ring, Tiffany & Co, circa 1905. Estimate 30,000 — 50,000. Photo: Sotheby's
Centering an oval-shaped sapphire measuring approximately 7.8 by 6.7 by 4.7 mm, within an openwork mounting of scrollwork design, set with old European and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 1.15 carats, size 5½, signed Tiffany & Co.; circa 1905.
Accompanied by AGL report no. CS 1076323 stating that the sapphire is of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating.
Lot 87. Platinum and Diamond Brooch, Van Cleef & Arpels, 1942. Estimate 50,000 — 70,000. Photo: Sotheby's
Designed as a curved bow set with numerous baguette, old mine, old European and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 26.00 carats, signed Van Cleef & Arpels, numbered N.Y. 2051; fitted with pendant loop; 1942. With signed box.
Lot 151. 18 Karat Gold, Molded Glass and Enamel Ring, René Lalique, France, circa 1900. Estimate 15,000 — 20,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
Designed as a greenish blue glass face of Medusa, with blue and green enamel scales applied to the snake, gross weight approximately 10 dwts, size 8, signed Lalique, with French maker's mark; circa 1900.
Note: The Art Nouveau style of jewelry (1895-1910) adopted the use of curved or agitated lines, and usually depicted the more menacing or sensual sides of nature, like the tendril of a vine. René Lalique (1860-1945) established himself as one of the leading Art Nouveau designers. He worked as a freelance jeweler for firms like Boucheron and Maison Vever until he started his own eponymous business in 1887. Lalique had the ability to deftly manipulate gold to a sculptural effect. He admired the work of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) whose pieces were dramatic and displayed a sense of movement.
Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), was a French actress and frequent patron of Lalique’s work. In 1894, she reprised her role as Theodora, the Empress of Byzantine. That same year, Lalique sketched her character with a headdress of twisted snakes poised to strike, reminiscent of Medusa. Although this design was never realized, it inspired a large bodice ornament created circa 1898 to 1899 composed of nine coiled snakes with their mouths rendered in blue, green and black enamel. A similar piece, with long strands of baroque pearls suspended from eight of the nine snake’s mouths, was shown at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle and at the Turin World’s Fair in 1902. The ring offered here features a blue glass portrait of Medusa framed by a curving snake, with textured gold scales accented by green and blue enamel. This ring references Lalique’s original sketch inspired by Theodora.
Lot 221. 18 Karat Gold, Platinum, Emerald, Colored Stone and Diamond Brooch, Bulgari, circa 1970. Estimate 40,000 — 60,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
Of floral design, centering one oval-shaped cabochon emerald measuring approximately 23.5 by 20.5 mm, the petals set with round and single-cut rubies and pink sapphires, accented by numerous round diamonds weighing approximately 13.95 carats, gross weight approximately 45 dwts, signed Bulgari; circa 1970.
Lot 137. Platinum, Gold, 30.71 carats, VS1 clarity Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond and Diamond Ring. Estimate 675,000 — 775,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.
Centering a cushion-cut Fancy Intense Yellow diamond weighing 30.71 carats, accented by round diamonds weighing approximately .80 carat, size 6¾.
Accompanied by GIA report no. 1176440395 stating that the diamond is Fancy Intense Yellow, Natural Color, VS1 clarity.
Lot 219. 24.72 carats Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Ring, Bulgari. Estimate 250,000 — 350,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.
Centering a cushion-cut sapphire weighing 24.72 carats, accented by pear-shaped diamonds weighing approximately 9.00 carats, mounted in gilt-platinum, size 3½, signed Bulgari. With signed box.
Accompanied by AGL report no. CS 1074675 stating that the sapphire is of Classic Burmese origin, with no indications of heating.
Accompanied by Gübelin report no. 16075089 stating that the sapphire is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating. Together with an Information Sheet on unheated sapphires.
Lot 78. Two-Color Gold, 12.14 carats Colombian Emerald and Diamond Ring. Estimate 200,000 — 300,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's
Centering an emerald-cut emerald weighing 12.14 carats, flanked by two trapeze-cut diamonds weighing approximately 2.40 carats, size 3¾.
Accompanied by AGL report no. CS 1075887 stating that the emerald is of Colombian origin, clarity enhancement: minor, type: traditional.
Lot 77. Platinum, 18 Karat Gold, 16.48 carats, VVS2 clarity Fancy Yellow Diamond and Diamond Ring. Estimate 180,000 — 220,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's
Centering a cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut Fancy Yellow diamond weighing 16.48 carats, flanked by shield-cut diamonds weighing approximately 1.40 carats, size 5½.
Accompanied by GIA report no. 2171657447 stating that the diamond is Fancy Yellow, Natural Color, VVS2 clarity.
Lot 114. Pair of Platinum, Natural Pearl and Diamond Earclips. Estimate 150,000 — 200,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's
upporting two drop-shaped natural pearls measuring approximately 14.9 by 12.5 mm and 14.5 by 11.8 mm, the surmounts topped by two old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 3.60 carats, further set with baguette, old mine and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 3.60 carats.
Accompanied by SSEF report no. 84090 stating that the pearls are natural, saltwater.
Lot 136. 18 Karat White Gold, Diamond and Onyx 'Serpenti' Wristwatch, Bulgari. Estimate 140,000 — 160,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's
Designed as a coiled serpent, the mouth opening to reveal a watch dial, set with round diamonds weighing approximately 5.30 carats, the eyes set with onyx, quartz movement, gross weight approximately 165 dwts,internal circumference 5¼ inches, expandable, the dial and caseback signed Bulgari, the caseback numbered SPW4G and BT25, the bracelet signed Cmin, with Italian assay and registry marks. With signed box and papers.
Lot 123. 18 Karat White Gold, Diamond and Lacquer Cuff-Bracelet, Cartier Paris, circa 1930. Estimate 65,000 — 185,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.
The angled design in the form of a highly stylized bow, centering a diamond-set s-shaped motif, the central column set with five old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 5.90 carats, accented by smaller old European and old mine-cut diamonds weighing approximately 7.00 carats, internal circumference 6 inches, signed Cartier Paris, numbered 93838, with French assay and partial maker's marks; circa 1930. With signed, fitted and numbered box.
Notes: With simplicity, straight lines, and geometry, the Art Deco era straightened Art Nouveau’s naturalistic curves. It highlighted the ascent of the skyscraper, the machine age, new trends in fashion, and exhibited a fascination with the exotic. At this time, lacquered works of art were very desirable. To capitalize on the fashion craze, Cartier created many small decorative objects accented with the finish such as lipstick holders and vases. By the 1930s, Cartier started using lacquer to fashion jewels such as rings, brooches, and bracelets, of which very few still exist.
By the mid-1930s, Cartier’s clients commissioned the firm to create jewels such as a white gold and black lacquer bracelet accompanied by a detachable diamond clip, featured on page 61 of Judy Rudoe’s Cartier: 1900-1939. Using stones provided by the patron, Cartier also fashioned a pair of pyramid-shaped and diamond encrusted clip brooches affixed to a white metal and black lacquer band. Most likely, the original owner commissioned Cartier to refashion her antique diamonds into this one-of-a-kind lacquered piece of jewelry. The cuff-bracelet shown here is quite rare and comes with its custom-made fitted box.
Pieces of similar design are illustrated in Cartier: 1900-1939 by Judy Rudoe, pages 61 and 330.
Lot 117. Platinum, 7.66 carats Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Brooch, Harry Winston. Estimate 80,000 — 100,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's
The stylized floral spray set with an emerald-cut sapphire weighing 7.66 carats, accented by baguette, tapered baguette and pear-shaped diamonds weighing approximately 11.25 carats, signed Winston.
Accompanied by Gübelin report no. 15105181 stating that the sapphire is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating.
Lot 125. Platinum, 43.22 carats Ceylon Sugarloaf Cabochon Sapphire and Diamond Ring. Estimate 100,000 — 150,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.
Centering a cushion-cut sugarloaf cabochon sapphire weighing 43.22 carats, the mounting set with round diamonds weighing approximately 4.30 carats, size 5.
Accompanied by AGL report no. CS 1076215 stating that the sapphire is of Ceylon origin, with indications of heating.
Accompanied by GRS report no. GRS2014-028307 stating that the sapphire is of Ceylon origin, with indications of heating.
Lot 21. 18 Karat Gold, Sapphire, Diamond and Peridot Necklace, Bulgari. Estimate 150,000 — 200,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's
Set with fourteen cushion-cut yellow and blue sapphires, spaced at intervals by four half cylinder-shaped blue sapphires, the sapphires weighing a total of 156.25 carats, joined by circular motifs set with buff-top calibré-cut peridots, further set with round diamonds weighing approximately 5.65 carats, gross weight approximately 138 dwts, internal circumference 14½ inches signed Bulgari, with maker's and Italian registry marks.
Accompanied by AGL report no. CS 1076058 stating that the fourteen sapphires are of Ceylon origin, eleven with no indications of heating, three with indications of heating.
Lot 218. 18 Karat Gold, Sapphire and Diamond Pendant-Necklace and Earclips, Van Cleef & Arpels. Estimate 150,000 — 200,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.
The detachable pendant-brooch centering a square cushion-cut yellow sapphire weighing 84.90 carats, accented by cushion-cut blue sapphires, further accented by round diamonds weighing approximately 7.45 carats, signed Van Cleef & Arpels, numbered N.Y. 37918; the necklace set with seven modified cushion-cut yellow sapphires weighing approximately 145.00 carats, accented by oval-shaped and cushion-cut blue sapphires weighing approximately 40.00 carats, further accented by round diamonds weighing approximately 33.50 carats, length 21 inches; with detachable segments measuring 3, 3 and 7 inches; the earclips set with two modified cushion-cut yellow sapphires weighing approximately 35.00 carats, suspended from two modified cushion-cut blue sapphires weighing approximately 4.00 carats, accented by round diamonds weighing approximately 8.70 carats, signed Van Cleef & Arpels, numbered NY 37918;pendants detachable.
Accompanied by AGL report no. CS 1074676 stating that the 84.90 carat yellow sapphire is of Ceylon in origin, with no indications of heating.
Lot 40. Pair of Gold, Amethyst, Aquamarine and Ruby 'Lotus' Earclips, Suzanne Belperron, France. Estimate 15,000 — 20,000 USD. Photo Sotheby's.
Set with two pear-shaped amethysts weighing approximately 15.00 carats, accented by round aquamarines and rubies, with French assay and maker's marks for Darde et Fils; 1955-1969.
Lot 140. Pair of 18 Karat Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Ruby 'Noeud' Earclips, Suzanne Belperron, France. Estimate 15,000 — 20,000 USD. Photo Sotheby's.
Of knot design, composed of old European and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 3.00 carats, set with baguette rubies weighing approximately 2.90 carats, gross weight approximately 16 dwts, with French assay and workshop marks for Société Groëne & Darde; circa 1940.
Lot 41. 18 Karat Gold and Aquamarine 'Fishscale' Bracelet and Earclips, René Boivin, France. Estimate 25,000 — 35,000 USD. Photo Sotheby's.
The bracelet and earclips of scaled design, the bracelet set with round and oval-shaped aquamarines, gross weight approximately 45 dwts, length 7¾ inches, with French assay and maker's marks; the earclips set with round aquamarines, gross weight approximately 11 dwts, with French assay and workshop marks for Davière.
Designed as an ivy vine decorated with seven carved skulls composed of hardstones including amethyst, agate, bloodstone and carnelian, suspended by multiple gold strands, with additional ivy leaves on the clasp, set with rose-cut diamonds of brown hue, gross weight approximately 84 dwts, length 15 inches, unsigned; circa 1955. With signed box.
Bibliographie: Illustrated in the exhibition catalogue for C'est la vie! Vanitès de Pompéï à Damien Hirst, Musée Maillol, Paris, February 3, 2010-June 28, 2010, page 132. A copy of this exhibition catalogue accompanies this lot.
Note: Please note the diamonds have not been tested for natural origin of color.
Lot 146. Gold, Rock Crystal and Colored Diamond 'Pierrot' Necklace, Codognato. Estimate 25,000 — 35,000 USD. Photo Sotheby's.
Centering three rock crystal reverse intaglios depicting skeletons, within a flexible bib composed of ivy leaves, accented by four gold skulls, decorated by rose-cut diamonds of brown hue weighing approximately 4.30 carats, gross weight approximately 121 dwts, internal circumference 18 inches, signed Codognato; after 1940.With signed box.
Bibliographie: Illustrated in the exhibition catalogue for C'est la vie! Vanitès de Pompéï à Damien Hirst, Musée Maillol, Paris, February 3, 2010-June 28, 2010, page 131.
Note: Please note the diamonds have not been tested for natural origin of color.
Founded near St. Mark's square, the firm of Codognato has been creating jewels since 1866 that are prized for their quintessentially Venetian combination of exoticism and drama. The Romantics’ view of Venice had long been a source of inspiration for the Codognato family, including the city’s fascination with the strange and morbid.
The two necklaces illustrated here derive their meanings from the Catholic Church’s use of memento mori symbolism. Translating to ‘Reminder of Death,’ these symbols were often used by the Church to remind worshipers that only a life devoted to prayer could help avoid eternal punishment upon death. At the same time that memento mori images became widespread, skeletal figures were used as a reminder of the fragility (and unavoidable end) of earthly life. It was during this turbulent time, filled with wars and the Black Plague, that these saturnine symbols increased in popularity.
These two Codognato collars, from the mid-20th century, balance the idea of eternal glory (as symbolized with the use of ivy and an overwhelming presence of gold) with the imminent threat of death (as symbolized with the skeletons and skulls). It is also important to note that the ‘Pierrot’ necklace in particular uses the original religious overtones of memento mori as originally used by the Catholic Church. The central intaglio features a ‘Grim Reaper’-like skeleton flanked on his right with the holy symbols of the papal tiara and crosier, and on his left with ambiguous symbols which appear to represent a spear and a crown, referring to the Crucifixion. It is most fitting that this intaglio, illustrating symbols of both life and death, is set at the center of this design as it perfectly encompasses the memento mori creed.
Sotheby's. Important Jewels, New York, 22 sept. 2016, 02:00 PM