GENEVA.- In the wake of the many strong results already seen this year for Art Deco jewels, demand remained strong today in Geneva for pieces from the 1920s and 30s, widely recognised as the golden era of jewellery. Six months after the benchmark price of $3.6 million achieved for the “Beaumont Necklace” at Sotheby’s in May, a Cartier sapphire and diamond bracelet realised one of the highest prices at auction for an Art Deco bracelet when, pursued by six bidders, it sold to an Asian collector for CHF 6,072,900 / $6,135,451 (Lot 453, est. CHF/$ 2-3m). Created in 1927 and coming from an Asian-American collection, the bracelet is set with a sensational Burmese cabochon sapphire weighing 46.07 carats. It was one of the highlights of a sale totalling CHF 53,382,275 / $53,932,112, characterised by strong global interest in Art Deco, along with a number of healthy results for single diamonds.
“The magic of Art Deco continues to exert its spell on collectors around the world, with so much of tonight’s rich offering racing away. With its sensational ‘sugar loaf’ Burmese sapphire and powerful geometric design, the Cartier bracelet that led tonight’s sale was a true masterpiece, among the most important Art Deco pieces we’ve ever handled. It came from the collection of a visionary Asian-American collector whose eye for great jewellery resonated with international collectors.” --David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman, Sotheby’s Jewellery Division
Cf. my post: De l'Art Déco à nos jours: Une célébration de la Haute Joaillerie du XXème siècle chez Sotheby's Genève
FACTS AND FIGURES AT A GLANCE
• 80% of lots sold
• 99.4% of lots sold achieved prices between or above estimate, with 58% selling above estimate
• 37% of bidders participated online
• Participants came from 49 countries around the world
• Strong activity from Asian collectors, approximately half of them female, with the top lot also selling to a female Asian collector
• Female collectors continue their ascent (more than double the proportion of five years ago)
• Great depth of bidding, with many lots pursued by multiple bidders (13 bidders on lot 386, 11 bidders on lot 381, 10 bidders on lot 387 and many further lots pursued by 6 or more collectors)
ART DECO SOARS
The result for the Cartier bracelet was echoed by further strong prices for Art Deco pieces – which together achieved a combined total of CHF 9.5m / $9.6m, against a pre-sale estimate of $3.9-6 million. Further highlights included:
• From the same Asian-American collection, a sapphire and diamond clip brooch by Cartier from 1937 featuring a distinctive geometric fan motif sold for CHF 325,000 / $328,348 (Lot 449, est. CHF 150,000 – 250,000).
Lot 449. Property from an Important Asian American Collection. A Burmese 'royal blue' sapphire and diamond clip brooch by Cartier from 1937. Estimate CHF 150,000 – 250,000. Lot sold CHF 325,000 ($328,348). Courtesy Sotheby's
Of fan design, set with a cushion-shaped sapphire weighing 9.09 carats, calibré-cut sapphires, circular-cut and baguette diamonds, signed Cartier, numbered.
Also accompanied by a Cartier certificate of authenticity.
• An emerald and diamond pendant/brooch combination, created by Cartier in 1927 featuring extraordinary cabochon emeralds from Colombia prompted heated bidding, selling at more than four times the estimate for CHF 1,052,000 / $1,062,836 (Lot 387, est. CHF 150,000 – 250,000).
Lot 387. An emerald and diamond pendant-brooch combination, Cartier, 1927. Estimate CHF 150,000 – 250,000 / $150,000 – 250,000. Lot sold CHF 1,052,000 ($1,062,836). Courtesy Sotheby's.
The surmount set with a carved emerald flower, framed with circular-cut diamonds, supporting a plaque set with an hexagonal polished emerald and calibré-cut emeralds, supporting three emerald drops with onyx rondelle crowns and circular-cut diamond terminals, unsigned, brooch fitting detachable, one small emerald deficient.
Accompanied by SSEF report no. 108686, stating that the emeralds are of Colombian origin, with a minor to a moderate amount of oil in fissures.
Literature: Cf.: Hans Nadelhoffer, Cartier Jewelers Extraordinary, London, 1984, pg. 183 for a photograph of the pendant in its original form, as part of a necklace.
Note: As the image in Hans Nadelhoffers book, Cartier Jeweler Extraordinary, shows, this pendant was originally the central element of an important necklace composed of a diamond link chain flanked by pierced cabochon emeralds, dated 1927, a perfect example of Cartier's Indian style.
This pendant also calls to mind the brooch worn by Marjorie Merriweather Post, captured in a painting by Giulio de Blaas in 1929. Cartier's use of mughal stones in jewellery was an important aspect of their Indian style, these designs were dominant between 1913 and 1930.
• A stunning diamond and rock crystal sautoir made by Chaumet in 1929 achieves a final price of CHF 524,000 / $529,397 (Lot 416, est. CHF 300,000 – 500,000).
Lot 416. Formerly in the collection of Comtesse Molitor. A diamond and rock crystal sautoir, Chaumet, 1929. Estimate CHF 300,000 – 500,000. Lot sold CHF 524,000 ($529,397). Courtesy Sotheby's
Composed of rock crystal links, alternating with circular-cut diamond set motifs; length approximately 1,010mm, French assay mark for gold, can be separated into six segments and be worn as bracelets, necklace, brooch, accompanied by a brooch fitting, two screw drivers and an additional triangular diamond set link, case stamped J Chaumet.
Accompanied by a Chaumet Extrait de Compte & Balance des Pierres, dated 24 April 1929.
Provenance: Formerly in the collection of Comtesse Molitor.
Exhibited: Chaumet in Majesty, Jewels of Sovereigns Since 1780, Monaco, 12 July - 28 August 2019.
Literature: Cf.: Chaumet in Majesty, Jewels of Sovereigns Since 1780, Monaco, 2019, pg. 269 for an illustration of the sautoir.
• 80% of the diamonds offered in the evening session sold, including:
• A new record for a Very Light Blue diamond when a 14.69-carat pendant sold to applause after a prolonged bidding battle for CHF 1,280,000 / $1.293,184 (Lot 424, est. CHF 400,000 – 600,000).
Lot 424. Attractive 14.69 carats VVS2 very Light Blue diamond pendant. Estimate CHF 400,000 – 600,000. Lot sold CHF 1,280,000 ($1.293,184). Courtesy Sotheby's
Set with a heart-shaped very light blue diamond weighing 14.69 carats.
Accompanied by GIA report no. 5202619044, stating that the diamond is Very Light Blue, Natural Colour, VVS2 Clarity; together with a working diagram stating that the diamond is improvable.
• A spectacular white diamond weighing 78.29 carats which achieved CHF 2,900,000 / $2,929,870 (Lot 423, est. CHF 1.8 – 2.8 million).
Lot 423. Impressive 78.29 carats, I, VVS1 diamond pendant. Estimate CHF 1,800,000 — 2,800,000. Lot sold CHF 2,900,000 ($2,929,870). Courtesy Sotheby's
Set with a pear-shaped diamond weighing 78.29 carats, illustrated unmounted.
Accompanied by GIA report no. 6008827, stating that the diamond is I Colour, VVS1 Clarity; together with a working diagram stating that the diamond may be internally flawless after minor repolishing.
• A Fancy Intense Purple-Pink diamond weighing 6.03 carats which realised CHF 3,320,000 / $3,354,196 (Lot 405, est. CHF 2.5 – 3.5 million).
Lot 405. Attractive 6.03 carats VVS2 Type IIa fancy intense purple-pink diamond pendant. Estimate CHF 2,500,000 — 3,500,000. Lot sold CHF 3,320,000 ($3,354,196). Courtesy Sotheby's
Set with a pear-shaped fancy intense purple-pink diamond weighing 6.03 carats, the surmount set with similarly and brilliant-cut diamonds, length approximately 420mm.
JEWELS FROM AN ASIAN-AMERICAN COLLECTION GLITTER
Tuesday’s sale included a selection of jewels from an Asian-American collection, which followed a first instalment in September in New York. Overall, the collection was 93% sold, achieving a total of $ 12.7m (Est. $6.1-8.9m).