The rare jeweled lapis lazuli Cartier fan sold for $1,025,000.
NEW YORK - Sotheby’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale achieved an outstanding total of $60,735,520, in excess of its high estimate of over $58,000,000. With a full salesroom and overcrowded phone banks, it made for an extraordinary marathon-style sale; beginning at 10 am and ending after 7 pm, the sale pitted paddle against paddle as natural pearls, signed jewels and classic white diamonds spawned bidding war after bidding war.
The figural brooch sold for $845,000.
The warrior spirit of the goddess Sekhmet was channeled by Lisa Hubbard as she sold a group of Egyptian-Revival jewels by Cartier, including pieces formerly in the collection of 1920s “It Girl” Iya, Lady Abdy. Centering fragments of ancient Egyptian faience, the pieces designed around Sekhmet herself commanded prices well above their high estimates, with the rare jeweled lapis lazuli Cartier fan selling for $1,025,000 and the extraordinary figural brooch selling for $845,000. The Egyptian-Revival jewels, which featured three pieces from a famous 1924 Cartier advertisement from the Illustrated London News, proved that jewelry is indeed an art form; the prices paid confirmed that the market values not only the aesthetic but also the historical significance of a jewel.
The Ivory, Purpurine and Malachite Cuff by Boucheron sold for $797,000.
An Ivory, Purpurine and Malachite Cuff by Boucheron, which was displayed at the 1931 Exposition Coloniale in Paris, was another example of a historically significant jewel garnering overwhelming attention. Of African inspiration, this rare Boucheron design attracted a swarm of bidders, which was eventually narrowed down to two phone lines. One by one, the bids marched along as if to the beat of the tribal drum of which the design is reminiscent. The cuff eventually sold for $797,000, more than three times its high estimate of $250,000.
The Magnificent Emerald and Diamond Necklace sold for $1,205,000.
Exceptional diamonds and colored stones have always reigned supreme over the auction room but the true rulers of the New York sale were exquisite designs by Cartier. Reading like a retrospective of the venerable house’s repertoire, the sale offered superb and unique Cartier creations spanning the first half of the twentieth century. A miniature Art Deco ‘Temple’ brooch towered over its high estimate to sell for $100,000 – a record for a Cartier ‘Temple’ brooch sold at auction. From a Distinguished Family Collection, a pair of Fluted Emerald Earclips and a Magnificent Emerald and Diamond Necklace further proved that when extraordinary design meets outstanding materials, the result can be explosive.
The pair of Fluted Emerald Earclips sold for $245,000