Floral Jewels Bloom at Sotheby’s

By Sotheby's
Just in time for spring, a selling exhibition, entitled In Bloom (3-24 May), will celebrate the history and evolution of the flower motif in jewelry design, from the 19th-century to the present day.

C urated in partnership with Carol Woolton, the celebrated historian, author, and Contributing Director of Jewelry of British Vogue, In Bloom offers an array of jewels that embody the vibrancy and beauty of nature – from the sunny hue of daffodils to the painterly palette of blossoming irises.

Gold and Citrine Clip-Brooch, Cartier, circa 1940s.

Comprising 75 pieces, the collection will showcase vintage floral designs from distinguished houses Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, David Webb, Boucheron, Verdura, and Belperron, alongside exquisite pieces by leading contemporary designers from around the world, including Solange Azagury-Partridge, Neha Dani, Eliane Fattal, Fernando Jorge, Sabba, Jessica McCormack and Irene Neuwirth.

Diamond, Colored Diamond and Demantoid Garnet Brooch, Gimel.

Young talents, such as Tatiana Verstraeten and Christopher Thompson Royds will feature alongside fine jewels by Dolce & Gabbana, exhibited for the first time. The show is further distinguished by unique pieces specifically commissioned from British artist Shaun Leane, Japanese master craftswoman Gimel and Indian designer Bina Goenka.

Gold and Diamond Clip-Brooch, David Webb, Circa 1960s.
There is no design motif as enduring as the flower, and blooms of every species have inspired designers for as long as we’ve had jewelry. It has been my pleasure to work with Carol Woolton on this show to select beautiful examples, both vintage and contemporary, tracing the evolution of the floral jewel over past 150 years. While florals for spring may not be groundbreaking, they seemed perfect for the May 3rd opening of Sotheby’s new galleries, as the first jewelry installation in our new space.
Frank Everett, Sales Director of Sotheby’s Luxury Division

Silver-Topped Gold, Diamond and Demantoid Garnet Brooch, 19th Century.

The In Bloom selling exhibition will be open to the public in Sotheby’s newly-expanded and reimagined galleries in New York from 3 – 24 May, alongside our marquee May auctions of Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary Art. All pieces on exhibition will be available for private sale, with prices ranging from $10,000 to $3 million.

Diamond Orchid Earrings, The House of Shaun Leane.jpg
Diamond Orchid Earrings, The House of Shaun Leane.

Created specially for In Bloom, The House of Shaun Leane presents a pair of exquisite, 18-carat white gold floral studs with green and white diamond solitaries and additional tsavorite and diamond signature hooked backs. A combination of the two major themes present in Leane’s work – Flora and Line – these expertly-crafted earrings demonstrate the diverse range of skills and technical abilities of the house.

Flowers are one of the ways we measure particular moments of our lives, and jewelry is another. Small wonder that flowers are a recurring and significant theme in oeuvre of the jewelry designer, arguably the greatest leitmotif in the history of jewels, cropping up time and again studied from every angle for inventiveness and brilliance of color to be reimagined in fresh forms to suit the prevailing whims of fashion.
Carol Woolton

The most highly-coveted of ornamental plants, the delicate, exotic and graceful orchid at once represents love, luxury, beauty and strength. Here its likeness is transformed into a symbol of the pure elegance of the natural world.

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