Lot 170
  • 170

18 Karat Gold, Platinum, Sapphire and Diamond Brooch, Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., France

Estimate
750,000 - 1,000,000 USD
Sold
bidding is closed

Description

  • Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co.
  • gold, platinum, sapphire, diamond
The stylized flower centering an octagonal-shaped mixed-cut sapphire weighing approximately 17.00 carats, the frames set with numerous round diamonds weighing approximately 8.00 carats, signed Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger, Made in France, with French export marks; circa 1960.

Provenance

Formerly From the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon

Catalogue Note

Accompanied by AGL report no. CS 62894 stating that the sapphire is of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating.

Following the success of the November 2014 sale of Property From the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon, Sotheby’s is honored to again offer a rare jewel once owned by Mrs. Mellon that is a testament to her keen eye for design and Jean Schlumberger’s ability to create avant garde treasures. Mrs. Mellon and Schlumberger had a long-standing friendship rooted in their mutual passion for horticulture; Schlumberger’s designs often are inspired by flora and fauna, and like Mrs. Mellon’s gardening style they share a meticulous attention to detail. Using an exceptional Kashmir sapphire, the present piece resembles the vibrant flowers that decorate the grounds of Oak Spring Farms, the sprawling estate shared by Mr. and Mrs. Mellon in Upperville, Virginia.

 Mrs. Mellon bequeathed her Schlumberger jewels to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond, Virginia; among one of the rarest pieces in the museum’s collection is a flowerpot from 1960, featuring a bejeweled sunflower bursting from a terracotta pot from Mrs. Mellon’s greenhouse. Although the flower currently centers an amethyst, it was reportedly first centered by an impressive sapphire. It remains unknown if the present brooch was the original center to the flowerpot work; however, there are striking similarities between the quality of the current sapphire and accounts of the original Schlumberger piece. A quote from Schlumberger in the book titled The Jewels of Jean Schlumberger (page 46), notes, ‘…Sometimes that led me to find solutions that were fun rather than practical. One day, a dealer brought me a singularly beautiful Kashmir sapphire, known as ‘The Dancing Girl of India.’ I was astonished by it, and proposed it to someone who greatly loved special things. His wife, I knew, didn’t like to wear large stones, but she loved gardens, and that’s how that sapphire-turned-flower ended up growing in a real terra-cotta flowerpot selected from her greenhouse!’

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