Lot 141
  • 141


25,000 - 35,000 USD
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The pendant centered on an oval-shaped cabochon moonstone measuring approximately 42.0 x 24.0 mm within a frame of round sapphires, accented by old European-cut diamonds, suspended from an ornate chain set with clusters of round sapphires alternating with cabochon moonstones, length 23 inches, signed Tiffany & Co.; circa 1920.


A similar example of this design is illustrated in Bejewelled by Tiffany 1837-1987 by Clare Phillips, page 246.


In good condition, with minor scratches to the mounting commensurate with age, not noticeable when worn. Mounting tests as platinum; the clasp stamped 14KT for 14 karat (white) gold. Scratch number '3892' found on the female end of clasp, dating the piece to the mid '20s and placing it within Meta Overbeck's tenure at Louis Comfort Tiffany's studio. The clasp of later addition. The large moonstone, measuring approximately 42.0 x 23.7 mm, and the smaller moonstones measuring approximately 11.7 x 8.1 mm, are transparent with strong blue adularescence, and very minor surface scratches apparent only under close inspection. The diamonds, weighing approximately 1.70 carats, are approximately G-H color, VS clarity, one bearing a chip to the pavilion noticeable under 10x magnification. The sapphires are medium light very slightly violetish blue to blue, slightly included. Gross weight approximately 45 dwts.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. Illustrations in the catalogue may not be actual size. Prospective purchasers are reminded that, unless the catalogue description specifically states that a stone is natural, we have assumed that some form of treatment may have been used and that such treatment may not be permanent. Our presale estimates reflect this assumption.Certificates of Authenticity: Various manufacturers may not issue certificates of authenticity upon request. Sotheby's is not under an obligation to furnish the purchaser with a certificate of authenticity from the manufacturer at any time. Unless the requirements for a rescission of the sale under the Terms of Guarantee are satisfied, the failure of a manufacturer to issue a certificate will not constitute grounds to rescind the sale. Gemological Certificates and Reports: References in the catalogue descriptions to certificates or reports issued by gemological laboratories are provided only for the information of bidders, and Sotheby's does not guarantee and accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, terms or information contained in such certificates or reports. Please also note that laboratories may differ in their assessment of a gemstone (including its origin and presence, type and extent of treatments) and their certificates or reports may contain different results.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Catalogue Note

Moonstones and sapphires were a favored combination used by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Although he was not trained as a gemologist, the high quality stones he selected to achieve his desired effects would likely have been supplied by Tiffany’s chief gem specialist, George Frederick Kunz. Translucent moonstones highlighted by their unmistakable billowy blue adularescence are perfectly complemented by the twilight blue of the sapphires.  Tiffany was a master in the use of color, and although he thought little of diamonds, he approved the restrained use of them as can be noted in the exquisite necklace offered here.  Drawing from his studies as a painter, he has captured the essence of the soft glowing moonlight in an early evening sky as twinkling stars begin to appear. The Tiffany Blue Book first advertised articles of platinum jewelry in 1912. Some of the earliest designs pairing moonstones with sapphires can be dated to this period when Tiffany’s workshop was headed by Julia Munson, often incorporating platinum filigree work. From 1914-1933, when Meta Overbeck managed the department, many variations of moonstone and sapphire jewels appear, but as we see in the bracelet from the same collection (lot 50), there emerges a more geometric pattern linking the gemstones, in contrast to the organic flow of platinum curlicues as in the necklace.  While made from the same materials and clearly acquired to be worn together, the two pieces reveal a subtle shift in the visual vocabulary employed by the workshop, from the curvilinear to the symmetrical—or, framed another way, from Arts & Crafts to Art Deco—over the course of a few years.  Both examples exhibit one of the key hallmarks of a Tiffany designed jewel; their beauty is evident not only on the front but may also be seen in the details of the fine finish on the back.  Through a combination of distinct materials, design and craftsmanship, these pieces are instantly recognizable as the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany, a true artist-jeweler.