Property from the Collection of Mary Duncan Sanford
Designed as a scroll, centering a square emerald-cut diamond, accented by baguette, round and single-cut diamonds, size 3¼.
The charmed life of Mary Duncan Sanford can truly be seen as an American Dream, spanning every decade of the 20th century.
Born in 1895, Mary took to the Broadway stage as a teenager and appeared in numerous shows before entering Cornell University. Her college career was short-lived, however, when, after only one year, Mary headed West to study acting and pursue a career in film. Mary’s first act defines old Hollywood glamour, as she played first in silent films and later “talkies”, sharing screen time with movie stars like Marion Davies and Katharine Hepburn. Beautiful and stylish, Mary Duncan typified the 1930s screen siren, usually photographed in gorgeous gowns and fabulous jewels.
It was Davies who would introduce Mary Duncan to the love of her life, international polo player Stephen “Laddie” Sanford. They were married in 1933 whereupon Mary retired from acting. Mary’s second act as wife, philanthropist, hostess and socialite took her to the polo fields and ballrooms of Palm Beach where she remained for the rest of her life. Mary reigned over Palm Beach with grace and style, entertaining in her fabulous home, Los Incas, where the guest list included such luminaries as Rose Kennedy, CZ Guest, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Estée Lauder and Doris Duke. Mary also chaired many charity galas and events, most notably the “Polo Ball” which she founded to support Cancer research. Her beautiful collection of jewels reflected her glamorous beginnings and perfectly suited her real-life role of society grande dame.
Active and fit throughout her life, Mary shared her husband’s passion for sports and participated alongside him always, rather than simply attending as a spectator. Whether equestrian sports, golf, daily swims, deep-sea fishing or African safaris, Mary rode shoulder to shoulder with Laddie in every way. In 1963, David Field ended his article on Mary for The Palm Beacher with this: “Is Mary Sanford a socialite?...A dowager?...A philanthropist?...A twist dancer?...A horsewoman?...A wife?...A golfer?...An art patron?... Answer: she’s all of these. That’s why she’s Mary Sanford.”
The present collection is being offered across our Fine and Magnificent Jewels sales on December 9th and 10th.
In overall good condition with slight discoloration to the metal in a few areas. With scratching and minor abrasions to the mounting throughout, commensurate with wear. Mounting tests as platinum. The square emerald-cut diamond weighing approximately 1.85 carats, is approximately G-H color, VVS-VS clarity. The accenting diamonds weighing a total of approximately 4.70 carats, are approximately H-J color, VS-SI, with some I clarity examples.
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.