Art as Jewelry as Art

Art as Jewelry as Art

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 50. Eye-Shaped Wristwatch and Brooch.

Lisa Sotilis

Eye-Shaped Wristwatch and Brooch

Lot Closed

October 6, 04:46 PM GMT


10,000 - 15,000 USD

Lot Details


Lisa Sotilis

b. 1939

Eye-Shaped Wristwatch and Brooch

1970, labeled Sotilis on face of watch, signed Sotilis and stamped #46744 on reverse

gold embossed and repoussé work in the shape of an eye with a winding watch mechanism, gold pin attached at a later date, with Alexander Iolas catalog Sotilis, Milan, 1967, sold together with three books: Floriano de Santi, Lisa Sotilis, Le figure della seduzione, Umberto Allemandi & C., Torino, 2009, and Alexandre Tolas, Sotilis, Galeria Iolas-Velasco, Madrid, 1967, and Steidl, Andy Warhol Red Books, Pace/Macgill, New York, 2004

4¼ by 2 in.; 10.8 by 5.1 cm.

Property of a Private Collection

Salvatore Quasimodo, Sotilis, Milan, 1967 Cynthia Amnéus, Cameron Silver, and Adam MacPhàrlain,

Simply Brilliant: Artist-jewelers of the 1960s and 1970s, D. Giles, Lewes, UK, 2020, cat. 94 for similar beaten goldwork

Sotilis had a solo show with the Alexander Iolas Gallery in 1965 and then attained an exclusive contract with Cartier New York in the 1970s for the design and execution of the bezel for their watches. A similar work is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1977-243-46), and both are likely the same style of art that she did for Cartier simply with different watch faces applied.

Sotilis, who exhibited at the famed Iolas Gallery in Milan early in her career, was recognized and collected by other masters of art jewelry like the noted Surrealist Salvador Dalí. Her jewelry, which resembles the fantastic trove recovered from Troy by archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann — if the Trojans subscribed to surrealism — is undoubtedly modern, incorporating timepieces and in some cases

meant to be worn without modest clothing underneath. It is metamorphic design at its most subtle: necklaces of gold répoussée with mirage-like designs that shift between blinks and rings (see cat. 94 in Simply Brilliant) and watches with open mouths that might close at any moment.