L ondon’s curated sale of Fine Jewels presents an array of exceptional pieces from the 19th century to the present, from a superb Emerald and Diamond necklace to a selection of stunning piece from the House of Graff. Glamourous jewels from the iconic houses of Cartier and René Boivin alongside gemstones of different colours are also offered for sale.
All Things Bridgerton
Sotheby’s London is delighted to present a selection of early 19th century jewels which would certainly have Daphne Bridgerton's stamp of approval. Bridgerton has captured the world’s imagination with its maximalist and sumptuous aesthetic, allowing for some much needed escapism from the realities of 2020. The series showcased extravagant Georgian costumes and sets, as well as an eclectic and impressive selection of jewels.
Two jewels of note from our sale, a topaz necklace and clasp, showcase the early 19th century fashion for semi-precious gemstones which were frequently worn by the Bridgerton cast. The popularity of topaz remained firmly in place until the 1840s and we are now seeing a renewed enthusiasm for Regency era jewels thanks to Lady Whistledown and the subjects of her scandal sheet.
No collection is complete without an iconic jewel from famed houses such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari and Cartier. We are thrilled to highlight several recognisable 20th century designs such as the impressive diamond-set 'Magic Alhambra' necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels. Of all the jewellery motifs created by the house, this is perhaps the most emblematic and was first unveiled in 1968. It goes without saying that the design has been and still is hugely popular and as such has gone through many different iterations since its inception.
The panther is another iconic motif and is synonymous with Cartier. In this sale we see two quite different examples of the symbol incorporated into earring designs, one more figurative set with onyx studs reminiscent of the animal’s spots and the other more literal, each realistically modelled as panther figure. Both examples show how this famed emblem has been revised and refreshed over the years.
"The first La Pantheré jewel – a gold and enamel panther brooch set with a cabochon emerald – was crafted for the Duchess of Windsor, Wallace Simpson, in 1948. The success of this piece set off a chain reaction, making La Pantheré rings, drop earrings and pendants hugely desirable among European and American elite."
Jewels by the Decade
Topaz and diamond clasp
Topaz parure, 1830s
Turquoise and diamond demi-parure
Tsavorite garnet, ruby and enamel brooch
Enamel, sapphire and diamond cigarette case
Pair of diamond ear clips
Pair of turquoise and diamond ear clips
Pair of diamond clip brooches, Cartier
Enamel brooch, 'Procris', Georges Braque
Ruby and diamond bracelet, Boucheron
Pair of cultured pearl and diamond earrings, Cartier
Continuing the recent success of the Sotheby’s Graff capsule collections, we are pleased to present another selection of jewels by the famed diamantaire. For more than 50 years, the House of Graff has represented some of the world’s rarest gemstones. Charismatic and visionary founder Laurence Graff’s extraordinary success rests on his innate understanding of diamonds and his insistence on perfectly proportioned cuts, optimizing the brilliance, color and overall quality of every stone he handles.
Cufflinks have a long fashion history, dating back to the Middle Ages, where they were particularly popular in England, popularised by royals such as King Charles II, who had commemorative cufflinks made to honour weddings, coronations and other special occasions.
In France, they became the mark of aristocracy. Louis XIV “Le Roi Soleil” tied the cuffs of his shirtsleeves together with ruffles, ribbons and cufflinks to signify his status, thus the use of cufflinks began to filter down to the rest of society, becoming popular, particularly with businessmen in the 19th century, with the rise of the Industrial Revolution.
At this time, a new style of cufflink appeared – the French cuff – sometimes thought to have been inspired by the characters in Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo. French tailors begin to introduce the accessory into fashion and men began showing off their cufflinks as part of casual wear, making them more of an everyday fashion requirement.
By the mid-19th century, almost everyone in the middle or upper classes wore cufflinks. In the 20th century, cufflinks were newly redesigned with gemstones, as well as enamelled with geometrical shapes. These creative designs became mark of a “gentleman” and less formally, the simple and affordable way to distinguish oneself and transform a suit into something stylish and special.
Featured No Reserve Lots
"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."