his sale will offer iconic designs for discerning collectors from Van Cleef & Arpels to Boucheron and Bulgari. Fine Jewels will also present a wide array of precious gemstones, as well as a beautiful curated collection of vintage lady’s gold bracelet watches.
Gilbert Albert is a Swiss jeweller with a passion for nature. He studied at the Ecole des Arts Industriels in Geneva as well as entomology which greatly influenced his work. He began working for Patek Philippe in 1955 as a designer and workshop manager for seven years, where he won the Diamond International Award three times for his original work. Then, he set up his own workshop and devoted himself mainly to the creation of jewellery, using all kinds of materials in his creations: petrified wood, raw minerals such as azurite or epidote, beetle carapaces, shells. These novelties reflect his desire to create original jewellery, as he said: "In the enchanted world of jewellery, each piece must be original in its execution. His work has been exhibited worldwide between New York, Paris, Dubai and Johannesburg.
Brooch and Nature: A Poetic Combination
Wildflowers or thistle leaves, jewellery has always used nature as a indefinite source of inspiration. The abundance of diverse plants offers artists an unequaled variety of shapes and colours to draw inspiration from. Natural or stylized, single or in a generous bouquet, leaves and flowers adorn the collections imagined by the houses of Van Cleef & Arpels or Buccellati.
Jewelry Watches from the 70s - By Sandrine Merle
From the ‘50s to the beginning of the ‘80s, watchmakers and jewellers produced marvellous women’s watches that are still highly sought-after today. With a focus on beauty, rather than on technical developments, they are immediately recognizable. With extravagant silhouettes and sparkling coloured gemstones set in texturized gold, these playful wristwatches exude the positive energy of past decades.
Over the years, the very discreet, light-coloured enamel dial transformed into an extravagant dial carved from opaque stones in vivid colours. Among the most popular gemstones of the time were jade and malachite in raw green hues, lapis-lazuli for its electric blue shade, and tiger’s eye, a brown stone with shimmering undertones.
Sophisticated yet fun, most of these watch designs were crafted from yellow gold rather than the typical choice of platinum or white gold, thereby following the aesthetic revolution of the jewellery world at that time. This desire for authenticity is also shown through the finishes of this material, from brushed, chiselled, crinkled, hammered, grained and set with diamonds. In many cases, transformed into chain mesh soft as fabric. A favorite design of women in the ‘60s and ‘70s, they embraced chain designs in all their forms: gourmette, forçat, Milanese, Figaro, palmier, and more.
The phenomenal importance of craftsmanship in the ‘70s makes more sense than ever in today’s world. The vintage women’s watch register does not include a single model of Patek Philippe, but it does feature one very brilliant model by Rolex. The two watchmakers – which together are strongly represented in the men’s watch market – do not hold the same dominance in the field of ladies timepieces. Instead, the Swiss manufacture Piaget, formed the perfect union of watchmaking and jewellery. The synergy is breathtaking… From the late ‘50s, the development of its first 9P ultra-slim movement at just 0.7mm (1956) offered it infinite possibilities. With a larger diameter, the case opened a fabulous arena for creative expression. Designers dove in without hesitation. The dial – of which only the surround had been adorned (for questions of legibility) up until now – became a decorative element in its own right. The auction also features a few magnificent models crafted by jewellers. Not to be outdone, they have also produced extraordinarily creative pieces, integrating watchmaking techniques. Some beautiful examples are a bicolour watch by Chaumet; a gadrooned gold cuff by Cartier – slightly more recent, produced in the early ‘80s – with a dial inlaid at the back with a scarab; and the two Serpenti by the Italian house Bulgari. As desirable as it is famous, the Serpenti model is composed of an ultra-flexible Tubogas bracelet (inspired by a stainless steel exhaust pipe, shaped like a spring) with one end terminating in a round or reptile head dial. In its high jewellery version, it was one of Elizabeth Taylor’s favourite pieces.
To the delight of collectors, the auction includes women’s watches crafted by lesser-known or completely forgotten brands. “Located in Switzerland and Franche-Comté, many of these only lasted some twenty years. They did not survive the successive crisis that watchmaking has been through. They were taken over and swallowed up by other brands,” explains Magali Teisseire, director of the Sotheby’s Paris jewellery department. It would be a shame to miss out on the infinitely graceful model of the jeweller Jean Eté (who also crafted the first jewellery for Braque), working for Delaneau: the entirely paved pear dial is mounted on a rolling bracelet representing a gadrooned gold cable. So who says that the seventies was the decade overlooked by taste?
So Many Shades of Green!
Green gemstones do not necessarily mean emeralds. Tourmaline, Tsavorite Garnet, Demantoid Garnet, Peridot, Jade... the list of green gems is long. The possible shades are almost infinite: dark green, mint green, soft green, milky green, yellow green.