T his summer, Paris Fine Jewels sale will focus on 19th century and Art Nouveau jewellery. The sale features the first part of an Important European Private Collection of jewellery by Masriera and Fusey y Grau, two of the leading names in early 20th century Spanish jewellery. Additionally, the sale offers old-cut diamond necklaces and signed pieces, notably a diamond devant-de-corsage by Linzeler.
We will also present a selection of more recent pieces, including a collection of Boivin powder compacts and a selection of iconic jewellery by Suzanne Belperron, Bulgari, Cartier, Andrew Grima, Sterlé and Van Cleef & Arpels. Not to be outdone are coloured stones and diamonds, such as a ring from Marchak set with an emerald-cut diamond weighing 5.01 carats and a Sterlé ring, set with a beautiful Burmese ruby.
The house of Marchak was founded in Kiev in 1878 by the jeweller and goldsmith Joseph Marchak. Within twenty years, the man who was nicknamed "the Cartier of Kiev" became one of the most prestigious jewellers in the Russian Empire, and was even appointed official supplier to the Tsar. Acclaimed for its technical sophistication and creativity, the company owes its success to the ingenuity of its founder.
Jules René Boivin was born in Paris on 26 February 1864. By the age of twenty-six, René Boivin was a confirmed craftsman, jeweller and goldsmith with a perfect mastery of drawing. He married Jeanne Poiret, the sister of fashion designer Paul Poiret, who would play an essential role in the development and international influence of the house of Boivin.
Passionate about nature, René Boivin built his reputation through the creation of jewellery and precious objects inspired by an eclectic bestiary.
In 1917, René Boivin died, leaving control of the jewellery house to Madame Boivin. With ingenuity and business sense she led the house of René Boivin to become an emblematic figure of French jewellery in the 20th century.
Madam Boivin first decided to stop the production of precious objects, with the exception of a few commissions of pieces in the oriental style.
But in the 1920s, the status of women was changing. They were also more inclined to go to the parties associated with the Roaring Twenties, wearing exceptionally adorned outfits. Faced with these changes, Madame Boivin resumed the production of precious objects and asked the company's workshops to create accessories set with precious stones and adapted to this new lifestyle. The house produced bags in suede and silk with finely worked clasps as well as accessories: beauty boxes, powder cases, lipstick cases, perfume bottles, cigarette cases and lighters.
It is René Boivin who founded the House of Boivin, but it was the women who followed who cultivated the potential of the jewellery house until it became an icon of the 20th century. Under the direction of Madame Boivin, assisted by her daughter Germaine, three talented designers: Juliette Moutard, Suzanne Belperron and Marie-Caroline de Brosses, perfected, sketch after sketch, the innovative and modern style that is so characteristic of Boivin.
Featured Lots by René Boivin
This Catalan artistic movement evolved, especially in decorative arts and architecture, at the same time as the Art Nouveau movement in Europe. The first part of our sale will feature jewellery and accessories signed Masriera and Fuset y Grau, the most symbolic creators in this style in jewellery of this period. This selection comes from an Important European Private Collection, with 38 lots to be presented in our July sale, and another 36 in our subsequent Fine Jewels sale in September.
- Early 19th Century
Collier diamants | Diamond necklaceClaw-set throughout with circular-cut diamonds, length approximately 420mm, French import assay mark for 18 carat gold and silver, gross weight 42.98 grams; early 19th century.
Masriera | Pendentif émail, perle, saphirs et diamants | Enamel, pearl, sapphire and diamond pendantDepicting a winged maiden applied with enamel, holding a pearl, on a rose diamond background framed by calibré-cut sapphires, measuring approximately 83 x 47mm, signed Masriera, French import assay mark for 18 carat gold, gross weight 40.26 grams; circa 1909.
Diamond ring | Bague diamantsClaw-set with a circular-cut diamond weighing 6.43 carats flanked by baguette diamonds, size 56, French import assay mark for platinum, gross weight 6.53 grams; 1930s.
René Boivin | Poudrier or et émail, "Basset" | Gold and enamel powder compact 'Basset'Of oval design, the lid decorated with a basset applied with brown enamel, opening to reveal a mirror, measuring approximately 94 x 75 x 12mm, signed René Boivin, French assay marks for 18 carat gold, maker's marks, gross weight 146.46 grams; 1950s.
Andrew Grima | Broche géode d'agate et diamants | Agate geode and diamond broochThe geode within a textured frame accented with single-cut diamonds, measuring approximately 62 x 30mm, maker's marks for Haller Jewellery Company, English assay marks for 18 carat gold, gross weight 36.45 g; 1963.
Van Cleef & Arpels | Sautoir chrysoprase et diamants | Chrysoprase and diamond sautoirThe pendant detachable, set with polished chrysoprase and brilliant-cut diamonds, the necklace similarly set, detachable into four bracelets, length approximately 720mm, bracelets lengths approximately 180mm each, signed Van Cleef & Arpels.
Van Cleef & Arpels | Bague diamants | Diamond ringPavé-set with brilliant-cut and baguette diamonds, size 541/2, signed Van Cleef & Arpels, numbered, French assay mark for 18 carat gold, maker's mark for André Vassort gross weight 14.81 grams.
Bulgari | Parure pierres de couleur et porcelaine, "Chandra" | Gem set and porcelain parure, 'Chandra'Comprising a pair of earrings, a necklace, a bracelet and a ring set with porcelain and tourmaline and amethyst beads and cabochons.
Sabbadini | Bague diamants | Diamond ringOf bombé design, collet-set with two circular-cut diamonds within a surround of pavé-set brilliant-cut diamonds, size 54, signed Sabbadini, Italian and French import assay marks for 18 carat gold, gross weight 16.13 grams.
Marchak | Bague diamant et émeraudes | Diamond and emerald ringClaw-set with a step-cut diamond weighing 5.01 carats, the blackened silver mount pavé-set with circular-cut emeralds, size 521/2, signed Marchak, numbered, French assay mark for silver, gross weight 7.57 grams.
An exceptional ring once belonging to Edwige Feuillère
Pierre Sterlé opened his own workshop at the age of 29 and began creating pieces for the greatest Parisian jewellers. By 1939, he was so well known that he accepted orders exclusively from private clients. Six years later, he opened a boutique in Paris, 43 avenue de l'Opéra. Known for his technical prowess, Sterlé treated gold as fabric, which he would twist or braid into fine threads and accompany with vibrantly coloured stones. The quality of the jewellery, their originality and excellence make them easy to recognize.
Located close to the Place Vendôme, Pierre Sterlé welcomed elegant Parisian women into an intimate setting, devoid of any shop windows. The jeweller wanted to stand out from the big jewellery houses and actively cultivated an image of elitism, exclusivity and prestige.
The 1940s and 1950s marked the peak of Pierre Sterlé's career. His clients included the greatest international fortunes, avid collectors such as the King of Egypt, the Maharini of Baroda and other celebrities. Edwige Feuillère, cinema’s femme fatale and an icon of the French theatre, was among the frequent visitors at 43 avenue de l'Opéra. Having started in the 1930s at the Comédie Française, she quickly joined the world of cinema, playing roles of seductive women of austere beauty. This image of the femme fatale, combined with her charisma and talent, brought her great fame in the 1940s. She rubbed shoulders with famous playwrights and filmmakers such as Gerard Philippe or Jean Marais, and was muse to Paul Claudel, for whom she interpreted the only female role in one of his most well-known plays, Partage de Midi.
The actress loved creations by Sterlé, who designed jewellery that matched the talent of these exceptional women, legends of the theatre and cinema from the 1940s to the 1960s. The ring we are presenting, set with a beautiful unheated Burmese ruby, is surrounded by rows of diamonds and the twisted gold threads typical of the work of Pierre Sterlé.