A tourmaline and diamond tiara, Charles de Temple, 1966

Of bi-coloured textured design, set with brilliant- and circular-cut diamonds and circular-cut green tourmalines, inner length approximately 310mm, struck with British hallmarks and maker's mark for Charles de Temple.


Sotheby's London, 5 June 2019, lot 135

Catalogue Note

Mexican-born Charles de Temple was a pioneer of the Modernist movement of the 1960s. Having began his life touring America as part of the circus and becoming a singer in a nightclub, de Temple’s professional experience as a jeweller was initiated in Massachusetts. In 1957, however, de Temple moved to London where he rapidly established himself as a key figure in modern British jewellery design alongside contemporaries such as Grima. De Temple became renowned for his flamboyant, sculptural and unique use of handcrafted gold. Two notable commissions were for the James Bond film franchise: Honour Blackman wore a goldfinger at the eponymous film’s premiere in 1962; and seven years later, de Temple created a ring for Bond to present to the Contessa in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Of the latter, two designs were made. Both were sold at Sotheby’s for over £50,000.

De Temple often sought inspiration in nature which he stylised and abstracted in his designs. This is reminiscent in the present tiara’s resemblance to stalactites and stalagmites, or shards of crystal or frost. This is believed to be the only tiara made by the jeweller.

Left: Honour Blackman wearing her Charles de Temple gold finger at the 1962 premiere of Goldfinger

Right: Charles de Temple, Ring, 'All the Time in the World', 1960s, sold at Sotheby’s on 10 February 2022 for £56,700