The Weekly Edit: Fine Jewels | Geneva
Online Auction: 2–7 September 2020 • 3:00 PM CEST • Geneva

The Weekly Edit: Fine Jewels | Geneva 2–7 September 2020 • 3:00 PM CEST • Geneva

G eneva’s Weekly Edit of Fine Jewels presents an array of exceptional pieces from the 19th century to the present, from a superb Bulgari brooch 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.

Featured Highlights

The Fairytale Beginnings of Van Cleef & Arpels

Antique Elegance

Antique jewels can be regarded as treasures of human civilisation. They have survived wars and disasters, they have born witness to the rise and fall of monarchies, governments, economies and populations; they are gifts from the past, waiting to share their tales. The jewels which have survived, have captivating stories to tell. The last few decades have seen a revived interest in antique jewels. Collectors have turned their discerning eye towards these great treasures which have been lying dormant, awaiting discovery….and a new life.

"Antique jewels can be regarded as treasures of human civilisation… they have survived throughout the centuries and have captivating stories to tell."
Pearl, Diamond and Feather Aigrette, Early 20th Century
Estimate: 5,000 - 8,000 CHF

Of spray design, composed of button-shaped pearls and circular-cut and rose diamonds, holding a plume of white egret feathers, later tiara fitting, inner circumference approximately 490mm, detachable brooch, brooch fitting deficient, screwdriver, French assay marks for gold.

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Amethyst and Gold Necklace, Circa 1830
Estimate: 3,000 - 5,000 CHF

Designed as a series of oval amethysts suspending pendants designed as bunches of grapes, the central amethyst and the clasp supporting detachable pendants similarly-set, French assay mark for 18 carat gold and maker's mark.

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Gem Set and Diamond Tie Pin, Early 20th Century
Estimate: 3,000 - 4,000 CHF

Millegrain-set with circular-, single-cut and rose diamonds, enhanced with an oval ruby, a cushion-shaped emerald and a circular-cut sapphire, accented with seed pearls and onyx, one small onyx deficient, length approximately 105mm.

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Bold Gold: The Chain is Back

One of the staples of any jewellery collection is a gold chain necklace, whether that be a delicate chain suspending a pendant or charm; or a larger, chunky statement piece. Gold chains are on-trend at the moment, but actually are a return to a classic look, and are perfect for day and evening wear. Longer chain necklaces are versatile and can be worn long or shortened by looping around the neck or even around the wrist to turn them into statement bracelets. No matter what the outfit or occasion, these chains are a perfect way to decorate the décolletage.

The Fabulous Jewels of Graff

Continuing the recent success of the capsule collection, Graff: Light & Form, 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.

A Short History of the Cocktail Ring

The history of the cocktail ring is one of a bygone era, eloquently expressed by F. Scott Fitzgerald as “the greatest, gaudiest spree in history.” 1920s America was a decade of excess: social, artistic and cultural dynamisms fueled opulent lifestyles despite the Eighteenth Amendment. Prohibition gave way to the rise of the speakeasy, where eager cocktail-goers would flock to enjoy a rebellious French 75.

Cocktail Party in the 1920s

The stylish and fashionable woman of the decade, The Flapper, intent on enjoying herself and flouting conventional standards of behavior, dressed in luxuriously elegant jewels of multi-thread pearl necklaces, diadems and stacks of bracelets, but none as symbolic as the large, ornamental rings worn on the same hand that wielded an illicit cocktail.

Today the cocktail ring takes a different form and the variety of colours and styles which can be found means that there’s always a statement ring to adorn any outfit.

The Vanity Case and Beautiful Objects

Jewellers have always enjoyed fashioning beautiful vanity cases and boxes out of hardstone materials. The results are miniature works of art. Bejewelled, elaborate and delicate; the vanity case is the essence of elegance. An embellished case that serves many different roles, the vanity case is both clutch and compact case allowing for ultimate yet discrete storage for one’s accessories. Since the 1930s, the greatest jewellery houses such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, Tiffany, Cartier, Chaumet, Schlumberger, Lacloche, Boivin, Mauboussin and Buccellatti, have all have created styles of these precious cases that have reflected trends from Art Deco, to Art Nouveau, Cubism to Bauhaus.

In the 1920s, ladies began carrying their cosmetics with them in vanity cases. In the twenties, as women became increasingly independent, fashion trends changed. Clothing became more relaxed and streamlined as layers of fabric were discarded giving way to slip dresses and the Chanel jersey suits, leaving no room to hide away accessories such as lipstick and powder. This era of couturier demanded a solution.

In the 1930s, Charles Arpels noticed his friend, the American heiress Florence Gould, throwing her lipstick, cigarette lighter, powder and a few bank notes in a Lucky Strike tin box. After seeing this, Arpels invented the vanity case as the ultimate solution.

Miniatures demonstrate the most elevated type of craftsmanship; from the inside to the outside, engineering these precious objects took time and patience. Upon opening a vanity case, you can see there is place for everything. A lipstick holder, a pair of glasses, mirror, comb, cigarette lighter and powder compact can all unfold in the most streamlined way. Each accessory has its place; there is no wasted space. Creating these precious works of art was an exact science that required the most skilled of craftsman. Each stage of production required flawless execution to continue the process.

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