The Weekly Edit: Fine Jewels | London
Online Auction: 10–17 December 2020 • 2:00 PM GMT • London

The Weekly Edit: Fine Jewels | London 10–17 December 2020 • 2:00 PM GMT • London

L ondon’s December Fine Jewels sale presents a collection of important jewels from several prestigious collections with aristocratic and historic provenance, including a collection of important jewels dating from the late 19th century through to the Belle Epoque belonging to Flora Sassoon.

Other notable jewels include a necklace that was once worn by Emma Lady Hamilton (1765-1815), mistress of Lord Nelson and muse to Regency portrait artist George Romney, and an amethyst necklace presented to Elisabeth von Löwenstern, nee Countess Mannteufel (1788-1855), by Tsar Alexander I of Russia. Jewels from world famous jewellery houses and workshops including Cartier, Henri Picq, Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron, Bulgari, Suzanne Belperron and German artist jeweller Gunter Krauss will be for sale.

A private collection of jewels by Italian modern master Mirko Basaldella (1910-1969), created for his wife Serena Cagli, whose most notable commission were the gates of the Mausoleum of the Fosse Ardeatine in Rome.

Featured Highlights

Sotheby’s London is delighted to offer a selection of jewels from the Sassoon family. This exquisite collection includes natural pearls, Burmese rubies and jewels crafted by some of the finest jewellers of the 20th Century. Highlights include a diamond and ruby set jewel by Henri Picq, workmaster for Cartier, an impressive diamond jabot pin and a diamond and natural pearl brooch, both by Boucheron, and a beautiful cushion shaped diamond ring.

The sale features a historic necklace owned by Emma, Lady Hamilton, mostly famous for being the mistress of Horatio Nelson, the admiral master of all the decisive British maritime victories during the Napoleonic Wars.

Gem set, pearl and diamond demi-parure, circa 1800
The necklace represents an unusual and early survival of the fashionable jewels that prevailed during the 1800s. The Napoleonic Wars had severely disrupted global trade and during this period it was common practice to re-set earlier jewels into more fashionable styles; the current necklace is an example of such remodeling.

View Lot

The principle stones are all set in foiled cut-down gold collets and are likely to have been re-used from several earlier 18th century rivieres, mounted into more fashionable filigree settings, with the ever popular Pansy motifs using smaller gem stones as was the practice during this period.

Lady Hamilton is known to have owned and worn jewels like this necklace on her return to London in 1800, with the Pansy representing her love for Nelson and her platonic love for Sir William.

De Beers and Sotheby's Join Forces for Charity Auction

De Beers and Sotheby’s have joined forces to present five jewels which will be sold to benefit two charitable organisations: Stepping Stones International in Botswana and the NAACP Legal Defence Fund in the US. For the occasion, De Beers Group has entrusted five independent female designers with the creation of unique natural diamond pendants, each inspired by a trip that the five designers - Jade Trau, Jennie Kwon, Julez Bryant, Sara Weinstock and Zoë Chicco – took to Botswana last year.

Each design celebrates the people, wildlife and beautiful landscapes of Botswana, as well as a shared commitment to help shape a better world, with four of the jewels incorporating a rough diamond sourced directly from the country. The ReSet Collective initiative is the first in a series of collaborations under De Beers Group’s new ReSet platform, which aims to offer a fresh perspective on responsible and sustainable sourcing and the positive impacts that De Beers’ natural diamonds create for the people and places where they are discovered.

For more information, visit De Beers's Reset Collective Campaign Page or @debeersgroup on Instagram to see all the pieces and for exclusive content on each designer’s creative journey, from her experience in Botswana to the creation of her unique pendant.

Jennie Kwon
“While in Botswana, we came upon a leopard that was stretched on a branch. It felt like we hit the jackpot, and this one moment that really stuck with me became the basis for my pendant design”.
Sara Weinstock
“I wanted to be part of this campaign because I want to highlight to consumers — young and old — the good that the natural diamond industry does and the ethical ways in which diamonds are mined since there are some outdated representations out there. On this trip, I was really drawn to the zebra. It is Botswana's national animal and the bold, unique stripes are all unique in their own way, reminding me of a diamond. I decided to use the zebra print in my piece.”
Jade Trau
“The trip was life changing for me, so being able to memorialize it in a piece of diamond jewelry was just the icing on the cake. It empowered and educated me about rough diamonds, as well as the supply chain. When I was asked to commemorate my highlight from the trip into my piece, I knew straight away that it was going to be my visit to the mine. I wanted to honor where diamonds come from because it is honoring the Earth. So that was the idea for my piece – a beautiful artistic depiction of a diamond mine.”
Julez Bryant
“I have chosen to be a part of this because the land of Botswana is sacred and it’s in my soul now. The inspiration behind my design was born when we were driving along in the Jeep and stopped just as the elephants were walking past us. I was so moved by these majestic creatures, the utter stillness around us, and the colour palette of the backdrop.”
Zoë Chicco
“My favorite part of the trip was when we saw the lions. My son is a Leo and he loves them, so for my pendant I created a replica of a lion’s head that has a rough Botswana diamond in its mouth.”

Dior, Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels More Sparkling Finds for Under £10,000

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