The Weekly Edit: Fine Jewels Paris
Online Auction: 11–17 September 2020 • 3:00 PM CEST • Paris

The Weekly Edit: Fine Jewels | Paris 11–17 September 2020 • 3:00 PM CEST • Paris

T he new jewelry season at Sotheby's is marked by innovation, with the introduction of a new monthly online sales format, "The Weekly Edit".

Our first sale will feature a fine selection of jewelry from the early 20th century onward, signed by such famous jewelers as Van Cleef and Arpels, Tiffany's, Boucheron, Seaman Scheeps, JAR, Repossi and Lalalounis. In addition, there are also individual pieces and demi-parures set with diamonds and colored stones, unsigned but typical of French production in the 19th century, the 1920s or the 1950s.

Highlights from the Sale

The Fairytale Beginnings of Van Cleef & Arpels

Beauty Set in Stone: the Evolution of Jewelcrafting

Jewelry of the 1950s

The 1950s form a bridge between a time of economic restriction following the war and the economic boom of the 1960s. It is a period marked by both intense industrialization and strong optimism about the future. Creations from the 1950s mark the transition from the skilled craftsmanship of the early 20th century to more industrialized production. In jewelry, this translates into pieces composed of gold threads that are braided, woven and textured with tassels. The creations are both sober but sumptuous with cascading, flowing patterns, or with patterns with a profusion of foliage, alternating scrolls and arabesques. The jewelry of the time echoed the neo-baroque productions found in design and architecture, as seen in the creations of Maison Jansen.

During the second half of the 19th century, silversmith Edward C. Moore was the driving creative force at Tiffany’s. He was strongly influenced by Japonism, an artistic current that changed approaches to the way nature was represented in art. Japonism was not only important for painting; furniture, silver and jewelry were also reimagined as “Japanesed” works where swallows whirled and flowers were bowed by the wind.

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JAR, otherwise known as Joël Arthur Rosenthal, is a mysterious jeweler whose pieces reflect his love of flora and who uses color as the central theme of all his creations. For him: "only the colors count, not the names". In this way he does not hesitate to mix jasper, garnets, enamel and bronze to bring forth a striking bunch of lilacs.

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Cigarette cases were very fashionable at the beginning of the 20th century. They could be made from precious metals, set with precious stones or embellished with lacquer, and all the great jewelers of the time offered them to their rich clientele. Gustave Renault, one of Cartier's preferred suppliers during the 1920s, whose workshop was bought by Cartier after his death in 1927, produced beautiful, high-quality cigarette cases.

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Jacques Arpels used to say "To be lucky, you have to believe in luck". With this in mind, the house of Van Cleef & Arpels created the “Touch Wood” line; charms made of wood to give to a loved one. These “good luck” pieces, often made in snake-wood, a speckled wood with red highlights, were very successful. The famous Argentinian racing driver Fangio received a wooden bracelets, which had gold cartridges intended for stowing away small love notes.

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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.

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