Jewels to Own: Auction Icons

Launch Slideshow

Jewellery comes in all shapes and sizes, but an icon comes only in one. That, for starters, is what makes an icon unique. Add popularity, and you’ve got the quixotic requirement for any iconic jewel: distinctive design, broad appeal. Some icons gain traction by dint of association, much like the Cartier panther with the Duchess of Windsor. Others are the happy result of critical mass. And some become the “gold standard” in a crowded field, such as the David Webb enamel animal bracelet.

The following are iconic standouts in the forthcoming Important Jewels sale, September 24-25. – Ruth Peltason

Important Jewels
24 September | New York

Jewels to Own: Auction Icons

  • Buccellati, Weaving Gold Into Jewellery
    The Buccellati cuff is a classic by any measure. First, there is the Florentine finish that looks like spun gold, and is often compared to Renaissance textiles and embroidery. Add the overall patterning of the navette-shaped motifs (white gold with diamond centres) and the result is Buccellati at its most recognizable. Always a bracelet of distinction and taste.

    18 Karat Two-Colour Gold and Diamond Cuff-Bracelet . Estimate: $25,000-35,000.

  • When In Rome...Think Bulgari
    Jewellery and ancient coins are a Roman tradition, going back hundreds of years. Later, the Castellani’s revived the art of coin jewellery, and by the 1960s, the torch was passed to Bulgari, who made the ancient coin necklace “statement jewellery.” This 1972 necklace, with a coin from 1793, is included in the company’s masterpieces book.

    18 Karat Gold and Silver Coin Necklace . Estimate: $20,000-30,000.

  • The Cartier Circle: An Art Deco Icon
    Cartier and the circle are a love affair dating to Art Deco, when the jeweler looked to the Far East for inspiration. Rock crystal echoed the vogue for chiffon and watery silks, its light-inducing quality flattering to any woman. With the diamond-tipped chevrons and onyx added for definition, this brooch is emblematic of Cartier’s unassailable Deco jewellery.

    Platinum, Rock Crystal, Diamond and Onyx Brooch , Cartier, France. Estimate: $20,000-30,000.

  • Cartier and the Natural Pearl Necklace
    The allure of pearls and provenance hovers over alliances royal and civilian, intrigue and power, history and new money. In the early 1900s, Cartier dominated the pearl necklace market, when this shimmery orb was in highest demand. The Who’s Who of owners having Cartier pearl necklaces is long but not over, for this natural pearl beauty awaits its newest owner.

    Platinum, Natural Pearl and Diamond Necklace . Estimate: $60,000-80,000.

  • Geometry in Jewellery: A Cipullo Specialty
    The Cipullo coloureded link necklaces, bracelets, and earrings are large enough to draw attention, geometric enough to be on the “forever modern” list. Perhaps this explains their evergreen appeal to collectors and the always stylish.

    18 Karat Gold, Carnelian and Onyx Necklace , Aldo Cipullo for Cartier, Estimate: $25,000-35,000.

  • Lacloche is for Collectors
    The year 1925 was a salutatory date for the brothers Lacloche, who were known for both their accessories and their bracelets and brooches. Oriental motifs abound in their work from that time, as seen here in the calibré-cut emerald stylized shou characters. Shou means longevity, an apt metaphor for this significant bracelet. Collectors, take note.

    Platinum, Diamond, Onyx and Emerald Bracelet , Lacloche Frères, France. Estimate: $100,000-150,000.

  • Schlumberger, The Jewellers’ Couturier
    Schlumberger animals – fantastical or otherwise – are the couture kings of jewellery: regal, elegant, in perfect proportion and coloration. They are always oh-so-French. This noble unicorn, with its dazzling mane, dates to the mid-1950s, around the time when Schlumberger joined Tiffany & Co. in New York.

    18 Karat Gold, Platinum, Yellow Sapphire, Amethyst and Diamond ‘Licorne’ Brooch , Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Estimate: $40,000-60,000.

  • The Natural Affinity of VCA and Flowers
    Van Cleef & Arpels and flowers have a charmed history, characterized by femininity and striking combinations of colour. By 1960, the flowers emerged fully blown: exuberant, slightly wild, and with saturated colour – not unlike the groundbreaking decade they entered. In this superb suite, even the pendant earrings are designed for maximum fun and attention.

    Suite of 18 Karat Gold, Sapphire, Emerald and Diamond Jewellery
    , Van Cleef & Arpels, France. Estimate: $60,000-80,000.

  • Arm Candy from David Webb
    Gold is the David Webb foundation metal, and this scroll is Webb at his classic best. Around 1970, jade became a favorite, and Webb led the trend for jade jewellery. Animals, however, are signature Webb, and most customers typically own more than one. The bracelets are worked in enamel with gemstones and diamonds. This striking tiger is noteworthy for its fully articulated body, and appears on the cover of the David Webb monograph.

    18 Karat Gold Cuff-Bracelet . Estimate: $30,000-40,000. 18 Karat Gold, Jade and Diamond Cuff-Bracelet . Estimate: $25,000-35,000. 18 Karat Gold, Platinum, Enamel, Diamond and Emerald Bangle-Bracelet . Estimate: $20,000-30,000

  • Harry Winston is Rarity Most Sublime
    Harry Winston was legendary for his love of great diamonds, and in his lifetime he handled some of the world’s most historically valuable stones. These earrings, with their diamond foliate clips, are serious showstoppers: the rare Colombian emeralds, with a combined weight of 22.34 carats, have received an “Excellent Match Pair Rating.” Rarity. Exclusivity. Excellence. This is Winston at its best.

    Important Pair of Platinum, Emerald and Diamond Pendant-Earclips
    . Estimate: $650,000-750,000.


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