• Rare Jewels and Objets d'Art:  auction at Christies

    Sale 2390

    Rare Jewels and Objets d'Art: A Superb Collection

    21 October 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1116

    A BRASS TIARA, BY ALEXANDER CALDER

    Price Realised  

    A BRASS TIARA, BY ALEXANDER CALDER
    Designed as a brass hoop, the front extending a graduated series of vertical brass bands, each decorated with a spiral terminal, circa 1938, 21¼ ins.
    By Alexander Calder


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    Provenance

    Lady Kenneth Clark


    Pre-Lot Text

    From the moment he emerged on the art scene in the late 1920s, Alexander Calder produced jewelry. Some of his first creations were wire ear pendants, depicting well-known Parisian ladies. In 1931, he changed the aesthetic of his jewelry when he created an engagement ring for his soon-to-be wife Louisa. He heated a single piece of wire and hammered it flat, then shaped it into a triple band ring with a spiral plaque on top. The flat metal characterized the majority of his jewels from that point forward, and the spiral was a recurring theme in his brass, copper, silver and gold creations.

    This tiara and necklace were purchased by the English art historian Sir Kenneth Clark for his wife at the Freddy Mayor Gallery in England in 1938.


    Literature

    Penny Proddow and Marion Fasel, Bejeweled: Great Designers, Celebrity Style, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 2001, pages 82-85


    Exhibited

    Masterpieces of American Jewelry, American Folk Art Museum, New York, 20 August - 23 January 2005, Somerset House, London, 15 February - 12 June 2005, Musée Carnavalet, Paris, 25 January - 7 May 2006, catalogue page 90

    The Intimate World of Alexander Calder, Musée des Art Décoratifs, Paris, 15 February - 21 May 1989, Cooper Hewitt Museum, New York, 17 October 1989 - 11 March 1990, catalogue page 302