Christie’s London Important Jewels sale on 5 June 2013 will feature an exquisite selection of jewels from one of the most glamorous eras in history – the 1920s. An extraordinary array of Art Deco earrings, pendants, diamonds and pearls offer the opportunity to acquire pieces from this influential period in the history of jewellery design. Leading the sale is an important natural pearl necklace, circa 1925, composed of three graduated rows of natural saltwater pearls (estimate: £330,000 – 530,000).
In addition to the Art Deco jewels, the sale will offer lots from the late 18th century to today, and will showcase pieces by leading houses and designers. A strong selection of antique jewellery features a fine sapphire and diamond necklace (estimate: £140,000 – 160,000), while more modern jewels include a rare diamond-set snake wristwatch by Bulgari (estimate: £40,000 – 50,000).
Art Deco jewels encapsulate a new freedom of expression and reflect the revolutionary changes in fashion and society of the time. Some of the best creations of the Art Deco period have arguably never been surpassed in design and workmanship and as a result remain amongst the most sought after jewels today. The jewellery produced in the 1920s and 30s is extremely varied in design and was influenced by contemporary artistic movements and the machine age, resulting in designs based on simple geometric shapes including circles, rectangles, triangles and trapeze forms. These characteristic shapes can be seen in the gem and diamond clip brooch, by French jeweller Mauboussin (estimate: £4,000 – 6,000), and in the sapphire and diamond cocktail ring (estimate: £6,000 – 8,000).
Since it was founded in 1847, Cartier has been a symbol of French Haute Joaillerie. Incomparable and timeless designs, together with gemstones of the highest quality and exceptional craftsmanship ensure that Cartier jewels remain some of the most sought-after amongst International collectors. Always a highlight of the London sale, the regular Cartier section features a number of Art Deco pieces including two gem-set enamel vanity cases (estimate: £3,000 – 4,000), an enamel eight day desk clock (estimate: £1,300 – 1,700), and a rare ‘Duoplan’ diamond dress watch (estimate: £8,000 – 10,000).
The demand for high quality natural pearls continues to grow and this sale features a strong selection at a wide range of estimates and in varying forms. Pearls were a staple in any jewellery collection of the 1920s and both pearl strands and diamond and pearl jewellery were in high demand. This is exemplified by a pair of Art Deco natural pearl and diamond ear clips (estimate: £7,000 – 9,000), which combine the geometrics of Art Deco with single natural pearl accents. The sale features a number of exquisite natural pearl necklaces including a three-row necklace, circa 1925 (estimate: £330,000 – 530,000), and a longer necklace consisting of 69 graduated natural pearls (estimate: £35,000 – 45,000).
Leading a strong selection of antique jewellery is a fine antique necklace (estimate: £140,000 – 160,000). Composed of four sapphire and diamond clusters joined by diamond accents this necklace dates to the 19th century and illustrates the strong designs of the period. Further antique jewels include an emerald and diamond necklace estimated at £4,500 – 6,000, and an antique enamel and diamond flower brooch (estimate: £2,500 – 4,500).
Modern examples are highlighted by a rare diamond-set snake wristwatch by Bulgari (estimate: £40,000 – 50,000). During the 1960s Bulgari introduced a more realistically modelled snake design to its collection of sprung bracelet watches. The design quickly became a signature model of the Italian house, was produced in several variations, and remains a truly identifiable object of desire.
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