Sotheby's unveils extraordinary jewels from an important Asian American collection

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Sotheby's unveils extraordinary jewels from an important Asian American collection
Diamond Cuff-Bracelet Estimate $20,000 - 30,000. Photo: Courtesy Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- This week, Sotheby’s will unveil a group of extraordinary jewels from an Important Asian American collection, coming to auction this autumn in New York and Geneva. This extensive and well-rounded jewellery collection was assembled by a prominent female collector, who over the course of five decades acquired important pieces from top jewellery houses – in particular Cartier. She also greatly admired the work of Van Cleef & Arpels and owned several jewels by ‘the King of Diamonds’, Harry Winston. The result is a delightful selection of pieces, formed by the intertwining of two distinct strands. On the one hand, she purchased a core of more substantial, classically styled pieces adorned with important diamonds and gemstones; and on the other, she was drawn to fashion-oriented, light-hearted jewels, which she treasured and enjoyed wearing on a regular basis.

At the heart of the collection is an extraordinary Art Deco sapphire and diamond bracelet created by Cartier in 1927 – during what many consider the golden era for the prestigious jewellery house. The bracelet is adorned with a sensational Burmese sapphire weighing 47.07 carats, flanked by two stunning pear-shaped white diamonds weighing 9.27 and 8.60 carats respectively (estimate: $2-3 million / CHF 2-3 million).

The collection, which also includes Chinese works of Art to be auctioned at Sotheby’s New York during Asia Week1, will be divided between Sotheby’s sale of Fine Jewels in New York on 25 September and the flagship auction of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva on 11 and 13 November. Highlights from the collection will go on view for the first time in New York and Los Angeles in September. This will be followed by an international tour with stops in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, London and Geneva.

Speaking ahead of the sale, David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division, commented, “This wonderful collection of jewels and gemstones was clearly assembled with both passion and joy, and we know that they were treasured and often worn by their owner. The Cartier Art Deco bracelet is stunning in its design; its central stone is a sensational ‘sugar loaf’ Burmese sapphire of the highest quality and colour. Timeless pieces such as these are sure to have global appeal.”

Describing the bracelet, Daniela Mascetti, European Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division, added, “The sapphire and diamond bracelet at the heart of the collection is a truly superb example of the art of Cartier. Its strong and powerful geometric design, somehow reminiscent of architectural solidity, is the perfect foil for the exceptional Burmese cabochon sapphire. The perfectly balanced design, coupled with superb gemstones and remarkable workmanship, makes this jewel a true masterpiece.”

Iconic Designs and Exceptional Gemstones Geneva, 11 & 13 November 2019
The stunning Art Deco bracelet by Cartier leading the collection features a 47.07-carat Burmese sapphire of coveted Royal Blue colour. Perhaps even more noteworthy is the stone’s extraordinary clarity: while gemstones of this quality would normally be faceted, this exceptional sapphire was cut into a cabochon shape. The fact that Cartier chose a cabochon cut is a clear design choice, and one which could be regarded as decadent, considering the scarcity of gemstones of this size and quality.

The bracelet was made in 1927, a time when Cartier’s exploration of Eastern motifs was in full flower. The cabochon sapphire, along with the pear-shaped diamonds cut in the Moghul style, are subtle expressions of Cartier’s embrace of the so-called exotic, while the step-cut diamond and sapphire links of the bracelet reflect the linearity that formed the bedrock of Art Deco design.

The collection is distinguished by another exquisite Art Deco piece by Cartier: a sapphire and diamond brooch from 1937. Epitomizing the bold visual language and finest quality craftsmanship for which the prestigious house is so well-known, the brooch is also a fascinating illustration of Cartier’s design evolution: as the house sought out cleaner lines and more architectural shapes suited to the machine age, figurative motifs such as the fan took on an increasingly abstract geometry (Estimate $150,000 – 250,000 / CHF 150,000 – 250,000).

Among Further Highlights to be Offered in Geneva:

• ‘Mystery Setting’ ruby and diamond brooch and earrings Van Cleef & Arpels Estimate $175,000 – 225,000 / CHF 175,000 – 225,000

• Sapphire and diamond ring, Cartier Set with a 17.48-carat Burmese sapphire Estimate $350,000 – 550,000 / CHF $350,000 – 550,000

• Diamond ring, Cartier Set with an 11.20-carat D colour diamond Estimate $500,000 – 600,000 / CHF 500,000 – 600,000

Fine Jewels New York, 25 September 2019
The impressive selection to be offered in the Fine Jewels sale blends classic design with frequent glimmers of whimsy. Stately diamond jewels are punctuated by riots of colored stones, projecting a confidence that is strengthened by a healthy dose of levity. Each piece of the collection was mindfully and deliberately selected to create a complete jewelry wardrobe: classic pearls for day, constellations of diamonds for night, and jewels by Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Winston to fill all hours. While an emphasis on quality is evident throughout, for the woman who acquired the jewels, wearing and enjoying them was paramount. The selection is led by a vibrant Gem-set and Diamond suite (Cartier, France) comprising a necklace suspending a 72.70-carat pear-shaped aquamarine, a 39-carat aquamarine ring and pair of multi-colored stone earrings (estimate $70,000 - 90,000).

Among Further Highlights to be Offered in New York:

• Pair of Diamond Earclips, Cartier Estimate $25,000 - 35,000

• Diamond Cuff-Bracelet Estimate $20,000 - 30,000

• Pair of Cultured Pearl and Diamond Earclips, Harry Winston Estimate $8,000 - 12,000

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