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Auction Highlights: Sotheby’s Important Jewels, New York September 22

Van Cleef & Arpels Brooch

The first major jewelry auction of the fall season in New York will take place at Sotheby’s on 22 September 2016.

Sotheby’s Important Jewels sale features rare and historically important designs by René Lalique and Louis Comfort Tiffany, fashionable vintage pieces by renowned makers such as Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier, and stunning white and colored diamonds and gemstones.


With more than 200 jewels on offer, and estimates starting from $3,000, the Important Jewels auction is a relevant opportunity for both new and established collectors to acquire treasures to fit every style and occasion.

This auction will prove to be an authentic journey through time, with René Lalique, the father of Art Nouveau design, and his use of curved lines to depict the more sensual and, at times, menacing side of nature.

His famous collaboration with actress Sarah Bernhard led to the creation of two serpent-form jewels for her role as the formidable Empress Theodora.

Remaining fond of this motif, Lalique created this ring (estimate $15/20,000), featuring a blue molded glass face, its serene expression provocatively at odds with a coiled serpent, poised to strike.

René Lalique Molded Glass and Enamel Ring
René Lalique Molded Glass and Enamel Ring. France, circa 1900.


In 1902, Louis Comfort Tiffany became the first Design Director for Tiffany & Co. which his father had founded in 1837.

During his tenure, Tiffany created highly stylized pieces that reflected a prioritization of craftsmanship and conception over intrinsic value.

This Moonstone, Lapis Lazuli and Diamond Necklace circa 1915 (estimate $20/30,000) is a prime example of the designer’s proto-modernist yet timeless aesthetic.

Tiffany Necklace
Moonstone, Lapis Lazuli and Diamond Necklace. Designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, circa 1915.


The September sale features jewels by Cartier from the Art Deco period to today, led by a stunning Platinum, Emerald and Diamond Bracelet from the 1930s (estimate $150/200,000).

The highly-articulated bracelet, studded with five large cabochon emeralds, is a quintessential example of the style of the time.

Platinum, Emerald and Diamond Bracelet, Cartier, France, circa 1930.


A charming, contemporary creation is a ‘Les Oiseaux Libérés’ Ring (estimate $30/40,000). Designed as a pair of birds perched atop a branch, the piece draws upon Cartier’s longstanding tradition of providing stunning jewels inspired by animals.

18 Karat White Gold and Gem-Set ‘Les Oiseaux Libérés’ Ring, Cartier, France.


Property from a New York Estate includes a treasure trove of jewels by Bulgari from the 1960s and 70s – a highly-coveted period among collectors.

The pieces include this mesmerizing Emerald, Colored Stone and Diamond Brooch(estimate $40/60,000) and a Pair of Gold, Enamel and Diamond Compacts (estimate $5/7,000).

Bulgari Brooch
Bulgari Emerald, Colored Stone and Diamond Brooch.
Pair of 18 Karat Gold, Enamel and Diamond Compacts, Bulgari


Classic designs by Van Cleef & Arpels include this Platinum and Diamond Brooch from 1942 (estimate $50/70,000).

The bow motif illustrates how successful the firm’s craftsmen were at manipulating ridged materials to create a remarkably fluid, wilting design.

Van Cleef & Arpels Brooch
Van Cleef & Arpels Platinum and Diamond Brooch, 1942


To highlight are also dazzling diamond and color stone jewels not to be missed:

Magnificent Diamond Ring
Centering an oval-shaped diamond weighing 27.38 carats, D color, VS2 clarity
Estimate: $2/2.5 million
Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond and Diamond Ring
Centering a cushion-cut Fancy Intense Yellow diamond weighing 30.71 carats, VS1 clarity
Estimate: $675/775,000
Emerald and Diamond Ring
Emerald and Diamond Ring
With a Colombian emerald-cut emerald weighing 12.14 carats
Estimate: $200/300,000


By Claudia Carletti. Material courtesy of Sotheby’s.

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