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Andrew Grima Auctions Bonhams High Jewellery

Auctions: the largest Private Collection of Andrew Grima Jewellery comes to Auction at Bonhams

A citrine and diamond-set bangle by Andrew Grima

 

A citrine and diamond-set bangle by Andrew Grima
A citrine and diamond-set bangle by Andrew Grima, 1998, pre-sale estimate £12,000-18,000
Designed as a cornucopia of textured wire with a large rose-cut orange citrine in the terminal, decorated with brilliant-cut diamond detail.

 

The largest private collection of jewels signed Andrew Grima will go under the hammer ad Bonhams, London, on September 20th.

 

The collection will be presented during Bonhams’ Fine Jewellery sale, and it will feature 55 pieces of signed jewellery by Andrew Grima – among which some of his earliest jewels, created in London during the Sixties, and more that span from the 1970s through the Nineties until those released before his death in 2007.

 

Andrew Grima portrait
Andrew Grima, portrait
Charismatic Anglo-Italian jeweller Andrew Grima was regarded as one of the 20th century’s most daring and imaginative designers.

 

Andrew Grima was a jeweller appreciated by royals, celebrities, socialites and artists throughout the Swinging Sixties and Seventies, with his earliest clients including HM The Queen, The Princess Margaret, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Ursula Andress. Today, collectors of his work include fashion designers Marc Jacobs and Miuccia Prada.

Here is a very interesting video, released by Bonhams, giving a compelling historical retrospective on Andrew Grima and his work.

Grima’s groundbreaking designs, which drew inspiration from art, sculpture and the natural world, injected great originality and glamour into what had become a stagnant jewellery scene in post-war Britain.

 

Gold, Baroque cultured pearl, multi-coloured sapphire and diamond necklace design drawing by Andrew Grima
Gold, Baroque cultured pearl, multi-coloured sapphire and diamond necklace design drawing by Andrew Grima

 

He created bold and unusual jewels whose value lay in their aesthetic composition rather than just in the carat weight of expensive diamonds and precious gems. He is recognised as one of the great modernist jewellery designers of the 20th century and his pieces are highly sought after worldwide.

 

Kunzite and Diamond ring design drawing
Kunzite and Diamond ring design drawing

 

In the words of Emily Barber, Department Director, Bonhams Jewellery:

“Andrew Grima’s work is distinct in terms of its design, quality and originality. He was essentially an artist whose medium happened to be jewellery. His designs capture the spirit of each era in which he worked yet are still immensely wearable and contemporary today. Each lot in this sale reveals the diversity and creativity of his work.”

And she adds:

“Collectors of Andrew Grima’s designs consider them as miniature artworks. They are drawn to Grima’s work because of its bold, cutting-edge design and the fact that his pieces were often unique. We anticipate strong interest in this collection given it is one of the most significant and comprehensive private collections of jewels by Grima ever to come to auction.”

Adding on, Andrew Grima’s daughter, Francesca, who visited Bonhams ahead of the sale, commented:

“It’s wonderful to see such a truly magnificent collection of my father’s designs in one place. Through his flamboyant and organic designs, he was able to take rough stones in their natural state and create larger pieces which where both exciting and out of the ordinary. His use of textured gold and of unconventional stones such as tourmalines, opals, citrine, green beryl and topaz allowed him to create the type of jewellery that had not been seen before; the type of jewellery that people noticed and admired and still do to this day.”

 

Highlights include pieces from his admired “About Time” watch collection for Omega, one of the most innovative collections of watches ever made, as well as works from the “Rock Revival” collection in that incorporated large, uncut and unusual gemstone crystals.

Omega approached Grima in October 1968 to create a series of watches and timepieces, ending up with an original list of 55 watches and 31 matching jewels. The revolution introduced by Grima, and applied to the “About Time” collection for Omega, was in the use of a gemstone as the watch “glass” whereby the wearer would see time through a gem. The collection launches in 1970 in London and within days sold out (with each watch taking a minimum of six weeks to four months to manufacture).

 

About Time 'Cerini' watch by Andrew Grima
A gold, citrine and diamond watch/bangle, ‘Cerini’, no 80 from the “About Time” collection by Andrew Grima, 1969, pre-sale estimate £15,000-20,000
The large, oval-cut citrine ‘glass’, within a bezel composed of a myriad of gold ‘matchsticks’ decorated with baguette-cut diamonds, on a wide ‘matchstick’ bangle. The design was inspired by tiny wax-coated matches – cerini – used in bars throughout Italy.
About Time tourmaline watch by Andrew Grima
A gold, pink tourmaline watch bangle, ‘Greenland’, no 15 from the “About Time” collection by Andrew Grima, 1970, pre-sale estimate £20,000-30,000
The irregularly shaped pink tourmaline ‘glass’ within an irregularly shaped ‘gritted’ gold bangle.
'Stepping Stones' aquamarine watch by Andrew Grima
A gold and green beryl ‘stepping stones’ watch bracelet by Andrew Grima, 1972, presale estimate £18,000-25,000
The multi-sided pale green beryl ‘glass’ on a highly articulated strap of irregularly-shaped ‘stepping stones’ of textured matt finish. This model, made in 1972, is similar to the ‘Caribbean’ watch that was No 1 on the original About Time index in 1970.
Amethyst earrings by Andrew Grima
A pair of gold and amethyst pendent earrings by Andrew Grima, 1971, pre-sale estimate £6,000-8,000
Part of the “Rock Revival” collection, each surmount set with a hexagonal amethyst crystal, within a border of scattered gold triangles of matt finish and a single brilliant-cut diamond, suspending a detachable pendant of similar design, mounted in 18 carat yellow gold.
Dioptase pendant by Andrew Grima
A gold, dioptase and diamond pendant by Andrew Grima, 1973, pre-sale estimate £12,000-18,000
Part of the “Sticks and Stones” collection, the pendant composed of a large green dioptase crystal, within a ‘scattered’ border of overlapping gold squares of matt and textured finish, with eight square-cut diamond highlights, mounted in 18 carat yellow gold.
Amethyst ring by Andrew Grima
An 18 carat gold, amethyst, emerald and diamond ring by Andrew Grima, 1995, pre-sale estimate £4,000-6,000
The cushion-shaped amethyst surrounded by ‘stalks’ of varying heights inset with step-cut emeralds and square-cut diamonds, mounted in engraved yellow gold, with additional brilliant-cut diamond detail at the shoulders.
Citrine ring by Andrew Grima
An 18 carat gold, citrine and diamond ring by Andrew Grima, 1971, pre-sale estimate £4,000-6,000
The large, step-cut citrine within a mount of undulating ‘textured wire’ with single-cut diamond highlight, mounted in yellow gold.
Gold and diamond necklace by Andrew Grima
A gold and diamond necklace by Andrew Grima, circa 1966, pre-sale estimate £4,000-6,000

About this stunning necklace: Andrew Grima’s engineering background and imagination led him to invent this unique way of creating jewellery using gold textured wire, a technique that today is widely known as Grima’s signature design. This technique allowed him to achieve a sense of lightness and movement. At first appearing to be rigid in design, its thousands of wires and hidden hinges, gave the necklace the flexibility to embrace the wearer. Achieving this result required unique skills which only a handful of goldsmiths mastered. Each wire had to be soldered to the next and numerous hinges were then discreetly integrated into the back.

A gold and diamond ‘pencil shavings_ brooch by Andrew Grima
A gold and diamond ‘pencil shavings’ brooch by Andrew Grima, 1968, pre-sale estimate £4,000-6,000
This brooch of real pencil shavings were formed as a rosette and then cast in yellow gold and scattered with brilliant-cut diamonds.
Opal boulder pendant by Andrew Grima
A gold, boulder opal and diamond pendant/necklace by Andrew Grima, 1972, pre-sale estimate £20,000-30,000
Set with a large, irregular piece of boulder opal realised as mountainous landscape with textured gold ridges and
scatterings of brilliant-cut diamond snow, suspended from a textured torque. Opals were one of Andrew Grima’s favourite stones and feature in a number of his pieces throughout his career.
A gold, citrine and diamond necklace by Andrew Grima
A Gold, Citrine and Diamond Necklace by Andrew Grima, 1974, presale estimate £15,000-20,000
The highly articulated bib composed of triangular-cut citrines and smaller similarly-cut diamonds, mounted in yellow gold, with hidden triangular snap clasp, mounted in 18 carat yellow gold.
Gold, pink tourmaline and emerald and diamond pendant by Andrew Grima
A gold, pink tourmaline, emerald and diamond pendant by Andrew Grima, 1968, pre-sale estimate of £12,000-18,000
Composed of two articulated ‘textured wire’ clusters, each set with a large pear-shaped pink tourmaline within a border of pear-shaped emeralds and scattered with brilliant-cut diamonds, one fancy-cut diamond at the apex, mounted in 18 carat yellow gold, suspended from a later torque necklace of matt and engraved finish to resemble a wide ribbon of golden threads.

 

This last necklace was a particular favourite of the collection’s current owner, who prefers to remain anonymous: “Whenever I wore black and white or simply black or white, it dressed an outfit in a way nothing else could. In fact, I often planned outfits around it. And every Grima piece – no matter what the competition – was always universally admired when worn.”

By looking at his exceptional creations, it is easy to understand how, today, Andrew Grima is recognised as one of the great modernist jewellery designers of the 20th century; perhaps the most influential of the post-war period.

His work can be seen in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. CC

 

All material courtesy of Bonhams Press Office.

 

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2 comments on “Auctions: the largest Private Collection of Andrew Grima Jewellery comes to Auction at Bonhams

  1. Pingback: Auctions: Coloured Gemstones to headline Bonhams London Fine Jewellery Sale in September

  2. Pingback: Rare Fancy Coloured Diamonds at Bonhams London | HIGH JEWELLERY DREAM

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