This blog is republished with permission from the blog Jewels du Jour, by guest author Claibourne Poindexter.
The department head Victoria Bratberg, specialist John Colasacco, and Vice President Gloria Lieberman are known for their expertise in the field of fine jewelry and their willingness to educate and share their knowledge in the jewels they sell, both to their consignors as well as buyers, leading to some stellar consignments in the past. From the jewels of Hope Goddard Iselin and artist jewelry from the collection of Joan Sonnabend to important singular examples from houses such as Cartier, Chaumet, Mauboussin, Tiffany & Co., and Boucheron, Skinner consistently brings interesting jewels to the auction block.
This particular sale, as with every Fine Jewelry sale at Skinner, has something for every collector at all price points.
Always bringing great antique jewels to light, this sale has several important examples of significant pieces. Highlights include a private collection of jewelry and archive materials from the descendants of Frank Gardner Hale, arguably one of the greatest Arts & Crafts jewelers of all time. Particularly interesting lots from the collection include a pair of gold, silver, and coral ear pendants (LOT 233), a yellow gold and jade clip (LOT 239), and a darling pink tourmaline and gold ring, which would make a terribly chic pinky ring for today’s modern stylish woman (LOT 243).
Perhaps the most important lot from the collection is the grouping of archival material including original renderings and photographs from Hale’s studio (LOT 212). It goes without saying that there will no doubt be competition from educational institutions and private collectors for this unique assemblage of quintessentially American Arts & Crafts jewelry from the early 20th century.
Other important antique pieces include a grouping of three lots of Arts & Crafts jewelry from Tiffany & Company, all probably designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and coming up for sale from a private New England collection. Of particular note is a green tourmaline, sapphire, and pearl necklace (LOT 467), which perfectly echoes the colors in some of Mr. Tiffany’s most famous stained glass pieces. Another two important jewels from the same collection, being sold to benefit the Campaign for Catholic Schools, are the art nouveau plique-à-jour enamel, peridot, and diamond brooch (LOT 462) and an enamel and baroque freshwater pearl iris brooch (LOT 466), both from the venerable but now defunct firm of Marcus & Co.
For collectors of important jewels from the art deco period through the 1970s, this sale is sure to delight.
Great deco examples include an emerald and diamond bracelet from Black, Starr, & Frost (LOT 250), a diamond, jade and natural pearl tassel necklace (LOT 656), an aquamarine and diamond clip by Cartier London (LOT 648), and a superb Kashmir sapphire ring from Tiffany & Co. (LOT 662)
A particularly special jewel, reminiscent of the all white large carat weight style of the house of Harry Winston, is the 65-carat diamond bracelet (LOT 457), which also happens to grace the cover of the printed catalogue.
Wonderful jet setter jewels from the 60’s and 70’s include a “Dot Losange” bangle bracelet by Schlumberger (LOT 621) which is a fun variation on the classic “croisillon” bangle composed of white and yellow paillone enamel, a wonderful coral and diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels (LOT 620), and a particularly unusual amethyst and ruby suite by Black, Starr, & Frost (LOT 591).
Rounding out the sale are several jewels done by famous artists, a category within the jewelry department that Skinner is strongly known for, including two pieces by Henryk Kaston for Salvador Dali and a brooch done after Pablo Picasso (LOT 609).
The variety in every sale at Skinner makes it one of my favorite places to both browse and shop. The thrill of the hunt and combination of unique and often times affordable jewels combined with excellent customer service makes it in an undeniably fun experience.
Containing over 650 lots this sale will, without a doubt, be no exception.
Additional highlights include: