Who would’ve thought that one day we would have a jewelry gallery and a jewelry curator at the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston? I never would have predicted this 31 years ago when I started the Skinner Fine Jewelry Department, but it’s clear to me now that people have been craving exhibits devoted to jewelry and fashion all along. Our previews, in fact, serve much the same purpose. And, just look at the success of the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York — 661,509 people went to see the famous designer’s work in just three months!
Tag Archives: Gloria Lieberman
Each glass pendant hangs suspended, reflecting light with its own unique glints of silver and gold. This is the Solar-Lunar Cosmos series of modernist necklaces, created by Margret Craver, a pioneer in the American Studio Jewelry movement. On June 14, 2011, Skinner will bring Margret Craver’s work to auction for the first time. Her fabulous handmade jewelry pieces range from expert silverwork to notoriously difficult en resille enameling, and her work is featured in numerous museum collections. The Solar-Lunar series from the 1970s is an example of an experiment in glasswork.
Have you ever heard of Margret Craver? This amazing silversmith and master jeweler lived to 103, but many people do not even know her name. Although several museums exhibit examples of her early modernist jewelry, her work has never sold at auction… until now.
At the March Fine Jewelry auction in Boston, we noticed an interesting trend. Off color diamonds of size achieved very strong prices. These were diamonds in the K-L-M range, that draw definite color when viewed face up. People used to turn their noses up at these pale yellow rocks, but now the stones are being fought over and selling at a premium.
Here’s my advice that I gave in the talk: If you’re going to buy signed Cartier or signed Tiffany, you should buy unusual things. I’m talking about fine jewelry pieces that were done on a smaller run and that are not mass-produced. I think the unfortunate trend is that some collectors forget to really look at the piece and just buy a signature. Also, it’s important to make sure that the signature is correct.