You’ll Flip Over These 5 Estate Jewels

Spotted at the New York Antique Jewelry & Watch Show

It’s the last week of July, which means it’s jewelry market week in New York City. All the heavy hitters are in town for the LUXURY Privé show, which opened Sunday, July 24 at the Waldorf Astoria; the JA New York show at the Javits Convention Center; and the constellation of events that orbit these fairs, such as Monday night’s Women’s Jewelry Association Awards for Excellence gala and Tuesday night’s American Gem Society Circle of Distinction dinner.

I spent Saturday afternoon cruising the aisles of the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea, home to the New York Antique Jewelry & Watch Show, flipping out over its myriad treasures. Here are five of my favorite finds:

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Kurt Rothner from Excalibur Jewelry in West Hollywood, Calif., showed me this 18k gold Etruscan Revival snake bangle, c. 1860, when I asked to see his newest, coolest jewel. He’d just bought it at the show and described it as a museum-quality piece signed Pierret Roma. The Old European-cut diamond on the snake’s head, its garnet eyes, and that incredible hand-finishing help explain why the piece is valued at $40,000 retail.

 

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At the Paul Fisher booth, Tibor Ullmann blew my mind with this 48 ct. Lightning Ridge opal, framed by about 15 cts. of round brilliant-cut diamonds. He estimated the brooch at $250,000.

 

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Ullmann had another delight up his sleeve: This remarkable 18k gold fish lighter by Schlumberger. With one ruby eye and one sapphire eye, the collectible can be positioned so that it sits up, making it both a fabulous way to light your cigarettes and a charming objet d’art. It retails for $15,000–$20,000.

 

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Probably my favorite favorite piece at the show was this oversized 19th-century Russian arrow pin spotted at S.J. Shrubsole. Made of paste (aka colored glass), set in darkened silver, and bearing the marks of a workshop in my hometown of St. Petersburg, the $8,500 pin would make the most amazing belt fixture, don’t you think? Incidentally, more than a few people told me that pins are poised to make a big comeback. Perhaps not this big. But restraint is for sissies!

 

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Last but not least, a collar to end all collars: this 1980s Colombian emerald and baguette diamond necklace at Windsor Jewelers. Signed by Cartier and once owned by the French actress Catherine Deneuve, the piece is price upon request.