Antique & Estate Jewelry / Colored Stones / Diamonds

Bonhams New York Jewels Sale To Feature Personal Collections of Bette Midler and Others


Bonhams New York Jewels sale is all about Hollywood glamour and art deco enchantment. On May 24, the auction house will offer pieces from the personal collections of three important figures: Hélène Irwin Crocker Fagan, Lady Sylvia Ashley, and Bette Midler.

Hélène Irwin Crocker Fagan (1887–1966)
Art deco–era heiress Hélène Irwin Crocker Fagan

“The New York Jewels sale is full of exceptional pieces including some with incredible provenance,” says Caroline Morrissey, Bonhams New York director and head of jewelry. “We are delighted to present three fabulous jewelry collections from American ladies: first, the incredible jewels of Hélène Irwin Crocker Fagan, an heiress from the art deco era who owned one of the finest Colombian emerald Cartier bracelets I have ever seen.”

Lady Ashley
English model, actress, and socialite Lady Sylvia Ashley (photo courtesy of © IMAGO United Archives International)

“Second, the collection of Lady Ashley: a rags-to-riches story of a chorus girl who ended up marrying both Douglas Fairbanks and Clark Gable.”

Bette Midler
American actress Bette Midler 

“Third, jewelry from a living legend, the inimitable Bette Midler. Many of the pieces in this sale are on the market for the first time, and it is an incredible opportunity to buy a beautiful jewel with a famed and glamorous story behind it.”

Below is a closer look at some of the sale’s standout jewels—from Fagan’s Cartier bracelet, totaling over 100 cts. of emeralds and estimated to go for anywhere between $750,000 and $1,250,000, to Midler’s ornate Tiffany & Co. diamond and yellow sapphire brooch—while considering the women who wore them.

Cartier bracelet
Fagan’s Cartier bracelet (circa 1926) in platinum with 101 cts. t.w. rectangular and octagonal step-cut emeralds and baguette-cut and Old European–cut diamonds; estimate $750,000–$1,250,000
Cartier aigrette
Fagan’s Cartier aigrette (circa 1914) in platinum and steel with 8.25 ct. old European–cut diamond and natural pearls; estimate $250,000–$450,000
Tiffany & Co. brooch
Bette Midler’s Tiffany & Co. brooch in 18k gold and platinum with 8.5 ct. cushion mixed-cut yellow sapphire, 13.1 round brilliant-cut diamonds; estimate $40,000–$80,000
Marzo Paris brooch and Cartier bracelet
Lady Sylvia Ashley’s Marzo Paris brooch (circa 1935) in platinum with 40 ct. rectangular step-cut aquamarine, 3.25 cts. t.w. round brilliant-cut diamonds, round onyx cabochons, and black enamel; estimate $8,000–$12,000. Lady Ashley’s Cartier bracelet (circa 1935) in platinum with rectangular step-cut and fancy-cut aquamarines and 1.45 cts. t.w. round brilliant-cut diamonds; estimate $15,000-$20,000.

(Photos courtesy of Bonhams)

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By: Annie Davidson

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