One of the prized offerings in the Siegelson booth at the 2013 Baselword fair is a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels number that gives the firm’s other beauties some stiff competition. Made in platinum with French assay marks circa 1926, the brooch pendant features a geometric motif of brilliant- and step-cut baguettes and single-cut diamonds that is further accented by natural pearls—including a detachable natural pearl drop pendant with rose-cut diamonds—a sugarloaf cabochon emerald, and another detachable pendant with an emerald drop, rose-cut diamonds, and a double-sided lozenge-shape diamond.
“This is one of our finest VCA pieces,” says account manager Ryan Karolak.
The item was recently acquired from a collector—“the best pieces come from families,” he says—and features a highly desirable Art Deco design. Siegelson has sent out a few pictures of the item to clients, but this week marks the piece’s first public appearance.
The masterpiece was originally purchased in 1926 by oil magnate Sir Henri Deterding, likely for his wife, jewelry collector Lady Lydia Deterding (Lydia Pavlovna Koudoyaroff) from Russia.
“It’s a triple whammy of natural pearls, a fine emerald, and a piece with intrinsic value that works aesthetically,” Karolak notes. “We’ve not seen a piece like this in 60 years.”
At press time, the jewel was still available for purchase.
Brooch pendant in platinum French assay marks circa 1926, a 13.57 ct. emerald, a 0.7 ct. sugarloaf cabochon emerald (from Columbia), a drop-shape natural pearl, 17.7 cts. t.w. brilliant- and step-cut baguettes and single- and rose-cut diamonds, and five drilled natural 7 mm–7.9 mm saltwater pearls; signed Van Cleef & Arpels and numbered 28051; with certifications from the Swiss Gemmological Institute, the Gemological Institute of America and the Gem & Pearl Laboratory (of Bahrain); price on request