Antique & Estate Jewelry / Industry

Sotheby’s to Auction Mary Tyler Moore’s Jewelry


A Sotheby’s auctioneer will get the chance to toss their hammer in the air when the auction house sells 21 pieces from the collection of TV icon Mary Tyler Moore at its upcoming Magnificent Jewels and Fine Jewels auctions in New York City.

The Magnificent Jewels sale will take place on Dec. 5, and Fine Jewels from Nov. 22 to Dec. 7. Proceeds from the auctions will benefit the Mary Tyler Moore Vision Initiative, a nonprofit organization that supports work to preserve and restore vision in people with diabetes.

“Mary Tyler Moore was a true American classic, and this is reflected in every piece from her beautiful collection of jewels,” said Frank Everett, chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry, in a statement. “Detailed, delicate, and refined, Mary’s jewels not only highlight her understated elegance but also reveal a passionate collector who delighted in beautifully crafted objects.”

“Mary was an optimist,” said Robert Levine, Moore’s widower and chair of the Mary Tyler Moore Vision Initiative, in the same statement. “She thought anything was possible. And though her near blindness from diabetic retinal disease stole her joy and independence, she worked tirelessly to support research to find diabetes cures so others would not have to suffer the same burdens she did.”

Among Moore’s jewels on the block is a Bulgari gold, diamond, and ruby necklace with an ancient Greek coin in its pendant. Levine commissioned the necklace as a wedding present for Moore. It is expected to sell for $25,000 to $35,000.

Bulgari - Gold, Ancient Coin, Ruby and Diamond 'Monete' Necklace
The Bulgari necklace with coin pendant

A gold and diamond Audemars Piguet wristwatch worn regularly by Moore carries an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000. “The first gift Mary gave to me was a Royal Oak watch, and the reason was that she had one—this was it—and she wanted me to be wearing a watch that matched the watch that she wore every day,” Levine said. “The difference was that she had this one specially fitted with diamonds. She had this done with her jeweler so that she could make her Audemars Piguet different from anyone else’s.”

Gold and Diamond 'Royal Oak' Wristwatch, Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch with diamonds

One lot in the sale consists of three heart-shape jewels, including a matching platinum pendant and brooch with old mine cut diamonds (estimate for the lot, $15,000–$20,000). “She had a number of heart-shaped jewels in her collection,” said Levine. “That was an iconic shape for Mary, and my sense of it—it’s part of who Mary was—she was always willing to greet the world with a smile and an open heart. The open heart is just a reflection of who Mary was.”

A trio of diamond hearts

Moore, who died in 2017, was famed for her portrayal of hat-tossing, making-it-on-her-own single woman Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and, earlier, as Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show. The Mary Tyler Moore Show won a then-record-breaking 29 Emmy awards during its seven-year run in the 1970s, and inspired everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Michelle Obama to Weezer. The documentary Being Mary Tyler Moore, released on Max in May, explores Moore’s life and legacy.

(Photos courtesy of Sotheby’s)

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By: Rob Bates

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