Period Jewels Offered at Auction by Christie’s

Jewelry from the 17th Century through modern day will be on sale at Christie’s New York, “Rare Jewels and Gemstones: The Eye of a Connoisseur,” to be held April 15 at Rockefeller Galleries.

A total of 115 lots that includes historical jewels, iconic emblems of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, and also “one of the most important pink diamonds ever to be offered for sale at auction” will be available to bidders, the international auction house said.

“When I reflect upon all that I have seen during my 40-year Christie’s career, both at auction and privately, this collection strikes me as unparalleled to virtually any other in the world for its provenance, breadth, size and rarity,” said François Curiel, Christie’s chairman of Jewelry. “This unique ensemble represents a walk through some of history’s most prominent figures and their jewels.”

Leading the historically prominent works offered in this collection is an antique diamond bow brooch (left), by François Kramer which was made for Empress Eugénie and later owned by the Astor family of New York. It has an estimated value from $4 million to $6 million.

Pink diamonds are seldom found today. Larger specimens rarely come up for auction and their scarcity makes the sale of this 14.23-ct. fancy intense pink diamond (left) an extraordinary event (estimate: $10-15 million), Christie’s said. This gem has a pure pink coloration that is even and consistent and has been awarded the color grade of “Fancy Intense Pink” by the Gemological Institute of America.

Other examples of colored diamonds in the sale include a colored diamond and demantoid garnet brooch by Carvin French designed as two pave-set intense pink diamond flamingos, with black diamond beaks, standing on a bed of garnet grass (estimate: $250,000-350,000).

Among the jewels at auction from the Art Nouveau period are works from René Lalique and Henri Vever, Georges Fouquet, and Boucheron with prices estimates ranging from $200,000 to $700,000.

Among the items going on the block from the Art Deco period are the Pendule Mysterieuse or Mystery Clock—created by Maurice Coüet for Cartier. The “mystery” of the Mystery Clock is found within the dial where the hands appear to “float” across the face, with no apparent anchor. In reality, they are held in place by transparent disks, usually of rock crystal, citrine, or in one instance, aquamarine and driven by gears that are ingeniously hidden in the frame of the case. This example of the 12 clocks made by Coüet is made of topaz, jade, coral and enamel with rose-cut diamond hands designed as a dragon. The circa 1928 work has an estimated value from:$ 500,000 to $700,000.

In addition, an Art Deco rock crystal, onyx, diamond, and lapis lazuli fountain desk clock by the jeweler Lacloche Frères (estimate: $300,000-500,000) will go on the block and is expected to fetch from $300,000 to $500,000.

Also from Cartier is a Belle Époque diamond and rock crystal bow brooch in mint condition suspending a detachable pear-shaped carved rock crystal pendent, circa 1910 (estimate: $200,000-400,000). Another example of the Belle Époque era is Florence Gould’s unique pearl, seed pearl and diamond evening bag, circa 1900 (estimate: $100,000-150,000).

Viewing prior to the auction will be held April 11-15.