Dancer, choreographer, and singer Ann Reinking may be best remembered for her extraordinarily long legs, graceful moves, and feline charm. But she also should be known as a jewelry devotee who had an equally extraordinary and significant collection, which is now up for auction at Bonhams New York beginning on Monday at 11 a.m. ET.
Some of the most impressive pieces from Reinking’s estate will be part of Bonhams New York Jewels sale, including signed pieces by Tiffany, Cartier, and Hammerman Brothers.
The jewelry had to be great to compete with Reinking herself—she is best known for her sharp blue eyes, husky voice, and sleek moves. Some remember her as dance icon Bob Fosse’s romantic partner and muse, but Reinking’s work had its own character, which she described as “quirky” and inspired by ballet.
What makes Reinking’s collection a standout is both its themes of rich, deep colors and coordinating pieces, says Bonhams New York head of jewels Caroline Morrissey.
“Ann Reinking loved and wore diamonds, set in gold or platinum, and for colors she was absolutely drawn to a certain rich deep blue that can be seen in the many sapphire and diamond pieces she wore, including a pair of Tiffany sapphire earrings she wore to present at the 1983 Oscars along with a sapphire and diamond bracelet and earrings,” Morrissey says.
“They were likely chosen to match the sapphire and diamond Tiffany engagement ring she wore at the time. All of these pieces are in the sale,” Morrissey says. “She liked to coordinate, and she has a wonderful Cartier ruby and diamond necklace and has a coordinating pair of earrings as well. She probably bought the earrings to wear with the necklace.”
Another standout piece in Reinking’s jewelry wardrobe and one of its most colorful is a “fantastic” black opal pendant, Morrissey adds. “It has all the richness of the deep colors she preferred,” she says.
Reinking’s personal style—poised and at ease in her own body—comes through in her jewelry collection, Morrissey says.
“All of the jewelry she owned in the sale is very comfortable to wear. There is nothing restrictive about any of the pieces at all, it’s almost as though they were designed and constructed with movement in mind,” Morrissey says. “If she wanted to break out in a few steps, the jewelry would move with her. There is a fluidity to the designs and most of the pieces wrap comfortably to the body. These are jewels she regularly wore and enjoyed.”
Working with this Broadway legend’s jewelry has been a pleasure, Morrissey added. She hopes others will enjoy the collection as well.
“This is an exciting collection that shows a wearable range of jewelry from an icon of style and movement on the Broadway stage,” Morrissey says. “The presale range of estimates range from $300 to $125,000, with the most exceptional piece being the Hammerman Brothers diamond necklace that is convertible to two bracelets. And that piece is truly astonishing in construction. It is flexible, beautiful, and once you’ve worn it, you never want to take it off.”
Top: A Tiffany & Co. sapphire ring from dancer/choreographer Ann Reinking’s jewelry collection, which goes on the block at Bonhams New York starting Monday. The lot includes classic styles as well as deep-colored gemstones (all photos courtesy of Bonhams).
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