Auction & Exhibits


The jewelry, manuscripts and paintings of Marion Rumsey Cartier will be on exhibit for the first time June 4-18 at St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo.

The exhibit, called “The Legacy of Elma Cartier” in honor of Marion Cartier’s mother, includes 41 benchmark pieces of jewelry and gemstones fashioned by jewelry artisans of the House of Cartier. MarionCartier’s father, Pierre, established the company’s New York offices.

The exhibition also includes paintings and sketches by Marion Cartier, as well as her collection of travel logs, calling cards, photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings and menus, which were used to entertain prominent members of society.

Though raised in New York, Cartier left her jewelry, letters, manuscripts and paintings to St. Louis University so they could be preserved in the city of her mother’s birth. The exhibition will be open from noon to 7 p.m. daily in the St. Louis Room at Busch Memorial Hall on the university’s main campus. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens and will be available beginning April 10 through MetroTix, (314) 534-1111. For general information, call the university at (314) 977-2849.


Results were mixed at the Important Estate Jewelry Sale at William Doyle Galleries in New York City in December. Some large diamond jewelry sold above the presale estimates while other pieces proved disappointing. All told, the auction realized $608,815.

Highlights included a fancy yellow diamond pendant that sold for $12,650 (in the middle of its presale estimate of $10,000-$15,000) and a 1915 diamond and emerald flexible bracelet that sold for $18,975 (presale $18,000-$24,000).

Some signed pieces brought much more than their presale estimates. A Tiffany diamond and sapphire bracelet, for example, sold for $12,075 (presale $6,000-$9,000), and a Buccellati gold necklace sold for $5,175 (presale $800-$1,200).

The sale also featured jewelry from the estate of the late comedienne Totie Fields. Her estate included a diamond and white enamel ring by David Webb that sold for $4,140.

Less distinctive pieces did not fare as well, with some failing to sell and others getting lower-than-expected bids.

Doyle’s annual Christmas Gifts sale – which included objets d’art from Tiffany, Waterford, Wedgwood and Cartier – realized $57,712. Many of the items exceeded their presale estimates.


The Christie’s Swire gallery in Hong Kong reported record jewelry sales of $30 million in the second half of 1994. That’s a 55% increase over first-half sales and double 1993 second-half sales.

The autumn series of sales included a jadeite auction in November that brought in $9.5 million. The highlight was the Mdivani jadeite necklace, featuring 27 beads of unrivaled size. The necklace sold for $4.2 million, the most ever paid for a piece of jadeite jewelry and twice what the same piece sold for in 1988.

“The excellent results in 1994 reflected spectacularly successful sales which surpassed all of our expectations,” says David Warren, director of Christie’s jewelry department in Asia.

Sotheby’s, meanwhile, sold $6 million of jewelry at its fall jadeite jewelry auction in Hong Kong. Eighty-five percent of the pieces sold.

The highlight was a necklace featuring 99 beads of highly translucent jadeite that sold for nearly $11 million (presale estimate, $550,000-$680,000). A large cabochon ring and matching pair of earclips sold for $976,000. An “old mine” or laohang jadeite ring with an Art Deco setting brought $745,454.

Lisa Hubbard, director of Sotheby’s jewelry department in Asia, says the top pieces were culled from some of the best private collections in the world and that they attracted buyers from all over Asia.

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