For many years, not only private collectors, but also large world-famous jewelry companies have acted as buyers at auctions. For Cartier, Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels, this auction is a real chance to acquire another vintage jewel for the house's archival collection. The staff of the heritage department is faced with a difficult task: to get the most iconic and famous things that reflect the style of the house in a given historical period as much as possible (while having a limited budget). Usually it is for such lots that a serious struggle unfolds, and the preliminary estimate soars at times.
This is exactly what happened to the 1969 Bvlgari sautoir, decorated with a 127.35 carat carved emerald. In November, at the Sotheby's Bvlgari Geneva auction, they managed to get the coveted lot at a price of 1 million 35 thousand Swiss francs with an estimate of only 300-500 thousand francs. The transformable jewel is a striking example of the brand's bold, multicolored style of the late 1960s and 70s. The links of the chain shimmer with a rainbow of cabochons of rubies, amethysts, citrines, topaz, turquoise, emeralds. The sautoir is about 860 mm long and can be divided into a pair of bracelets and a choker. The carved Colombian emerald resembles a ripe berry.
The excitement was added by the famous photo from American Vogue in 1970, in which Franco Rubartelli captured the legendary Veruschka wearing this necklace, put on his head. There is only one thing to add: it is a pity that the jewel was acquired after the exhibition of historical decorations of a Roman house opened in the Kremlin.
© press service
Van Cleef & Arpels also made important acquisitions this year. Heritage guardian Madame Catherine Carew managed to return two provenance sets to the archives of the brand - both belonged to famous American women from the richest families. The Leaves set (1950) included a bracelet, earrings and a brooch with a leaf motif set with blue sapphire pavé, platinum and yellow gold as the metal. Previously, the jewelry was in the private collection of Marjorie Merryweather Post, heiress of the General Food agro-industrial empire and a devoted client of Van Cleef & Arpels.
Leaves Van Cleef & Arpels set, 1950 © press office
The flower set with peridots belonged to Peggy Rockefeller, wife of billionaire David Rockefeller, and was purchased at Christie's Magnificent Jewels The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, a grand auction held in New York this June. The pendant necklace, bracelet and earrings date from 1965–67, and the ring was completed in 1975. The initial appraised cost of 80-120 thousand dollars tripled and amounted to 348.5 thousand dollars. Both of the most valuable sets have become exhibits at the Masterpieces from the Private Collection of Van Cleef & Arpels in the new flagship of the jewelry brand in Petrovsky Passage.
Floral set with peridots, Van Cleef & Arpels © press service
The replenishment also happened in the Cartier archives. The 1912 tiara was made by order of Baron Pierre de Gunzburg, an entrepreneur and philanthropist with Russian roots. This delicate 3.75 cm tall piece, a pure example of the Belle Epoque style, consists of flat fragments of rock crystal with engraved monograms connected with a diamond pattern. The top and bottom edges of the platinum tiara are also set with antique rose cut diamonds.
Tiara Cartier, 1912 © press service
The second item represents a completely different style and a completely different era. The Echarpe necklace (1950) is a twisted gold cord with gold details, imitating a scarf or stole, lying around the neck in beautiful folds. The adornment, which combines flexible pieces that retain a rigid shape, demonstrates the virtuoso work with metal, characteristic of the jewelry art of the war and the first post-war years.
Echarpe Cartier necklace, 1950 © press office
The item, previously owned by Simone Signoret, French actress and wife of Yves Montand, was acquired at the Digard Auction Paris, dedicated to the famous married couple.>