An Art Deco Emerald, Sapphire, Natural Pearl and Diamond Jabot Brooch, by Cartier. Photo Courtesy of Christie's.
We were asked by a member of a prominent California family to offer on their behalf a small group of jewelry that had descended in the family over several generations. The collection reflected a special fondness for acquiring Art Deco bracelets, brooches and pendants of great elegance and style. And while each piece carried sentimental value and fond associations from the past, the simple truth was that no one in the family wore jewelry of this sort any longer. Hence the sale at a major auction house just before the Christmas holidays.
While all of the pieces sold well, with prices within or above expectations, one piece stirred particular interest: a Belle Époque Emerald and Diamond Ring, circa 1915, with a cushion-set sugarloaf cabochon emerald mounted in platinum and surrounded by old-cut diamonds. Estimated at $8,000-12,000, it brought $68,750 in prolonged bidding.
The finest jewel in the collection was featured on the back cover of the sale catalogue: a colorfully stunning Art Deco emerald, Kashmir sapphire, natural pearl and diamond Jabot brooch, circa 1925, by Cartier. This high-style piece of jewelry, with its haunting evocations of pre-war luxury living, was estimated at $200,000-300,000 and brought $341,000 amidst spirited bidding.
Overall the sale reaffirmed the enduring appeal of antique jewelry signed by the greatest makers and carrying distinguished provenance.