Sotheby’s closing Magnificent Jewels sale of 2013 was held Wednesday in New York and brought in a total of $60 million. The sale was chock full of interesting highlights, which were not your typical record-breaking flawless stones.
The top lot of the day was an impressive emerald ring of 61.35 carats that sold well above its $1-1.5 million estimate at $4.6 million. The top five lots included white diamonds, a natural pearl necklace, and an emerald bracelet.
The star of the catalog cover was a very interesting and iconic piece by Boucheron that was especially delightful for jewelry historians to see. One such historian, Vivienne Becker, wrote a fantastic piece for the Sotheby’s website on the significance of the bracelet, which I encourage you to read here. In summary, the piece was made in 1931 and is considered a masterpiece of French 20th century jewelry that shows the influence of Africa on the modernist style of the time. It sold for $797,000.
Also of historical interest were five pieces by Cartier created in the 1920s when Egyptian-revival was all the rage. Already of influence in design for a few decades, it truly exploded following the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922. Louis Cartier was a serious collector of Egyptian artifacts and some of his finds surely influenced these unique pieces. Only a handful were ever made, and the pieces on offer at this auction all sold well above their estimates. Again, a wonderful article on the pieces was written by Vivienne Becker which you can read here.
For more information on historically interesting pieces that were offered at auction, click here.
This evening brought the 2013 Magnificent Jewels sales calendar to a close, with sales totals for Sotheby’s reaching over $500 million. I look forward to seeing what 2014 brings!