A selection of chic, wearable jewelry goes on the block at Sotheby’s Paris this coming Tuesday, March 21st, in a two part sale featuring 347 lots. As is always the case at auction, there are a number of signed jewels, and this sale features an abundance of Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry as well as some wonderful examples of Maison LaCloche. For those who love antique jewelry the sale includes dazzling Art Deco jewelry and pieces from the 1800s. And of course, there are plenty of big diamonds.
Of particular note in this sale are the natural pearls. Very rare and highly desired, natural pearls are quite scarce. They are generally found only in vintage jewelry, especially items made prior to the 1920s. It was during the early 1920s that cultured pearls began to come to market, which changed both the accessibility and value of the gem, making them more abundant and less expensive. Because the natural pearl market diminished significantly during the 1930s, almost disappearing entirely, natural pearls are hard to come by today and auctions tend to be one of the best places to find these treasures.
One of the most glamourous natural pearl items in the sale is a necklace comprised of 16 natural, saltwater pearls with 23 unheated basaltic blue sapphires and diamonds including decorative bombe design spacers set with rose cut diamonds. This fringe style necklace also has some interesting provenance — it once belonged to an important European noble family, whose name has not been revealed. Given the combination of natural pearls, diamonds, unheated sapphires and provenance the presale estimate for this necklace is EUR 650,000 to 850,000 (approximately $697,000 – $911,648).
Cartier has several pieces in this sale including an iconic Panthère ring, necklace and earrings, which although they are not a set, would be quite stunning worn together, in the same way that actor Austin Butler, wore multiple Cartier jewels with the Panthère motif to the Oscars. One of the stand outs of the sale however, is a natural pearl and diamond ring, signed Cartier that features a brownish-gray pearl set in platinum with a surround of triangular shaped diamonds, its presale estimate is EUR 70,000 to 100,000 (approximately $75,000 to $107,000).
If you’re looking for beautiful color, this sale has plenty of emeralds and sapphires. Of particular note is an 11.33-carat unheated, deep blue sapphire from pre-Myanmar Burma, claw set in 18-karat white gold that came from a private collection, it has a presale estimate of EUR 90,000 to 100,000 (approximately $95,000 to $107,000).
Overall this sale is a satisfying mix of stunning stones and vintage jewelry that is meant to be worn, loved and passed down.