31 October 2017

November 2017, the auction month

The Millon House is breaking up a collection of oriental pieces including a beautiful Moroccan necklace from the early nineteenth century worn by the bride. For its part, Christie’s offers an exceptional collection of Art Nouveau and Art Deco pieces by René Lalique, Raymond Templier or Georges Fouquet. The sale of Mallié-Arcelin’s study is a tribute to the royal provenance of these bracelets adorned with miniature portraits of the last King of France and his family. The Sotheby’s and Christie’s sales in Geneva should make the event … One with the “Donnersmarck”, two daffodil diamonds of more than 102 and 82 carats, which belonged to the countess of the same name who was also a famous 19th century courtesan, the Païva. The other with the “Grand Mazarin”, a pink diamond of 19 carats. Firstly belonging to the Cardinal Mazarin, it then passed through the collections of four kings, four queens, two emperors and two empresses. It hasn’t reappeared for sale since the theft of the crown jewels in 1792. Records in perspective.

In Paris: Mallié-Arcelin, November 10th 2017 at the Meurice – Millon, November 29th 2017 at Drouot.
In Geneva: Christie’s, November 13th and 14th 2017 – Sotheby’s, November 15th 2017.

The Millon House is breaking up a collection of oriental pieces including a beautiful Moroccan necklace from the early nineteenth century worn by the bride. For its...

11 October 2017

Hillwood, the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post

From 1959 onward, this American heiress lived in a Neo-Georgian mansion that she conceived as a museum to be bequeathed to the Smithsonian on her death. It is filled with her collection of decorative arts and jewelry.

From 1959 onward, this American heiress lived in a Neo-Georgian mansion that she conceived as a museum to be bequeathed to the Smithsonian on her death. It is filled...

11 July 2017

In bits

Contrary to popular thought, the more precious the materials with which a jewelry piece is made, the less likely it will come through time intact.

Contrary to popular thought, the more precious the materials with which a jewelry piece is made, the less likely it will come through time intact.

09 May 2017

Charlemagne's talisman at the Palais du Tau, Reims

This ninth-century talisman amulet is in fact a reliquary and is on display in the treasury room of the episcopal residence in Reims, next to the cathedral where the kings of France were once crowned. Its history still contains many dark areas.

This ninth-century talisman amulet is in fact a reliquary and is on display in the treasury room of the episcopal residence in Reims, next to the cathedral where the...

18 April 2017

Anna Gould's Belle Époque necklace

Boni de Castellane‘s wealthy American wife was one of the legendary collectors. “In 1909, Anna Gould had this necklace made at Cartier, probably from her own diamonds,” explains Marie-Laurence Tixier, director of jewelry department at Christie’s Paris. “And there had to be a large number of them to produce this magnificent matching fall.” The value of this necklace is also due to the extreme delicacy of its mount, which is produced with platinum thread and tassels that extend to the back of the piece.

Estimated at between € 500-700,000 – Auction sale on June 6th 2017 at Christie’s Paris.

Boni de Castellane's wealthy American wife was one of the legendary collectors. "In 1909, Anna Gould had this necklace made at Cartier, probably from her own...

11 April 2017

The Stotesbury emerald

It will go on sale for between 800,000 and 1.2 million USD at Sotheby’s on April 25th in New York. This exceptional green, clear and intense 34.40-carat Colombian emerald is expected to break a record. Another reason for this is the pedigree of its owners, three great American collectors, including the heiress Evalyn Walsh McLean who, in the early twentieth century, had it mounted as a pendant along with the “Star of the East”, a 95-carat pear diamond. She then handed it over to Cartier as the first payment for the “Hope”, that legendary blue diamond that had once belonged to Louis XIV.

It will go on sale for between 800,000 and 1.2 million USD at Sotheby's on April 25th in New York. This exceptional green, clear and intense 34.40-carat Colombian...

23 March 2017

Al Thani collection, mixed influences

From March 29th to June 5th 2017, the Grand Palais will present “From the Great Mughals to the Maharajahs. Jewels of the Al Thani Collection”, an exhibition that traces more than five centuries of Indian jewelry history and that also shows the influences both India and the West had on each other’s jewelry creations.

From March 29th to June 5th 2017, the Grand Palais will present "From the Great Mughals to the Maharajahs. Jewels of the Al Thani Collection", an exhibition that...

23 March 2017

A travel around the Al Thani collection

Just back from India, here is a collage from my scrapbook which illustrates perfectly the feel and the richness of Indian jewlery.

Just back from India, here is a collage from my scrapbook which illustrates perfectly the feel and the richness of Indian jewlery.

17 January 2017

Louis XIV, the “inventor” of French high jewelry

During his reign from 1643 to 1715, Louis XIV assembled all the conditions necessary to make Paris the capital of high jewelry.

During his reign from 1643 to 1715, Louis XIV assembled all the conditions necessary to make Paris the capital of high jewelry.

28 December 2016

Piaget, Natalie Portman and Jackie Kennedy

In the next film by Pablo Larraín, Natalie Portman plays Jackie Kennedy. She wears the exact replica of the watch worn by the first lady of the United States in the 1960s: a Piaget with a jade dial encircled by diamonds and tourmalines. Jewelers can’t abide seeing their former customers wearing any other creations but their own, even in movies: thus in 2011 Cartier recreated the jewelry of the Duchess of Windsor for Madonna, and in 2014, those of Grace Kelly for Nicole Kidman.

In the next film by Pablo Larraín, Natalie Portman plays Jackie Kennedy. She wears the exact replica of the watch worn by the first lady of the United States in the...

24 November 2016

Kazumi Arikawa, President of Albion Art

This Japanese dealer and collector who’s one of the most important in the world, has just opened a showroom in Paris. But I paid him a visit in Tokyo.

This Japanese dealer and collector who’s one of the most important in the world, has just opened a showroom in Paris. But I paid him a visit in Tokyo.

22 November 2016

The Al Thani Collection in Paris

For those who missed the Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum, this is a chance to catch it. From March 29th, 2017, the Grand Palais will present 230 exceptional pieces from this private collection that retrace five centuries of Indian jewelry history, from the Mughal Empire to the present day.

For those who missed the Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum, this is a chance to catch it. From March 29th, 2017, the...

26 October 2016

Jewelry in paintings

Forty paintings and engravings belonging to Versailles were selected for their representations of finery, little of which has survived. From Louis XIV to the Second Empire come tiaras, girandoles, golden fleeces, chatelaines and medals, each more sumptuous than the other.

Le goût de la parure” (The Taste for Finery) at the Château d’Angers – From October 15th 2016 to January 15th 2017

Forty paintings and engravings belonging to Versailles were selected for their representations of finery, little of which has survived. From Louis XIV to the...

07 October 2016

JoBo

Among the major jewelry collectors figures Josephine de Beauharnais. “She also launched fashions in decoration,” says architect, Bambi Sloan, who drew inspiration for her for the new JoBo hotel. She’s combined reprints of vintage wallpaper with Jouy fabric designs or striped cocardes, carpets printed with rose or leopard-skin patterns, and portraits of Josephine given a twist with the addition of contemporary accessories. An original and humorous tribute.

 

© David Grimbert

Among the major jewelry collectors figures Josephine de Beauharnais. "She also launched fashions in decoration," says architect, Bambi Sloan, who drew inspiration for...

06 September 2016

Eugenie, Empress of jewels

What were the tastes of this Empress who was one of the largest jewelry collectors of all time?

What were the tastes of this Empress who was one of the largest jewelry collectors of all time?

06 September 2016

Empress Eugenie’s 5 jewelry pieces at the Louvre

Among the Crown Jewels Eugenie wore, only a few escaped the disastrous auction organized by the Republic in 1887. Exhibited near Napoleon III’s apartments, they are a testimony to the splendor and virtuosity of the jewelers of the Second Empire.

Among the Crown Jewels Eugenie wore, only a few escaped the disastrous auction organized by the Republic in 1887. Exhibited near Napoleon III’s apartments, they are...

23 August 2016

Love beetle

This is one of the most beautiful rings of love … Napoleon had the beetle sculpted out of the projectile that killed his horse in the battle of Dresden, in August 1813. He then had it mounted on a pink-gold ring and offered it to his mistress, Marie Walewska.

This is one of the most beautiful rings of love ... Napoleon had the beetle sculpted out of the projectile that killed his horse in the battle of Dresden, in August...

30 June 2016

Moussaieff the collector

The sale on July 6th 2016 organized by Christie’s in London, reveals another side of Shlomo Moussaieff, who died in 2015. The great jeweler known for his unusual stones was also a great collector of Oriental antiquities worthy of the greatest museums. The sale includes 106 magnificent jars, boxes, amphorae and glass pyxis, some of which were exhibited at the MET in New York.

The sale on July 6th 2016 organized by Christie's in London, reveals another side of Shlomo Moussaieff, who died in 2015. The great jeweler known for his unusual...

24 June 2016

All about Jean-Baptiste Tavernier

The Van Cleef & Arpels School continues its mission to initiate the general public by sponsoring cultural projects like a current thesis on Jean-Baptiste Tavernier at the University of Rennes. The latter, the ancestor of all gemstone traders ventured to Turkey, Persia and to an India infested with tigers, to bring exceptional gemstones back for Louis XIV.

The Van Cleef & Arpels School continues its mission to initiate the general public by sponsoring cultural projects like a current thesis on Jean-Baptiste...

24 May 2016

The prince charming of rue de la Paix

We see in this drawing from 1925, how the famous humorist Sem called the Duke of Windsor and the future Edward VIII. The Duke spent a lot of time in the Cartier boutique at rue de la Paix, where he bought jewelry for his fiancées, and especially for the Duchess of Windsor, for whom he would eventually abdicate the throne. He spent hours working over designs and matching gemstones with Jeanne Toussaint, who was at that time in charge of Cartier’s creations.

We see in this drawing from 1925, how the famous humorist Sem called the Duke of Windsor and the future Edward VIII. The Duke spent a lot of time in the Cartier...

28 April 2016

Indore pears

This portrait sold for 2.5 million Euros some days ago at Sotheby’s, at five times its estimated value. Painted by Bernard Boutet de Monvel in 1934, the Maharajah of Indore wears a pair of “Indore pears”. Diamonds of around 47 carats each specially set by Chaumet for the occasion on a pearl necklace.

This portrait sold for 2.5 million Euros some days ago at Sotheby’s, at five times its estimated value. Painted by Bernard Boutet de Monvel in 1934, the Maharajah...

26 April 2016

The Queen of Egypt's pectoral piece

For 30 years, Van Cleef & Arpels has been enriching its heritage collection by acquiring exceptional pieces from the past, like this exceptionally beautiful pectoral piece. Characterized by its perfectly symmetrical lines that evoke ribbons set with 673 diamonds, this piece was specially ordered and worn by the Egyptian queen Nazli in 1939 for the wedding of her daughter to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Crown Prince of Iran. To discover in the Van Cleef & Arpels: The Art & Science of Gems exhibition, in Singapore (until August 14th 2016).

For 30 years, Van Cleef & Arpels has been enriching its heritage collection by acquiring exceptional pieces from the past, like this exceptionally beautiful...

04 February 2016

The Duchess of Devonshire at Sotheby's

March 2, London, Sotheby’s is selling 450 of the Duchess of Devonshire’s personal effects. Family photos, books, friends’ gifts and jewels evoke the personality of this English aristocrat, born Deborah Mitford, the youngest of the famous and very much-talked-about sisters of the Roaring Twenties.

March 2, London, Sotheby’s is selling 450 of the Duchess of Devonshire’s personal effects. Family photos, books, friends’ gifts and jewels evoke the personality...

10 December 2015

Indian jewelry at the Victoria & Albert Museum

The exhibition “Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection” presents 100 extraordinary, old and contemporary pieces retracing four centuries of the history of Indian jewelry. They are part of a set of 250 jewels and objects collected in just five years by Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani. The Qatari collector with absolutely no budget restrictions gathered up these priceless treasures: Colombian emeralds engraved with flowers and mounted as turban ornaments, natural pearl bracelets signed by the Indian contemporary jeweler Bahgat, the peacock brooch created by Mellerio in 1905 for the Maharaja of Kapurthala, and diamonds from Golconda, among the most beautiful in the world.

Until April 10, 2016.

The exhibition "Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection" presents 100 extraordinary, old and contemporary pieces retracing four centuries of the history of...

29 September 2015

Aristocratic necklace at Christie's

This pearl necklace estimated at between US $4.5 – 7 million is extraordinary for two reasons: the quality of its 38 pearls and its aristocratic origins, from the jewel box of Viscountess Cowdray, Lady Pearson. In the Christie’s catalogue where it appeared in 1937 a description still true today: “There is probably no other collection of pearls as beautiful as this.

This pearl necklace estimated at between US $4.5 - 7 million is extraordinary for two reasons: the quality of its 38 pearls and its aristocratic origins, from the...

24 September 2015

Assouline and Jewels of the Renaissance

Assouline has republished the text of the book Renaissance Jewellery written in 1979 by Yvonne Hackenbrock, a historian who officiated at British Museum and was curator specializing in Renaissance art at the MET. We learn that Francis I is at the origin of the Crown Jewels of France collection intended to display the prestige of the monarchy.

Assouline has republished the text of the book Renaissance Jewellery written in 1979 by Yvonne Hackenbrock, a historian who officiated at British Museum and was...
  • Millon - Lebba bride necklace made of enamelled gold, diamonds, sapphires, etc. - Estimate €40,000-60,000

  • René Lalique at Christie's - Necklace made of enamel, diamonds and pearl - Estimate $90,000-130,000

  • Mellerio at Mallié-Arcelin - Bracelets adorned with miniature portraits - Estimate €6,000-8,000

  • Sotheby's - The "Donnersmarck" daffodil diamonds - Estimate $9-14 million

  • Christie's - The "Grand Mazarin", a Golconda diamond - Estimate on demand

  • Anna Gould's diamond necklace (100 carats), made by Cartier

  • Front / back

  • Front / back

  • Evalyn Walsh McLean wearing the Stotesbury emerald as a pendant

  • The Stotesbury emerald in a ring by Harry Winston

  • Piaget - Watch made of gold, jade, diamonds and tourmalines, worn by Jackie Kennedy in the film

  • Contemporary version of the Piaget watch worn by Jackie Kennedy - Pink gold, cornelian and diamonds

  • © David Grimbert

  • © Hôtel JoBo

  • © Hôtel JoBo

  • © Hôtel JoBo

  • © Hôtel JoBo

  • © Hôtel JoBo

  • Roman blue green glass ribbed bowl - ca early 1st century A.D.

  • Roman pale green glass beaker - ca 1st century A.D.

  • Roman pale purple glass Ajax amphoriskos - ca 1st century A.D.

  • Roman amber glass harvest beaker - ca 1st century A.D.

  • Roman cobalt blue glass pyxis with conical lid - ca second half of the 1st century A.D.

  • Early Jewish amber glass pendants - ca 4th-5th century A.D.

  • Roman glass fish flask - ca 3rd century A.D.

  • Roman pale blue green glass one-handled jug signed by Ennion - ca first half of the 1st century A.D.

  • Roman amber glass cup signed by Ennion - ca first half of the 1st century A.D.

  • Roman two-handled blue green glass amphora signed by Ennion - ca first half of the 1st century A.D.

  • Eastern Mediterranean core-formed glass trefoil-lipped oinochoe - ca late 4th-early 3rd century B.C.

  • The Duke and Duchess of Windsor at Hamilton, Bermuda, in 1940. The Duchess wears the "Flamingo" brooch created by Cartier in 1940 © SuperStock/Leemage

  • Sem - The Prince of Wales, the future Edward VIII, and his Parisian admirers © Cartier, 1924

  • A Cartier lady's gold, enamel, diamond and pearl-set pendant watch - Circa 1910 - Estimate: £4,000 - 6,000

  • Rock crystal and enamel pendant - On the ribbon, you can read "TOUJOURS SINCÈRE" - Early 18th century - Estimate: £400 - 600

  • Gold, turquoise and jet charm - Early 19th century - Estimate: £80 - 120

  • Diamond brooch - Late 19th century - Estimate: £1 500 - 2 500

  • An enamel and gem set brooch depicting a grotesque mask - Circa 1890 - Estimate: £2,000 - 3,000

  • Garnet, enamel and diamond brooch - Estimate: £1,000 - 1,500

  • © The Trustees of the British Museum

  • © The Trustees of the Wallace Collection

  • The Granger Collection © DeA Picture Library

  • Jewels of the Renaissance

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