On 10 June 2020, this auction is an opportunity to buy a piece from the world’s oldest jeweler Mellerio.
For the second time at her Parisian auction, Magali Teisseire, director of the jewelry department at Sotheby’s Paris, is offering a set of jewelry from the private collection of a jeweler. This time, the spotlight is on Mellerio with 25 pieces estimated at between 1,500 and 40,000 euros.
Who is Mellerio?
The French jeweler Mellerio has just celebrated its 400th anniversary, making it the world’s oldest. Today, it still belongs to the family: Laure-Isabelle Mellerio, who is at the helm, is also the artistic director. Nicknamed the “Jeweler to the Queens”, Mellerio has notebooks full of commissions from all the crowned heads of Europe, from Queen Marie-Antoinette to Empress Eugenie and Princess Mathilde and Queen Victoria (cf. horizontal diaporama).
A temporary Mellerio museum at Sotheby’s
On the occasion of this sale, Sotheby’s is exhibiting 17 historical pieces preserved in the Mellerio heritage. What a real privilege to be able to discover, in all its intimacy, Marie-Antoinette’s bracelet made of antique cameos, the transformable peacock feather brooch bought by Empress Eugenie or the wonderful turquoise tiara that can also be transformed into 7 pieces. But beware, none of these pieces are for sale!
From the 19th century to 2005
The oldest Mellerio jewel on offer in this sale is a delicate necklace dating from the late 19th century. Made of antique cut diamonds and aquamarines, the motifs inspired by Antiquity are mounted on platinum knife wires. The most recent pieces date from 2003 and 2005: three gold brooches representing Venetian musicians. A reminder of the Italian origins of Mellerio whose fiefdom, Craveggia, is located in Piedmont.
Between those two dates, I fell in love with the pieces from the 70s and 80s, including two emerald bracelets, the house’s favourite stone. One of them, in the shape of a leaf, offers an incredible diversity of cuts (marquise, brilliant, baguette, etc.) and types of setting (claw, closed, etc.). And such flexibility! At that time, Mellerio also made two half-pieces (i.e. a necklace + earrings or a bracelet) inspired by naturalism, composed of entangled yellow gold strands. Vintage beauties not to be missed at Sotheby’s.
Exhibition from 5 to 9 June 2020 at Sotheby’s – 76, rue du faubourg Saint-Honoré – 75008 Paris
Auction 10 June 2020 at Sotheby’s (and online) – 76, rue du faubourg Saint-Honoré – 75008 Paris