Sunday, 14 April 2013

VERDURA shines at Christie's New York

"Fulco came into Chanel's life at the end of her Grand Duke Dimitri period. Chanel and Fulco were responding to that Russian feeling for extravagance, of barbaric color and enormous scale, stones being thrown around like nothing. Never, never at Boivin or at Cartier, who were all about serious diamonds and platinum, would you ever have seen tourmalines next to diamonds, or settings of gold."

Harper's Bazaar and Vogue editor, Babs Simpson (also Verdura's intimate friend and client)

Enamel, Pearls and Diamond Brooch by Verdura

Multi Gem Maltese cross by Verdura

Pink Tourmaline Ray Brooch by Verdura

Yellow Sapphire Bracelet by Verdura

Next Tuesday's Magnificent Jewels auction at Christie's New York is full of impressive jewels and gemstones, including the Princie Diamond. Hoewever, there is also a small selection of eight Verdura pieces with some truly unique examples of the genius of his designs that should not  go unnoticed.

The Princie DIAMOND

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the purest diamonds in the world come from the Golconda region in India. Diamonds were the source of unparalleled wealth for more than two thousand years until the mines were exhausted.

The Princie diamond is the largest pink diamond ever been sold at public auction. It was sold by Sotheby's in 1960 to Van Cleef and Arpels. The stone was sold directly by the Nizam of Hydebarad, the ruling dynasty of the central estate in India where the Golconda mines are located. Diamonds from this region are considered the purest ones ever found and are denominated type Lla, as a special distinction. After acquiring the stone, Pierre Arpels introduced it at a party in Paris in honour of the Prince of Baroda, after whom the diamond was named afterwards. The Prince mother was Sita Devi, a glamorous and wealthy Maharani that was nicknamed the Wallis Simpson of India due to her famous jewellery collection. Amongst other famous stones, she also had the Star of the South Diamond.

The Princie diamond has more than 300 years of history and it has remained untouched. It also displays a rare orange fluorescence when looked under ultra violet light that is unique to diamonds that come from the Golconda region. It will be auctioned by Christie's NY on April 16th.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

UPCOMING AUCTION: The BVLGARI collection of Gina Lollobrigida

Over the past couple of years there has been an unprecedented number of magnificent jewelry collections that have been auctioned. Many of them belonging to Hollywood stars or socialites, from Liz Taylor to Mrs Safra or Mrs Astor. The pieces were displays of great wealth and the portrait of their owner's personal taste. A unique legacy that covers the personal history from family or business to lovers...

 The 1940's and 1950's were decades of opulence as well as Hollywood's golden years, specially in America. Big screen divas reigned and they collected everything the public longed for. Their jewellery collections generally surpassed imagination and it was not uncommon for big stars to prefer to use their own authentic pieces in films than costume ones. The stars and the master jewellers would even compete...

The 2010's will be famous as the years when those collections are being dismantled. The reason being their owners donating the proceeds to Charity or the Estate administrators dividing the late celebrity belongings amongst the heirs. The fact is that since those days, there has not been a trend or fashion to collect jewellery of such quality and quantity.

Sotheby's Geneva will be auctioning the famous Bvlgari collection from Gina Lollobrigida in May 14th this year. The main piece being the diamond necklace and bracelet combination that can also be worn as a head piece.The actress is now in her late 80's and has probably decided that it is time to pass her pieces to another owner as well as a better use for the money that it will generate. Another bit of the story of the end of the golden era.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Impressive 19th Century Diamond PEACOCK brooch

Sotheby's London has brought jewellery back into their range of auctions. One year after they closed down the department, jewels are now officially back on the catalogue!.  The white glove sale (collection of the Late Michael Wellby) that they conducted shortly before Christmas might have played its part in convincing the auction house of the strength of demand for collector jewels.

The brooch above is my favourite, a peacock motif from the second half on the Nineteenth Century set in silver and gold with impressive circular and rose cut diamonds. In Persian and Babylonian cultures, peacocks were regarded as symbolic guardians of royalty.

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