Diamonds and Art Deco Jewels Star at Christie’s and Sotheby’s

52.58-carat Golconda Diamond
52.58-carat D-color Internally Flawless Golconda Diamond sold for $10.9 million at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale December 10

If all you wanted for Christmas is an Art Deco diamond bracelet, you’re not alone. I sincerely hope our Secret Santas were in New York City last week. On consecutive days, crosstown rivals Christie’s and Sotheby’s staged their annual December fine jewelry auctions, both called “Magnificent Jewels.” Christie’s, located in Rockefeller Center, was up first with an all-day sale on December 10 featuring 500 lots. It garnered close to $66 million, including $10.9 million for 52.58-carat D-color internally flawless Golconda diamond and over $2 million for a Cartier Art Deco diamond and gemstone bracelet. On December 11, at Sotheby’s on York Avenue, sales topped $60 million, led by a 61-carat Colombian emerald ring which fetched $4.6 million, and five rare Egyptian-Revival jewels by Cartier totaling $2.3 million.

Art Deco Tutti Frutti Bracelet

Art Deco Tutti Frutti Bracelet by Cartier
Art Deco Tutti Frutti Bracelet by Cartier
featured on Christie’s December
Magnificent Jewels Sales Catalog

Of particular interest to me — and I know many OBJ fans will agree — is this magnificent Art Deco Diamond and Multi-Gem “Tutti Frutti” Bracelet by Cartier, the catalog cover star of the Christie’s auction. The eclectic masterpiece was described as: “An old European-cut diamond band set with a series of oval shaped jade cabochons with carved ruby and sapphire leaves, enhanced by black onyx vine detail, joined by an old European-cut diamond plaque set with a star sapphire, mounted in platinum, circa 1930, 7 ins. in a Cartier red leather case, signed Cartier, no. 2818791.” Phew…I’ll take it! One lucky collector did, after spirited bidding, and although the pre-sale estimate was $300,000 to $500,000 the bracelet was sold for a staggering $2,045,000 – a world record for a Cartier Art Deco Tutti Frutti piece.

Egyptian-Revival Jeweled Brooch

Egyptian Revival Jeweled Broochfeatured at the Sotheby's Sale
Egyptian Revival Jeweled Brooch
featured at the Sotheby’s Sale

Also by Cartier, this Egyptian-Revival Faience and Jeweled Brooch is one of five stunning examples of the period that starred in the Sotheby’s sale. It was estimated to sell for between $300,000 and $500,000, but it fetched $1,025,000!

Here is the catalog description: “Designed as an Egyptian fan, or flabellum, centering an ancient green glazed faience bust of the goddess Sekhmet, depicted with a solar disc and a uraeus (cobra) upon her head, set against a lapis lazuli sky twinkling with diamond stars bordered by a black enamel aureole and repeating diamond-set stylized lotus motif, all surmounting a stylized lotus blossom; set in platinum and 18 karat gold with a total of 11 single-cut and 89 old European-cut diamonds; the back of the brooch fitted with an 18 karat gold crook, a symbol of state power in Egypt when held by the pharaohs in conjunction with a flail, placed as the connecting support element for the faience relic, signed Cartier Londres, numbered S.L 7353; circa 1923. With original fitted box stamped Cartier.”

Our studies show that Art Deco jewelry and snake-motif jewelry were two of your favorite topics at OBJ in 2013. I’ll be sure to research more auction news on these two subjects and keep you posted in the months ahead.

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