Auction News: Berrocal’s Paloma Box Jewelry Chest/Sculpture at Wright, Chicago

Miguel Ortiz Berrocal
Miguel Ortiz Berrocal

It has been a while since we have reported auction news, but the announcement of an exciting event has caught our eye. On June 6, a major work by renowned sculptor Miguel Ortiz Berrocal (1933-2006) will go up for sale at Wright auction house’s Important Design Auction in Chicago. It should be of particular interest not only to the art world, but to all of us who are Obsessed by Jewelry.

Lot 127: Paloma Box

Paloma Box is a limited-edition sculpture consisting of a jewelry chest and vanity created by Miguel Berrocal around 1970, an homage to Pablo Picasso’s daughter Paloma Picasso. Berrocal was born in Villanueva de Algaidas, near Malaga, the same area from which Pablo Picasso hailed.

Paloma Box, by Miguel Berrocal
Paloma Box, by Miguel Berrocal, c. 1970 Nickel-plated brass, mirrored glass, brass
10” W x 10”D x 12.25” H
Estimate $20,000-$30,000

The Paloma Box vanity, when unlocked with two keys, opens and unfolds to reveal a central relief sculpture representing a female figure, two adjustable mirrors and sixteen jewelry drawers lined in red velvet.

This work is number 369 from the intended edition of 2000. Impressed signature to bracelet: [Berrocal 3099], and impressed signature to vanity: [Berrocal 369/2000].
This work is number 369 from the intended edition of 2000.
Impressed signature to bracelet: [Berrocal 3099],
and impressed signature to vanity: [Berrocal 369/2000].
But wait, there’s more….

The face of the female figure at the center of Paloma Box comprises a second sculpture titled Retrato De Paloma (Portrait of Paloma), an interlocking and transformable jewel that converts into a bracelet and, in combination with three more accessories, into a belt. The central female figure conceals a complex rotating mechanism that allows the face to be changed into several different intriguing combinations.

So it could be said that Paloma Box is a sculpture within a sculpture within a sculpture! It is also a functional jewelry chest and several sculptural jewels in one unique work of art.

Paloma Box is one of the “dismountable sculptures” for which the esteemed Berrocal is famous. As a youth he studied mathematics, chemistry and, later, architecture, all of which influenced his art. According to Carlos Berrocal, board member of Fundación Escultor Berrocal museum in Malaga: “[Paloma Box] adds a further link to Berrocal’s long chain of plastic fantasies, each one more perfect than the other in its execution, more precious in the polished metals, which reflect the environment on the faceted planes, irradiated by light, which multiply dimensions in the continuous changing of luminous effects.”

Note: Are we the only ones wondering if Paloma Picasso, herself a jewelry designer, will bid on this important piece dedicated to her by Miguel Berrocal?

We’ll keep you posted right here at OBJ.

In the meantime, for more information on the June 6 auction at Wright go to

To learn more about Miguel Berrocal, including his other jewelry creations, visit


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