Collector's Corner

Latest Estate Acquisitions
2024, Volume 4

The Artistry
of Estate Jewellery

When looking to add new pieces to our Estate Collection, there is one element we look for above all else: artistry. It might reveal itself in the quality of the gemstones, in the prowess of a design or in the intricacies of the craftsmanship. In the finest antique jewels, it is all three.

For the period pieces featured in Volume 4 of Latest Estate Acquisitions 2024, their beauty stems as much from their artistic impact and exquisite workmanship as the beauty of the stones and materials used. Superb examples of the jeweller’s craft, artistry is the common thread that joins them all

The role artistry plays in bringing a design to life cannot be overstated. With every period piece we acquire, we seek out ageless design, extraordinary craftsmanship & an innate sophistication.

- JJ Abram

Art Deco Rock Crystal & Natural Pearl Bracelet
by Boucheron

At the forefront of jewellery making throughout the Art Deco era, the French maison Boucheron was known for the radical simplicity and modernism of its designs. This unique bracelet, crafted in Paris in 1937, was a private commission that perfectly captures why Boucheron’s Art Deco creations are so desirable among estate jewellery collectors.

With its avant-garde use of rock crystal and natural pearls, it’s a highly collectible jewel that still looks incredibly contemporary today. Showcasing the skill and creativity that defined Boucheron during this period, it also reveals the progressive tastes of its clients. This bracelet was undoubtedly created for a chic, style-oriented woman and its historical value is enormous.

Art Deco Coral, Enamel & Diamond Transformable Brooch
by Vever

Cosmopolitan Paris was the centre of the universe in the Roaring 20s, resulting in one of the richest and most artistic eras for French jewellery design. Vogue France launched in 1920 and quickly became the barometer of French style. This remarkable brooch by Vever, a notable French jewellery house that is still in operation today, featured in the September 1925 edition, alongside fellow pioneers of the Art Deco style, Boucheron and Cartier.

Numbered and fully documented with a trove of archival documents, the workmanship is impeccable and the Art Deco styling flawless, contrasting geometric swirls of diamonds with black enamel. The brooch also conceals a surprise: the antique coral cabochon can be unscrewed from its setting and replaced with another gemstone of the wearer’s choice.

Art Deco Sapphire
& Diamond Brooch
by Dreicer & Co.

Another quintessentially Art Deco piece, this sapphire and diamond brooch was crafted by a jewellery house that is little known today. A century ago, however, Dreicer & Co. was one of the pre-eminent American jewellers, with a boutique on New York’s 5th Avenue and a workshop on-site, run by a team of master craftsmen, many of whom were French-trained.

In terms of artistry, this striking brooch has it all: an elegant openwork design revealing a stunning unheated oval Ceylon sapphire of approximately 10 carats; exemplary workmanship; and yellow gold accents on the platinum surround, bringing warmth to the sunray design. The colour of the sapphire is serene—a bright, cornflower blue. Unlike richly saturated blue sapphires, which can look overly dark at night, the lighter tone makes it perfect for evening wear, paired with a black dress.

Italian Malachite, Coral, Onyx & Rock Crystal Sautoir

This incredibly stylish sautoir transports us to a completely different moment in time: Italy in the 1970s. An iconic era for Italian jewellery, designers broke away from the trends being set in Paris and began using coloured stones liberally. Setting them in 18k gold, they pioneered a bold, new style that still exerts a huge influence on jewellery design today.

Ever since Ronald Abram began collecting antique pieces more than 50 years ago, he has always had a passion for the golden era of Italian design in the 1960s and 70s. This sautoir has all the artistic hallmarks that we are drawn to at Ronald Abram: complex craftsmanship, an eclectic mix of stones and wonderful wearability. Hand-carving the fine chain links out of rock crystal and onyx would have required great skill, and the creative design is a chromatic delight, with the geometric pendant combining striped green malachite, coral and onyx.

Belle Époque Diamond & Natural Pearl Brooch

This diamond and pearl brooch, crafted around 1915, is an extremely fine example of French jewellery design from the Belle Époque period, which preceded the Art Deco age. Much of the symbolism of jewels from this era was derived from nature. Here, the contours of the diamond-set leaves are so finely crafted they appear life-like.

Accented with a natural saltwater pearl, this brooch is light to wear and incredibly elegant, whether pinned to a shift dress or decorating the lapel of a jacket. Modern jewellers often try to mimic this style, yet very few come close to achieving this level of delicacy, artistry and finesse. 

For any estate jewellery inquiries,
please contact us to arrange a viewing.