Natural Pearls, Coral & Tortoiseshell
Whether you are new to the world of estate jewellery or have been acquiring pieces throughout your life, collectors of period jewels all share a common desire: to own something unique that exemplifies the period in which it was made. For the past 50 years, we have been curating an Estate Collection at Ronald Abram that speaks to every kind of collector, from those who are looking for important, signed pieces to those more interested in design, workmanship and wearability.
This winter, we are delighted to unveil a selection of period pieces that celebrate incredible and rare natural materials, alongside several designs from the Art Deco era that are an excellent entry point into the world of estate jewellery.
Our latest additions to our estate collection reflects the growing demand among collectors for fine period pieces.
Edwardian hair combs
Signed by Cartier, this matching pair of Edwardian hair combs is both rare and distinctive. Made in Paris in the early 1910s – a time that saw a transition from the more ornate Art Nouveau styles that had preceded it to a sleeker, more geometric aesthetic – they have been carefully preserved for more than a century and are in impeccable condition.
Crafted from fine blond tortoiseshell, a protected material today, and set with antique old cut diamonds, they are something of a curiosity – very few examples of them are known to have survived, fewer still in such superb condition as these. Eminently collectible, they would be a beautiful addition to a bridal ensemble, ball or a black-tie event.
Art Deco coral & diamond bracelet
Like tortoiseshell, coral is also a rigorously protected material. This wonderful natural material was very popular with Art Deco jewellers, who sought out previously overlooked gems and organic materials to bring bold colour to their designs.
This magnificent jewel epitomises the Art Deco era, fusing iconic motifs from the period with a well-matched collection of coral beads in a bright, deep shade of red. Crafted in the 1930s, the bracelet was created predominantly from baguette cut diamonds – a new cut at the time, that captured the elegant geometry of the period. With its dramatic contrast of natural colour and angular forms, it’s among the most striking pieces in our Estate Collection.
pearl & diamond brooch
Around 1920, man began culturing pearls in large enough quantities to make jewellery, however before that, natural pearls were the only ones available. And with only one in every 10,000 oysters believed to produce a natural pearl, they were even more valuable than diamonds. It is difficult to imagine a time when pearl divers were required to manually search the ocean beds, in the hunt for these elusive treasures. But it was their very rarity that ensured they were among the most desired of status symbols in Edwardian high society.
The three certified saltwater pearls in this Edwardian brooch are rare and reveal how each natural pearl is celebrated for its distinctive shape and beauty. Intentionally mismatched, they have been combined to highlight their complementary tones of champagne, white and grey, with the round pearl at the top accompanied by two drop-shaped baroque pearls, gracefully suspended from diamonds.
diamond & sapphire bracelet
by J.E. Caldwell
The Art Deco era has always had a major influence on our brand ethos and creative process, driven by designs such as this remarkable bracelet. It’s signed J.E. Caldwell, who was one of the preeminent American jewellers of the period. Based in Philadelphia, he catered to some of the east coast’s most prominent socialites.
Set with calibré cut sapphires framing a trio of antique diamonds, this classic combination of colour and brilliance is typical of the Art Deco period, echoing the design motif of target rings that were very much in vogue in the 1920s. One of the added features of this magnificent jewel is its adjustable length, rendering it even more appealing to today’s collector.
Art Deco Tutti Frutti Clips
In recent years, we have been thrilled to see an increase in new collectors being drawn to period jewellery. For those looking to start or grow their personal collection with an iconic motif from the Art Deco period, there is no better place to start than with a Tutti Frutti brooch by Mauboussin.
Based in Paris, Mauboussin was a pioneer of Art Deco jewellery design and was awarded a Grand Prize for jewellery at the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in the French capital in 1925. In fact, it was this very show that gave rise to the phrase“Art Deco”, which in part contributed to Mauboussin selling many Tutti Frutti jewels during the 1920s and 30s.
Inspired by the lavish Mughal rubies, emeralds and sapphires arriving in Europe from India, carved in the shapes of leaves and berries, these impressive double clips are presented with a certificate of authenticity from Mauboussin. Over the past decade, we have witnessed the rise in value of period Tutti Frutti pieces, making these an astute addition to any estate collection.
Art Deco antique cut
Crafted around 1935, this lovely Art Deco clip is the most accessible of our Winter Estate Acquisitions. It is signed Dumont-Bouchard & Cie, an established Parisian Maison in the 1920s and 30s that regularly made jewellery for larger French brands, including Lacloche Frères and Van Cleef & Arpels. Contrasting antique diamonds with emerald and baguette cut stones, the linear composition of the diamonds is a classic Art Deco look. A great period piece to wear and enjoy, it is also a stylish addition to a contemporary wardrobe.