Treasures for body and mind

23 April, 2013

More Tiffany Jewels

This necklace  of moonstones, gold, and enamel was auctioned at the recent Christie's auction, Magnificent Jewels and the Princie Diamond.  Other than being a fine example of art nouveau with gorgeous moonstones, this necklace was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany himself, the same who is famous for stained glass windows.  Son of the founder of Tiffany and Co., he became the jewelry company's first Design Director in 1902.
Suspending a pendant set with a drop-shaped cabochon moonstone within a blue enamel and sculpted gold surround, to the neckchain set with an alternating series of cabochon moonstones and blue enamel plaques, mounted in gold and platinum, circa 1910, 18 ins.  By Louis Comfort Tiffany, signed Tiffany & Co. Courtesy of

To quote Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry, Christie’s Americas and Switzerland: “A major event took place in the global auction industry with the record breaking sale of The Princie Diamond at Christie’s New York. Aside from Christie’s sale of the legendary Collection of Elizabeth Taylor, this was the most successful jewelry auction ever held in the United States and Christie’s was proud to have orchestrated the sale of such an historic gemstone.”  The sale total, including Buyer’s Premium, was $81,358,700 (USD).

Yup- I'd say that's successful.  BTW- the necklace sold for $32,500. 

I was particularly interested in the necklace because I love Tiffany's stained glass, even though this necklace does not reflect his particular genius (get the joke- har har).  As examples of Tiffany's work go, I prefer this one, currently owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

To crib shamelssly from the museum's write up, "This necklace, composed of grape clusters and leaves, is one of the earliest known examples of jewelry designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tiny black opals represent the clusters of fruit, and finely executed enameling in shades of green on gold forms the delicate leaves. Opals appealed to Tiffany for their fiery glow, reminiscent of his vases in Favrile glass. The asymmetry of the design and its organic shapes are entirely in keeping with his passion for natural forms. This necklace was among the twenty-seven pieces that Tiffany made for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in Saint Louis in 1904. It has been altered twice since its original conception, first by the addition of grape clusters on either side of the central pendant and later by the addition of a double bar-link chain. These changes were probably overseen by Tiffany himself, who is believed to have presented the necklace to his nurse and later companion, Sarah E. Hanley."

22 April, 2013

Tiffany's Blue Book Green Diamond Ring

As rare and amazing as the natural green diamond in Tiffany's Rare, Vivid Green Diamond Ring is, the white diamonds' setting is what makes the ring noteworthy.  They bloom like petals around the 1.21 carat green stone. 

See how the diamonds are on edge in an almost invisible platinum setting?

This ring is all about trapping and reflecting light.  It will singularly blaze when it is worn.  Photographs do not do it justice.  Go to Tiffany's Facebook to see it in motion- prepare to be amazed by the facets on the diamonds' girdles and the diamond encrustation of the ring itself.  All pictures are courtesy of Tiffany and Co.

19 April, 2013

Black Friday- Spring!


 April showers bring April flowers here!  So here is another floral beauty for Friday.

Circa 1910, the filigree locket is pierced, diamond-set and done in the garland style, the design continuing down the center of the front of the locket set on a square of onyx. The back is composed of engraved platinum doors which open to reveal an oval glass covered section surrounded by engraved platinum, perfect for a picture or a lock of hair. The locket is suspended from a filigree diamond-set bale and an original oval filigree link platinum chain. Total weight of the 150 single and old European-cut diamonds is approximately 1.30 carats, locket and bale measure 2 3/8 inches long and chain measures 24 3/8 inches long. Available from Shiela Goldfinger at 1stdibs. 

The back is almost as pretty as the front.

Wouldn't it be perfect for a black and white photo?

18 April, 2013

A Gold Parure- Lot 22

I have never seen a set like this.  From the Christie's New York Magnificent Jewels and The Princie Diamond auction, April 16 2013. 

LOT 22 - An antique gold parure. Comprising a sculpted gold necklace of foliate motif; two bracelets, a brooch, a pair of ear pendants and a tiara en suite, circa 1830, necklace 17.5in, bracelets 7in, with French assay marks, French importation marks and maker's marks, in a red leather fitted case. Estimate: US$10,000-$15,000.  Thanks to Christie's for the original image and to The Jewelry Editor.

It's the whole set- the whole thing!  From tiara to belt buckle!  In the original box!  And if anyone made a snarky comment about "matchy-matchy," you know it would be their envy talking. 

Want another look?  You bet!  I could look at this all day.  (That's why I'll never win the lottery- I would blow it all on something like this and spend all of my time staring at it, calling it "my precious.")   [Update:  Sold for $13,750.]

15 April, 2013

Prayers for Boston

A horrific bombing in Boston....please pray for the victims and their families, as well as in gratitude for the heroism and assistance of those who rendered aid to strangers in crisis.

95% of the people in this world are wonderful, but 5% do a lot of damage.  Let's not let them make the world over in their image.  Let's fight back against hate and death with compassion and consideration.
Please, this week, do something dramatic or extravagant for life and beauty to support Boston and to tell the 5% they won't win.  If you wish, post what you've chosen to do here to inspire others. 

Lord Jesus, we are made in your image, and as such are all precious.  We ask for healing hands and  obedience to assist in your plans for making good from the evil in Boston.  We know you are with the victims and families; may they feel your presence personally and draw peace and strength from it.  Amen 

Purple Perfection

David Webb usually makes me feel "meh."  That is, until I saw this amethyst, diamond, and emerald bracelet up for auction at Christie's on the 16th.  Then I almost passed out.   

Everything about this is perfect- the colors, the manes becoming scales, the shapes of the eyes and ears, the ropes on the horses' harnesses- gorgeous.  Even the carved Indian emeralds on the harnesses are perfect, and I usually do not like those in high jewelry.  All of this shows that true artistry creates exceptions to everything.

Stand by for more Christie's gorgeousness this week...there are some jaw droppers on the block on Tuesday!  Thanks to From the Eyes of Purple who repinned

I hope whoever gets this beautiful thing will love it as much as I would have...

12 April, 2013

Ah-May-Zing Spring Jewels- on Friday

Today's art nouveau jewel honors the hot fecundity that has gripped the Mid Atlantic since we skipped spring and went straight to summer.  The blooming trees are playing catch up; you can imagine them panting as they strain to pop, pop, pop their blossoms. 

 A French Art Nouveau 18 karat gold brooch by Paul Lienard, with carved ivory bleeding heart flowers with 6 pear shape ruby centers (approx. .70 carats) and plique-a-jour enamel leaves. Found on 1st Dibs for Macklowe Gallery.
It is sweetly seditious, no?  Ah, were so cleverly naughty!  And because it is Black Friday, let's have another knee-weakening, floral beauty made by Lienard at the turn of the century...
Brooch designed as a carved moonstone female face, enhanced by an opalescent and pale green plique-a-jour enamel and green gold headdress, with old mine-cut diamond and matte-finished black enamel detail, suspending a freshwater pearl drop, mounted in 18k gold, from Christie's Important Jewels, December 1996.
The craftsmanship of the second outshines the first, but they are both compelling.  Which would you wear?  Why?

09 April, 2013

Portrait of Madame Bruyere- Jewelry in Art I

The rings, the necklaces, and the fascinating gold hoops suspending sparkling diamond loops...Madame Bruyere's jewelry made The Portrait of Madame Bruyere, painted by Antoine-Jean Gros in 1796, one of my favorite paintings.  Madame B clearly thought her jewelry was important although not ostentatious.  However, an argument can be made that Madame B is not just another jewelry fiend; her jewelry might have sent a coded message about what she thought was important- her past and those she lost. 

Madame B's long, black ring  indicated aristocratic connections.  The style was popular in 1785 in the French court after the birth of the dauphin.  It was called 'bagues a l'enfantement' because it showed the stars of the sky sprinkled around a central star- the new French heir to the throne. 
An earlier version of the ring, 'a firmament,' with diamonds evenly sprinkled on a black background was popular when Marie Antoinette became pregnant in 1774.  Thanks to Bell and Bird for the photo and history.
Both of her hands appear to wear mourning rings.  One ring is a buckle ring, common during this period, which sometimes contained braided hair from a deceased love one. 
This diamond and 18 kt ring from 1830 is engraved "Charlotte."  The hair disintegrated and was replaced with a silver band.  From Ruby Lane.
Her other pinkie finger wears a simpler black and gold ring.  Enamel and gold mourning rings were popular throughout the 1700s and 1800s.  

Also from Bell and Bird, this ring remembers, "Kathleen Chambers, Died May, 16th 1758, aged 64."
Madame B's sweet face distanced her from the political statement her hands made- could it be that she mourns the king and those who died with him?   

04 April, 2013

Sizzlin' Hot Love

"You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride. 
You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes,
With a single strand of your necklace."  
                                                                     The Song of Songs 4:9

Pretty erotic, right? But the jewelry shows the groom's feelings are more than simple desire...  

Bulgari Mediterranean Eden necklace in 18 kt gold, diamonds, coral, and peridot- it is feminine and spring-like, bridal even though it isn't subtle.  It is Bulgari, after all.
Biblically, kings used necklaces as public demonstrations of trust and esteem when they elevated new counselors.  It is implied that the groom, King Solomon, gave the necklace to the bride, a poor shepherdess.  He is overjoyed that she wears the necklace and publicly acknowledges that she is his trusted and esteemed beloved.  The groom's captivation by "a single strand" of her necklace shows his dizzying joy in their acceptance of each other.  Their mutual love enthralls him. 
Love is miraculous, isn't it?  

01 April, 2013

Instant Jewelry Lust

14 kt rose gold
When Kismet by Milka made this ring, it was made for me.  Thank you Gem Gossip for my first look and to Caratime for the photo.