Fine Jewelry Shines at Skinner on March 18 - Rare Picasso Works to Appear at Auction for the First Time
By Mel Fabrikant Friday, March 14 2014 @ 11:18 AM EDT
Skinner, Inc. announces an auction of Fine Jewelry on March 18, featuring over 500 lots of treasures by important makers including Buccellati, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co. and, extraordinarily, Pablo Picasso, among others. Fine Art Nouveau jewelry, a strong section of diamonds, and several whimsical, figural pieces also stand out in this auction.
Skinner continues its tradition of spotlighting artist jewelry with three scarce, early jewelry pieces by Pablo Picasso – each on the market for the very first time.
Early in his career, in the 1950s, Picasso made a series of one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, most likely cast in the south of France with the assistance of his dentist, Dr. Chatagnier. He gave three of these pieces to Françoise Gilot, the mother of two of his children, Claude and Paloma Picasso. Gilot later passed the jewelry on to Carole Mallory, who was engaged to Claude at the time, and the jewelry has been in Mallory’s possession ever since.
The most important of the Picasso offerings is a sculptural, Silver “Satyr” Pendant (Lot 184, estimated between $15,000 and $20,000), featuring the familiar satyr motif which appeared across Picasso’s works.
Also included is a brooch depicting Picasso’s son Claude as a boy in profile, etched in silver (Lot 185, $15,000 to $20,000), as well as a round, Silver “Sun” Pendant (Lot 186, $15,000 to $20,000)
Gloria Lieberman, Vice President at Skinner, Inc. observed, “The Picasso offerings in this auction are truly special. Not only do these pieces exhibit an experimental style by the artist, they are all one-of-a-kind, in contrast to Picasso’s editioned jewelry.”
Stellar examples of diamond jewelry are abundant in the March 18 auction. Standout offerings include a signed Platinum and Diamond Solitaire by Taffin (Lot 580, $200,000 to $300,000), set with a cushion brilliant-cut gem weighing 6.08 cts. According to the accompanying GIA report no.11512032, dated April 11, 2001, the diamond is E color, VVS2 clarity. Skinner will offer an Emerald-cut Diamond (Lot 579, $65,000 to $75,000) weighing 4.39 cts. and accompanied by GIA report no. 5151687941, dated September 27, 2013, stating that the diamond is G color, VVS2 clarity. A Platinum and Diamond Solitaire (Lot 559, Estimate $70,000 to $90,000) on the block features a prong-set, pear-shaped diamond weighing 10.02 cts., flanked by tapered baguettes.
Skinner will also offer a broad selection of beautiful period gems, including an Edwardian Platinum and Diamond Lavaliere (Lot 441, Estimate $15,000 to $20,000), and an Edwardian Amethyst and Diamond Drapery Brooch by Cartier, New York (Lot 439, $15,000 to $20,000)
The remaining jewelry of a single owner collection of Buccellati pieces will be up for auction, following the successful results from the first selection sold at Skinner last December. Victoria Bratberg, Director of Fine Jewelry at Skinner noted, “We are pleased to offer such a strong grouping of Buccellati jewelry, with all pieces in excellent condition, which is quite nice.” Highlights include an 18kt Gold “Hawaii” Necklace (Lot 548, $5,000 to $7,000) and an 18kt Gold and Emerald "Macri" Bracelet, (Lot 541, $6000 to $8000).
Art Nouveau Highlights
Skinner will offer two remarkable pieces of Art Nouveau jewelry from the Collection of Rita Goodman. One is an intriguing Art Nouveau 18kt Gold, Opal, and Demantoid Garnet Necklace (Lot 378, $20,000 to $30,000), purchased by the consignor in France in the late 1960s and featuring a striking, serpentine design. The necklace’s maker remains a mystery to this day. From the same collection is an Art Nouveau 18kt Gold, Enamel, and Diamond Brooch, Attributed to Boucheron, France, c. 1900 (Lot 377, $8,000 to $10,000), designed as a jackal’s head, crowned with the heads of two serpents. A similar example is pictured in Boucheron: Four Generations of a World-Renowned Jeweler, by Gilles Néret.
Several charming figural works by Cartier will be offered, including a Whimsical Gold Gem-set Figural Brooch, New York, 1965 (Lot 552, $25,000 to $35,000) designed as a cowboy wearing flaring gold chaps, playing a diamond-set guitar. For the golf lover who appreciates fine jewelry, Cartier’s 18kt Gold, Chalcedony, and Diamond Figural Brooch, France (Lot 553, $3,000 to $5,000), designed as a bag of golf clubs with single-cut diamond mêlée is sure to excite. Another eye-catching offering by the same maker is an 18kt Gold, Coral, and Diamond Figural Brooch, (Lot 551, $3,000 to $5,000), designed as a park bench with a pair of coral and rose-cut diamond hearts.
Carole Mallory, consignor and author of Picasso’s Ghost (A Love Story), will present a lecture at Skinner titled “Uncovering the Mystery of the Picasso Jewels” on Monday, March 17, 2014 at 6PM. The event is free and open to the public.
Previews, Catalog and Bidding
Previews for the auction will be held on Sunday, March 16, from noon to 5 PM and Monday, March 17, from noon to 7 PM. Illustrated Catalog #2711B is available from the Subscription Department, at 508-970-3240, or from the Gallery. Prices realized will be available online at www.skinnerinc.com, both during and after the sale. The Skinner website enables users to view every lot in the auction, leave bids, order catalogs and bid live, in real-time, through SkinnerLive!
Skinner auctions draw international interest from buyers and consignors alike, with material regularly achieving record prices. The company’s auction and appraisal services focus on fine art, jewelry, furniture, and decorative arts from around the globe, as well as wine, important musical instruments, rare books, clocks, Judaica, and more. Monthly Skinner Discovery
auctions feature a breadth of estate material. Widely regarded as one of the most trusted names
in the business, Skinner appraisers have appeared on the PBS-TV series Antiques Roadshow since the show’s inception. Skinner has galleries in Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts,
with an international audience of bidders participating in person, by phone, and online through
the SkinnerLive! online bidding platform. For more information and to read our blog, visit the Skinner website at www.skinnerinc.com, find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/skinnerauctions, or follow us on Twitter @Skinnerinc.