Spring is the time for renewal. In advance of Christie’s April 17 Magnificent Jewels sale in New York, we spoke with the auction house’s international jewelry expert Daphne Lingon. Daphne opined about her favorite designs from next month’s event, what vintage pieces to snap up now, and how people are styling those brooches. Here is what she had to say.
Vintage Jewelry That’s Gaining Popularity
Bold gold designs, either with gemstones or without. And those gorgeous sautoirs by Bulgari—we started to see those in the Elizabeth Taylor sale in 2011, and that market has really taken off.
Art Deco designs have remained a constant—they are the gold standard when it comes to jewelry design, and it’s remained so for many, many years.
Today’s Most Wearable Vintage Pieces
I would say that gold is definitely the sort of en vogue metal. It has a warmth and wearability to it, so we’ve definitely seen gold jewelry become more in demand. And large cocktail rings, mostly from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s—we’re seeing a definite demand for that style. [They] could be colorful, but in most cases, the metal of choice is gold.
Brooches and How to Wear Them
I personally think [brooches] are one of the best mediums in which a jeweler can showcase their work. And I think the younger generation feels more comfortable wearing them—I love that brooches can sort of transcend all age groups.
People are becoming more creative because they see that these are wearable pieces of art. I’ve seen them arranged in clusters to make some sort of statement. I’ve seen them on the backs of dresses. I’ve seen them on belts and waistlines.
Advice for Young Jewelry Collectors
I think my best advice to people is to buy what you like and buy quality. Buy the best quality that you can with what you have. When you’re looking at a piece of jewelry, consider quality and workmanship, and if it expresses your style.
People need to think about their own tastes and how [a piece of jewelry] works with their life.
Is it wearable? How often are you going to wear it? If you’re going to wear it once a year, that’s one thing, but if you’re going to wear it several times a week, that’s great.
On Making a Purchase Have Meaning
I’ve not bought a lot, but what I have bought almost always coincides with some important event in my life—I buy [a design] to celebrate something.
Today, I can look at my pieces, and they put a smile on my face because I can remember each occasion that they were purchased for.
Daphne’s Favorite Pieces from the Magnificent Jewels Sale
Lot 4–This cuff bracelet is so large, and it’s set with these multicolored glass intaglios of the zodiac. It has to be from the ’70s. Estimate: $10,000–$15,000
Lot 147–This is an amazing sautoir from Van Cleef & Arpels. It’s gorgeous, made with coral, lapis, and diamonds. Estimate: $30,000–50,000
Lot 92–Here is a beautiful jade-bead earrings and necklace set by Van Cleef & Arpels.