Dover Street Market’s 1-year-old Downtown Los Angeles annex—with its radical mix of high fashion labels, coveted sneakers and contemporary art—may not be the most obvious place to find a curated selection of period and vintage jewels from Sotheby’s upcoming Fine Jewels sale, scheduled for Sept. 25 in New York. But from Sept. 13–15, that’s precisely what shoppers discovered as they toured the gallery-like space: a tightly edited grouping of 20 fine jewels spanning eras, styles and price estimates.
“We’re always trying to position these jewels with fashion,” says Frank Everett, senior vice president and sales director for Sotheby’s Luxury Division. “While the jewelry is collectible and it is art, it’s got to be worn and work with fashion.”
This marks the third time Sotheby’s has teamed with Dover Street Market on a jewelry sale, and is the latest in a series of collaborations between the auction house and fashion insiders (past curators have included Moda Operandi and InStyle editor-in-chief Laura Brown).
While the sale totals some 400 lots, the pieces in the Dover Street Market Los Angeles (DSMLA) edit reflect some surprising choices, Everett said. He singled out lot 233, a c. 1830 gold, paste and micromosaic brooch depicting St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, estimated to fetch between $5,000–$7,000.
“The whole nature of micromosaics and the architectural revival period in the 19th century when people were looking at ruins and depicting ruins—it’s amazing, painstaking work,” he says. “I’m really pleased to see they picked it.”
The prices of the DSMLA-selected pieces range from a low estimate of $1,500 for a 19th century sardonyx cameo depicting a Hellenistic-style portrait bust set in a 20th century gold ring (lot 234), to a spectacular diamond and black enamel bangle-bracelet centered on a 6.17-ct. E VVS1 marquise-shaped diamond and expected to sell between $125,000–$175,000 (lot 101).
The DSMLA highlights also feature a number of pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels—such as a classic gold and lapis lazuli Alhambra necklace (lot 5) and a diamond, onyx, emerald and enamel panther brooch (lot 146)—and Bulgari, including a gem-set Celtica cuff-bracelet (lot 138) and gold wrap bracelet watch (lot 20).
David Webb is also represented in a duo of bold gold jewels that, according to Everett, are a great buy. “You cannot go wrong with big gold pieces,” he says. “Often they’re not priced too much above their weight in gold, so it’s an investment.”