Still looking for a special holiday gift? Phillips might have just what the doctor ordered.
On Monday night at 5 p.m. EST, the auction house will hold its December Jewels live auction in its new headquarters at New York’s 432 Park Avenue. There will be 120 lots in total with pieces from JAR, Bulgari, Chopard, Cartier and other big names.
We perused through the jewelry in person recently and can say, without a doubt, the highlight will be the pair of 18-karat rose gold cuffs with 101.50-carats of colored diamonds by American-born, Parisian-based jeweler, Joel Arthur Rosenthal, known as JAR. Whoever takes them home will need to have small wrists (they were not easy to get on and off) and fat pockets (the estimate is $300,000-$500,000 and we expect they will fetch over their top estimate). The jeweler has, of course, reached cult status among the well-heeled and makes just 100 pieces a year, many of which are bespoke creations tailored specifically to his clients.
But jewelry connoisseurs will be sure to take note of the Paul Flato bracelet (estimate $300,000-$500,000). Sara Payne Thomeier, Phillips’s head of jewels for the Americas, noted that pieces by Flato rarely come up at auction, but when they do his fanatics promptly swipe them up. The bracelet features a stunning hexagonal-shaped cabochon Colombian emerald that has been hand-carved, weighing approximately 200 carats, and comes surrounded by 10.10 carats of old European-cut, transitional-cut and single-cut diamonds set in platinum.
If you’re looking for a more affordable, but no less desirable piece of wrist candy, may we suggest a striking Salvador Dalí-designed 18-karat yellow-gold watch from Piaget? The 22-karat yellow-gold coin slides through the gold hoops to adjust to any wrist size and features the faces of Dali and his wife, Gala. The flip side is adorned with fleurs-de-lys, laurel leaves and eggs—symbols of rebirth often found in Dalí’s works. It is signed by the artist and dated to 1966 (estimate $10,000-$15,000). This is not an everyday watch. The coin is heavy and dangles beneath the wrist so it certainly wouldn’t be practical for daily tasks, but it sure would make an excellent conversation piece at a cocktail party.
The same applies to the campy pair of silver Gucci cuffs ($8,000-$10,000), meant to be worn attached to one wrist with the other cuff dangling. Designed during the Tom Ford era, they were said to be displayed in the windows of Gucci boutiques just after Maurizio Gucci was killed in a murder-for-hire plot by his estranged wife Patrizia Reggiani. Consider it a case of perfect timing—the movie about the fiasco, House of Gucci, starring Adam Driver and Lady Gaga, is out now and is one of the biggest theater releases of the year.
But if you are looking for more traditional red carpet drama, a Chopard choker necklace set with 156.33 carats of pear brilliant-cut, pear rose-cut and round briolette-cut and round brilliant-cut diamonds should do the trick (estimate $300,000-$500,000). It is sized at approximately 13 1/2 inches and comes with a signed and fitted folder with the appraisal report including a copy of its certificate of origin. Alternatively, there is also a stunning unsigned antique pink morganite necklace set in 18-karat white gold with a pear-shaped morganite measuring approximately 34.24 x 19.21 x 13.16 mm that delivers as much impact as the Chopard but for a fraction of the cost with an estimate of $40,000-$60,000. It dates to around 1840, but looks thoroughly modern in its arrangement and setting.
Finally, if you want to be doubly sure your piece is worth its weight in gold, an ’80s Boucheron pendant comes set with so much of the precious alloy it feels like a paperweight in the hand. It comes set with 18-karat yellow gold, 6.30-carats of round brilliant-cut diamonds and mixed-cut cabochon onyx. True to its era, this is a “go big or go home” kind of piece.
A more manageable medallion is the tourmaline, emerald and ruby necklace by famed Italian sculptor, Arnaldo Pomodoro in 18-karat yellow gold (estimate $5,000-$7,000). It dates to the mid-’60s and comes in an array of cool geometrical shapes. For those that collect artist-designed jewelry, this will be a must-have in addition to Dalí’s Piaget watch.
In other words, there’s something for everyone here…even handcuffs for the naughtier recipients on your gifting list.