A French Mid-20th Century platinum and 18 karat white gold brooch with diamonds and pearls by Pierre Sterlé. The brooch contains 300 round-cut diamonds with an approximate total weight of 8.50 carats, G/H color, VS clarity. There are 3 articulated South Sea pearls measuring 13.5 mm, 13.3 mm and 12.5 mm finishing the bottom. The brooch is designed as a tied bow composed of chevron-set diamond ribbons finished with the 3 diamond-capped South Sea pearls. A similar brooch is pictured in Sterlé Joaillier Paris, by Viviane Jutheau, Editions Vecteurs, 1990, Plate 1273.
This Art Nouveau pendant-brooch by Marcus & Co. presents a flowing form abstracted from the delicate shapes of flowers and leafy vines. Its subtle coloration comes from the use of unusual materials, such as rare chrysoprase and translucent plique-à-jour enamel, whose organic greens are set off by pools of spectral hues provided by the shimmering opals. Signature Marcus gold work, characterized by the miniature scrolls, incised circles, stippling, and graduated beads, adds to the organic feeling of the flowing form. Wearable on a simple black ribbon or cord, it is a statement of inspired naturalism.The pendant brooch is set with 6 cabochon white opals, 63 cabochon chrysoprase stones, and is highlighted by plique-à-jour enamel. Suspended from the brooch is an opal and chrysoprase pendant drop. Detachable brooch finding and flip-down bail.Shown in the Poster House (New York) exhibition "Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau./Nouvelle Femme," June 20-October 6, 2019. The multi-generational New York firm of Marcus & Co was founded by an ambitious young German immigrant who had trained with a prominent court jeweler in Dresden. In 1892, after working with Charles Lewis Tiffany, Hermann Marcus and his sons William and George together set up a business that soon became a glittering New York society institution renowned not only for its superb diamonds, colored stones and pearls, but also
its instantly recognizable, original design style. The firm produced great jewels in the Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts sensibility, with George, the artist/designer, drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as the contemporary French masters, the Moghuls and Maharajahs, the garland style of the Ancien Regime, and the genius of Renaissance goldsmiths. George''s distinctive, confident hand was always discernible in Marcus creations. Working as a team with George, William was a gem and pearl connoisseur who travelled the world hunting for exceptional gem material, including purchasing the entire production of never-before-seen black opal from Lightning Ridge Australia in 1908. Marcus exhibited at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, and their work won prizes from the prestigious Society of Arts & Crafts of Boston. Plique-à-jour enamel was an art in which the firm excelled. Displaying a mastery equal to that of the French artists, they created jewels with unprecedented three-dimensional depth in this medium. The firm and family were well-known for their charitable activities and promotion of young jewelers such as Raymond Yard. The firm''s jewelry is a focus of the collection of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A Mid-20th Century 18 karat and platinum gold ''Hawaii'' brooch with diamonds, rubies and sapphires by Van Cleef & Arpels. The brooch has 15 round diamonds with an approximate total weight of 1.35 carats, 10 round rubies with an approximate total weight of 1.00 carat, and 36 round sapphires with an approximate total weight of 4.00 carats. This stylized spray of blossoms and leaves is part of Van Cleef''s celebrated "Hawaii" series, designed as "naive, loose bunches of flowers" meant to capture the post-war spirit of liberation and rejuvenation.With Van Cleef & Arpels Certificate of Authenticity stating: "According to a visual appraisal and to the Van Cleef & Arpels Archives, the item illustrated and described below bearing the engraved numbers NY22818.2...the item illustrated and described has been identified as a Van Cleef & Arpels creation." "A ''Hawaii'' clip set with round diamonds, sapphires and rubies. Mounted in platinum, yellow gold and white gold. 1954."
A French 18 karat gold elephant brooch with coral and enamel by Van Cleef and Arpels. A novelty brooch of an elephant with oval-cut emerald eyes that have the approximate total weight of .24 carat, carved white coral tusks and black enamel feet, in textured 18 karat yellow gold.
"L''Anémone des Bois", A French Art Nouveau masterwork by René Lalique. Created in 1897, this 18 karat gold brooch showcases Lalique''s mastery of "plique-à-jour" enamel and also represents one of his earliest explorations of the art of molded glass. The brooch is accented by two oval faceted aquamarines weighing approximately 8.10 and 3.75 carats. More than any technical mastery or gemological import, the brooch is distinguished by its aesthetics and its deep meaning. This exquisite "Anémones des Bois" Brooch is an important example of René Lalique''s early work, predating his international debut at the Exposition Universelle of 1900. While his most prolific version of the anemone motif was the "Anémone couronnée" or poppy anemone, only a few choice pieces depict the "Anémone des Bois" or wood anemone. Unlike the poppy anemone, which grew in the balmy Mediterranean summer, the Anémone des Bois was known to the French as the harbinger of spring. While the forest floor lay dormant, the wood anemone alone reared its small head. Areas where the poor could pick this humble flower were demarcated with signs reading "Les Halles." The Anémone des Bois lined the border of the forest, enticing promenading couples into the forest''s embrace for an afternoon tryst. Pure white anemones thus became a symbol of virginal purity, mourning its imminent profanity by carnal desire. Lalique
knew these traditions well from spending his childhood and summer holidays in the commune of Aÿ in Marne, located on a plateau overlooking the hillsides of Champagne. Two forests dominated the Marne landscape. To the west lay the old-growth forest of Sermiers, and to the east lay La forêt domaniale du Chêne à la Vierge. Promenading in the forest was a popular Sunday pastime for locals, especially as a way to escape the unrelenting dry heat of the noonday sun. Lalique expanded upon the theme of carnal desire, using the anemone to allegorize the stages of courtship. Our Anémone des Bois marked the beginning of this five-year-long exploration. With its petals slightly closed, the flower embodies the initial "rejet" or rejection of love. Fitting of a depiction of "rejet" the work epitomizes divine symmetry and youthful vigor. The flower''s posture relates to local wisdom: villagers could tell rain was coming when the Anémone des Bois closed its petals. By closing its petals, the flower rebuffs the words and sexual advances of the man. The second anemone in the series has its petals in disarray but receptive to potential pollination. An anemone in this position embodied "l''acceptation de l''amour" or the acceptance of love. The third anemone is the most sensual of the series, two anemones approach a passionate kiss, embodying the "consommation" or consummation. The final anemone in the series was completed in 1901. Titled "Mort de l''anémone" it is Lalique''s only representation of the blue anemone. Through the consummation, its petals have been dyed and its purity defiled. In macabre detail, the skeletal structure of the anemone''s rhizomes, or underground stems, are put on full view. The plant has been uprooted, and the encounter has finished. Contemporary novelist Émile Pouvillon related the death of the anemone to the act of deflowering in his 1895 short story "Les Anémones sont Mortes." The story''s heroine, a young country girl, loses herself in a bout of unrestrained euphoria with her lover. In their rolling about, "Anémones des Bois" are ripped out and bruised. At the 1898 Salon, the first Anémone des Bois was a critical triumph. Displayed with the second and third anemone in the series, the first was favored for its fully articulated plique-à-jour leaves. In the premier French decorative arts magazine Art et Décoration, the Anémone des Bois was praised for its "candid whiteness" and leaves that suggest "an infinitely complicated and precious architecture." Our Anémone des Bois is resplendent with the technical acuity that made Lalique known as the "master of modern bijoux (jewelry.)" In his early years, Lalique personally designed and modeled each mold for his creations in clay. These molds were then cast in iron and coated with a paste of resin and beeswax, hand-tooled for detail. The finish pressed-glass jewel was submerged in a bath of hydrofluoric acid, frosting the exterior. A thin layer of "jade green" powdered enamel was sifted and annealed onto the piece. The venation of each petal was painstakingly cut, revealing the plain crystal underneath. The warm glow of the gold backing gives the piece a breathtaking amber hue.
An American Contemporary 18 karat gold brooch with diamonds, emeralds, amethysts, turquoise and coral by Henry Dunay. The piece is a beautiful and playful array of cabochon amethyst, turquoise and coral set in twisted gold bezels, accented with raised, gold-framed diamonds and organized in an arresting organic lozenge shape. The brooch has 34 white round brilliant-cut diamonds with an approximate total weight of 3.40 carats, 10 cabochon emeralds with an approximate total weight of 1.50 carats, 16 cabochon amethysts, 12 cabochon turquoise, 4 cabochon coral-Pendant attachment on back.Henry Dunay''s Miniature GardenThis pendant-brooch by Henry Dunay speaks to the little art works coming into bloom all around us here on the streets of New York. The sight of vibrantly colored sidewalk micro-gardens, and the joy they bring, are an eagerly-anticipated spring phenomenon, a joint gift of nature and our generous, talented neighbors. Within the constraints of a few square feet, framed by ornamental ironwork, these little early modernist style compositions of hue, form and texture are conjured from miniature tulips, narcissus, snowdrops, crocus and periwinkles, all interspersed with electric spring-green leaves. Fellow New Yorker Henry Dunay, a lifelong jeweler, champion of handmade work, and recipient of numerous awards, says that an important aspect of his art has been to capture a se
nse of natural flow, and to speak to our subconscious minds. He succeeds brilliantly here, with this joyful evocation of the natural jewels of spring.
A modern Alivia brooch by Neha Dani. This large but delicate piece, rendered in 18 karat white gold, is an asymmetrical web of branches studded with 674 round white diamonds that weigh 3.74 carats; they have a VVS clarity and F/G color grade. The branches also feature small floret-shaped clusters of 109 round green diamond beads that total to 20.09 carats.
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