Leslie Hindman Auctioneers has another glorious jewelry auction coming up, and it’s right around the corner: the December Important Jewelry Auction. The Chicago preview starts on Wednesday, and the auction itself is next Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
I’ve combed through the literally hundreds of auction lots and picked out my favorite pieces to give you a starting point to decide what you can’t let get away next week when the bidding starts.
I had a little help, actually: Alex, Meredith, and Jamie of Leslie Hindman’s jewelry department spent nearly an hour on the phone with me, giving me the inside scoop on the most noteworthy pieces coming up in the December Important Jewelry Auction. And oh my goodness, there are some good ones.
If you’ve never bid in a Leslie Hindman auction before, this is a great one to start with. They have a wonderful introductory page here to walk you through the particulars of getting started. There are some really great pieces spanning a variety of price points. It’s their second-biggest sale ever, which means there’s a whole lot to love.
Let’s dive in!
Lot 34: A Fine Renaissance Revival Gold, Silver, Multi Gem and Polychrome Enamel Pendant, Augusto Castellani, Circa 1860.
We’re starting out with this delicious jewel right here: a colorful, eye-catching specimen of Renaissance Revival jewelry crafted by a master of revival jewelry, Augusto Castellani. If that weren’t enough, this piece also bears a strong resemblance to a piece in the British Royal Collection that is also attributed to Augusto Castellani and is believed to have been acquired by Queen Mary.
Beautiful, historically significant, and dazzlingly well-preserved? Sign me up.
Lot 6: A Pair of Egyptian Revival Yellow Gold Micromosaic Hoop Earrings, French.
I’ve seen some cool micro-mosaic pieces in my jewelry adventures, but I’ve never, ever seen anything like these hoop earrings.
It’s even Egyptian revival micro-mosaic; look at those colorful scarabs near the top!! I love the rope detail edging on the sides, too. A fascinating, unique pair of treasures in exquisite condition. Also…the low auction estimate is $500, which blows my mind.
Lot 20: A Georgian Gold and Garnet Lover’s Eye Ring.
Lot 21: A Georgian Rose Gold and Seed Pearl Lover’s Eye Brooch.
Lot 23: A Georgian Yellow Gold Lover’s Eye Locket.
Lot 24: A Georgian Yellow Gold, Pink Gemstone and Seed Pearl Lover’s Eye Brooch.
Lot 25: A Georgian Glass and Seed Pearl Lover’s Eye Pendant.
One of the first things I noticed while perusing Leslie Hindman’s December Important Jewelry Auction is that there a whole lot of delicious little Georgian pieces in day 1. I know a some of my antique jewelry Instagram buddies are going to go gaga for these – and with good reason, since many of these little pretties have auction estimates that start below $1,000.
Lot 1: A Pair of Georgian Yellow Gold and Emerald Convertible Pendoloque Drop Earrings, Spain/Portugal.
Oh, hello, you magnificent beauties.
Look at those chased, bezel settings, those rich green emeralds, that perfect articulation. Even better: one of the pendants has a removable brooch fitting, so it can be worn in more than one way.
Lot 120: A Platinum, Aquamarine, Ruby and Diamond Ring.
This deliciously colorful bauble features an aquamarine big enough to ice skate across, accented with a beautiful platinum filigree setting and 1.66 carats of rubies and 0.42 carats of diamonds.
There’s actually another cocktail ring with this color scheme in the sale too, by Tiffany & Co. – but I like this unsigned one better, personally.
Lot 55: An Art Nouveau Gold, Iolite, Diamond and Polychrome Enamel Lapel Watch, Patek Philippe.
Watches don’t really do much for me in the general way…but when they look like this, I’m on board.
Lot 62: An Art Nouveau Yellow Gold, Pearl, Diamond and Enamel Convertible Lavalier Necklace, Bippart, Griscom & Osborn.
Lot 39: An Art Nouveau Yellow Gold, Opal, Seed Pearl, and Polychrome Enamel Necklace.
Two extremely different, but equally jaw-dropping Art Nouveau era necklaces.
On the left, we have a hinged pendant with a large, luminous opal, seed pearl accents, and black enamel detailing on a fancy link chain. The portion of the pendant with the opal can transform into a brooch. On the right, we have a classic nature-inspired Art Nouveau motif rendered in enamel and pearls, with small diamond accents. Iconic Art Nouveau.
Lot 206: A Pair of 18 Karat Yellow Gold, Enamel and Ruby Bead Convertible Bracelets/Necklace, Verdura.
This is just too gorgeous for words. Look at those rubies!! The two bracelets can be worn individually, or together as a necklace.
Just look at those clasps. I can’t handle it. It’s too perfect.
Lot 41: An Art Deco Yellow Gold, Platinum, Aquamarine, Diamond and Polychrome Enamel Ring.
Lot 419: A Fine 18 Karat Yellow Gold, Peridot and Tourmaline Ring.
Lot 100: An Art Deco Platinum, Ruby, Diamond and Onyx Ring.
A trio of colorful rings! My very favorite thing about auctions – especially at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers – is the incredible variety of pieces you can see in one place.
Lot 54: An Important Renaissance Revival Gold, Platinum, Opal and Multigem Pendant/Brooch, Paulding Farnham for Tiffany & Co.
I don’t think you need me to tell you what’s special about this absurdly gorgeous piece. It looks like it’s probably a mermaid’s secret treasure. And if you tell me that opal doesn’t have magical powers, I will accuse you of lying.
Fun fact: this exact piece is pictured in the book Paulding Farnham: Tiffany’s Lost Genius, by John Loring, on page 142-143. It’s featured alongside a sketch for a similar design, circa 1901.
Lot 265: A Double Strand Yellow Gold, Emerald, Diamond, Ruby and Polychrome Enamel Necklace, Indian.
How incredible is this Indian necklace? The majority of the beads are gold with colorful enamel, interspersed with huge, delicious emerald beads.
The most glorious part is the central emerald element: the wondrous hexagonal slice – naturally occurring hexagon, not a carved one – accented with gold wirework, colorful enamel, and rubies.
Lot 18: A Berlin Ironworks Bracelet.
Here’s an incredible Berlin ironwork bracelet that caught my eye. When you find a good piece of Berlin iron jewelry, it’s as elegant as lace. This one is a stunner.
This piece, like many of the other exceptional finds in Leslie Hindman’s December Important Jewelry Auction, comes from the collection of esteemed Chicagoan jewelry collector Marilynn Alsdorf, who I now want to be friends with due to the ample evidence of her incredible taste in these auction lots.
Lot 201:An 18 Karat Yellow Gold, Platinum, Cultured South Sea Pearl and Enamel Necklace, David Webb.
Lot 195: An 18 Karat Yellow Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Enamel Necklace, David Webb.
Another noteworthy subcategory of Leslie Hindman’s December Important Jewelry Auction is the plethora of very fine David Webb pieces. These two necklaces, with their elegant drama and vivid enamel details, are my favorites.
Lot 63: An Art Nouveau Yellow Gold, Polychrome Enamel and Diamond Flower Brooch, Krementz & Co.
Does it surprise you, while looking at this brooch, to know that Krementz & Co. was famous for their enamel flower jewelry? This is a perfect example and I’d stare lovingly into its petals every day if it were mine.
Lot 273: A Possibly Ancient Gold and Hardstone Scarab Parure.
Lot 275: A Possibly Ancient Yellow Gold, Faience Bead and Glass Bead “Eye of Horus” Motif Necklace.
These two lots are also from Marilynn Alsdorf’s collection, and they’re the reason I almost paid last minute Thanksgiving week train ticket prices to go to NYC for Leslie Hindman’s December Important Jewelry Auction preview.
The piece on the left dates to the Victorian era, and is made from what are believed to be ancient elements. The necklace on the left is believed to be ancient in its entirety, which blows my freakin’ mind.
Lot 523: A Platinum, Grey Opal, and Diamond Ring/Pendant.
Lot 361: An 18 Karat Bicolor Gold, Turquoise and Diamond Ring.
How about some huge, glorious, cool-toned cocktail rings?
The opal ring looks like an exploding galaxy you can wear on your hand, while the turquoise bombe ring oozes midcentury fabulousness. That opal is just about 8.50 carats, and it converts into a pendant.
Lot 278: A Possibly Ancient Yellow Gold and Hardstone Pendant.
Lot 274: A Yellow Gold and Possibly Ancient Faience Pendant.
Lot 285: A Possibly Ancient Textured Multi Band Ring.
Lot 279: An Early Christian Yellow Gold and Rock Crystal Intaglio Pendant.
More ancient jewelry. I think these things are just the coolest. Imagine all the things they’ve seen!! Or would have seen, if they were sentient. I anthropomorphize things. Can you imagine owning something like this?
Lot 83: An Art Deco Platinum, Diamond, Seed Pearl and Sapphire Brooch.
There’s nothing quite like really good Art Deco brooch…and this is a really good Art Deco brooch. Sapphire accents, sparkling diamonds, intricate platinum details…and look at those sapphire cabochons! They glow.
Lot 354: A Fine Vintage 18 Karat Yellow Gold, Diamond, Ruby and Polychrome Enamel Twin Chimera Bracelet.
How fantastic is this vintage bracelet? Totally over the top, but magnificent.
Lot 94: An Art Deco Platinum, Diamond and Sapphire Ring.
Lot 107: An Art Deco White Gold, Ruby and Diamond Ring.
Lot 688: An Edwardian Platinum Topped Yellow Gold, Sapphire and Diamond Ring.
Lot 748: A Yellow Gold, Citrine and Sapphire Ring.
Lot 357: An 18 Karat Yellow Gold and Sapphire Wrap Ring, J. Vendome, Paris.
I have it on good authority that some of the best value items in Leslie Hindman’s December Important Jewelry Auction are rings like these.
Which is great news, because they’re all fabulous. I especially love the Art Deco two stone ring, the crazy citrine and sapphire one on the lower left, and the even crazier sapphire swirl ring on the lower right.
Lot 33: A Gold, Enamel, Pearl and Seashell Butterfly Brooch, Federico and Ferdinando Giuliano, circa 1890.
This brooch would be cool under any circumstances, but when I saw it was by Federico and Ferdinando Giuliano, it immediately became 10 times cooler.
This is another one from my future best friend, Marilynn Alsdorf. Good job on this one, Marilynn.
If you didn’t see anything here that feels right, definitely take a look at the whole December Important Jewelry Auction.catalog online, or check out the online only silver jewelry auction that Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ has coming up on December 6th.
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