Three distinctive pieces of jewellery spanning 137 years, are to be the highlights of Bonhams' Art of Jewels: Fine Jewellery and Iconic Gems sale on December 9th in London. The pieces clearly reflect the extraordinary artistry and pioneering design involved in creating jewellery that endures the test of time.
A limited edition gold and enamel 'Cobalt Water' ring designed by Turner Prize-winning artist, Anish Kapoor, 2007 is the most recently dated piece of jewellery in the Bonhams sale. Estimated at £6,000 - 8,000 the signed ring is hollow lined with a blue guilloché enamel ground, set on a heavy hoop and mounted in 22 carat gold.
In 2003, Louisa Guinness, of the Louisa Guinness Gallery in London, commissioned a number of contemporary artists, including Kapoor, to design jewels as wearable art. Such pieces, with their association with a noted artist as well as significant intrinsic value, are likely to make strong investments.
The Cobalt Water ring's concave reflective centre, traditionally where the gemstone should be, gives the illusion of containing a pool of water. This suggestion of a void, is what Kapoor describes as a "non-object", and is evocative of the large-scale mirrored sculptures, such as Mirror Sky, for which he is best known.
Very rare to the market is an enamel, steatite and gold winged scarab brooch by the prominent jeweller Giacinto Melillo, circa 1870, who helped lead the revival of ancient techniques used in making gold jewellery.
The brooch is designed in the Egyptian style and the central steatite scarab with a green glaze is dated 2000 - 1000BC. The scarab is set with fine gold granulation and rope-twist decoration, flanked by two cobras.
The outstretched wings have further rope-twist and granulation work and are decorated with blue, green and white enamel. This exquisite piece is estimated at £1,000 - 1,500.
A fine selection of Victorian jewellery is included in the sale, such as an emerald and diamond bracelet estimated at £40,000 - 60,000. A Colombian, five carat, square step-cut emerald sits in the centre of the bracelet, with brilliant-cut and rose-cut diamonds framing the stone.
Bonhams is also delighted to offer a watch by Andrew Grima, the foremost modern jewellery designer in the London's West End in the 1960s and 1970s. The tourmaline and gold watch from 1969 is estimated to sell for £10,000 - 15,000. In 1969, Omega Watch Co. commissioned Grima to make a collection of jewelled watches using semi-precious stones for the watch-face instead of glass.
The 'About Time' exhibition consisting of Grima's designs revolutionised the use of the watch, turning it from a functional object into a jewel. This watch is similar in design to the 'Utopia' watch from the exhibition.
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