Rapaport Magazine

Dealer’s Choice

By Phyllis Schiller
 Estate jewelry, like pretty much any category of decorative arts, has its share of the good, the bad and the mundane. But then there are the truly spectacular pieces that make sifting through the ordinary in search of the extraordinary worthwhile. Instant portals into the past, the jewelry celebrates the workmanship of artisans who worked with the tools and gemstones at hand to create wearable works of art that continue to please and enchant through the decades. RDR asked nine estate jewelry dealers to share a piece from their inventory that exemplifies that high standard. Here, in their own words, is why they feel these pieces are prime examples of estate jewelry. 


Janet Levy, Principal

J. & S.S. DeYoung Inc.   

This Louis Comfort Tiffany pendant is a marvelous example of design, workmanship and artistry dating from about 1915. Inspired by nature, the two-sided pendant is a stylized green enamel willow leaf with acorns of white opals beneath a black opal center. The gold is finely textured to evoke the feeling of branches. Almost 100 years old, this piece is a testament to the unique sensibility and vision of Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Paul Lubetsky, President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Windsor Jewelers

A beautiful example of Edwardian “white-on-white” jewelry combines the allure of natural pearls with the sparkle of diamonds in an amazing pendant necklace. Echoing the delicate, lacelike patterns of the fabrics of the day, the natural pearls are accented by an impressive, platinum-set diamond pendant, itself adorned with two large natural pearls — one about 13 mm and another that is 9 mm. The piece, which dates circa 1915, has a French platinum stamp.

Ronald Kawitzky, President

DK Bressler & Co

An important piece of jewelry, this Georgian, pre-1837 oval royal presentation piece has a giant 5-carat-plus rectangular old cut stone at its center. But more than a significant diamond brooch, this piece has an artistry and poetry and wonderful sense of whimsy. On either side are two chubby little pink enamel putti holding a draping garland in one hand and a crown over the diamond in the other. It’s such a treat.

John Haynes, President

John T. Haynes Inc.

An absolutely phenomenal piece of jewelry, this Art Deco ring from the 1920s is in perfect condition. The 1.90-carat, D flawless, Type IIa diamond is surrounded by half-moon accent stones. Small, but extremely high quality, this ring is truly a gem. It is probably the most pristine piece of Art Deco jewelry that I have ever owned.

Eric Bitz, Vice President

David and Company

One of the most exquisite pieces of Art Deco jewelry we have purchased in some time, this bracelet is a classic example of a fine Art Deco piece in both style and quality of workmanship. It features custom-cut onyx pieces set in a geometric pattern, with approximately 30 carats total weight of fine-quality Old European cut diamonds. The previous owner stated that the piece was bought from Cartier, although it is not signed or numbered. Based on the quality of the bracelet, we believe that because it does not have a signature,
it will present a great value to the next owner. 

Diana Singer, President

D&E Singer, Inc.

This set of French Art Moderne clips by Pinet et Fils in 18-karat yellow gold and diamonds encapsulates everything a spectacular piece of jewelry should be. They have volume, movement and geometry. Beautifully constructed, they have grace and elegance. Asymmetrical, they can be oriented differently, on a lapel or neckline, so they take on different shapes. They are a constant source of fascination to me, no matter how many times I look at them, and that is what a piece of great jewelry is all about.

Nancy Revy, Founder and CEO

Beladora.com, the online store for Kazanjian & Fogarty

An iconic design of Van Cleef & Arpels, this lavish flower brooch has all the elements of Retro design I love — it’s big, bold, bright and beautiful — along with the gorgeous gemstones and exceptional workmanship the firm is known for. One of the most exciting things about this brooch is that it is as chic to wear today as it was when it was created in the late 1930s, especially with today’s strong trend of bold jewelry in rose and yellow gold.

Roy Mazuz, President

Vecchio Inc.

This pair of diamond earrings in platinum-topped 18-karat yellow gold, circa 1930s, offers a double delight. The fact that they are old miners adds character; the fact that they are matched makes them very special. The earrings feature a smaller diamond on top, larger on bottom, with a total weight of 3.58 carats. Classically styled with a French clasp, the earrings are as current for today’s woman as they were the day they were made.

Malcolm Logan, Co-Owner

Nelson Rarities

These magnificent earrings, circa 1862, are the work of Castellani, the greatest goldsmith of the Etruscan Revival movement, inspired by archeological discoveries. Very historical and extremely rare, they depict the Greek sun god Helios, who streaked across the heavens in his chariot every morning to bring sunshine to earth. The tops represent the sun as a flower, suspended from which are crescent-shaped chariots of Helios, with his entourage of cherubs and putti, and sun rays of finely spun braids of gold that terminate into amphora drops.










Article from the Rapaport Magazine - March 2011. To subscribe click here.

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