The auction season is upon us once again and two sales (one tomorrow and one next week) are especially noteworthy because they will allow us, the common folk, to take a glimpse into the lives of the fabulous and very wealthy.
First up on November 26, 2010 is the sale of the Collection of Wolfang Joop, the German fashion designer, at Christie’s, Paris.The sale features excellent examples of work from such early 20th century masters as Jean Dunand, Andre Arbus, and Eugene Printz mixed with works of more modern designers such as Serge Mouille, George Nakashima, and Alexander Noll. Perhaps most notable for serious collectors is Noll’s wooden furniture, sculptures, and objects that make up a large part of this sale. According to the catalogue, Joop first saw Noll’s work at DeLorenzo Gallery in New York in the 1990’s and has been a patron of his ever since. Joop even organized an exhibition of Knoll’s work at the Charlottenburg Castle in Berlin in 2000. Also in the sale are some fun designs for furniture and lighting by Royere.
It is common knowledge to any fashion slave that one of the most important taste-makers of the 20th century was none other than Wallis Simpson, also known as the Duchess of Windsor. The Duchess has been the subject of numerous books and her jewels are world renowned. Many jewelry historians consider the sale of her jewels at Sotheby’s, in 1987, a groundbreaking moment as it reintroduced us to some of the most talented jewelry designers of the century, like Suzanne Belperron, who often designs jewelry for the Duchess. The sale also provided us with an intimate look at one of the most controversial lover affairs of the century as most of the pieces were presents from the Duke to the Duchess, which commemorated special events in their lives, and most were even inscribed. This current sale will feature twenty pieces, from that original sale, and will include such gems, no pun intended, Cartier emerald, ruby, and diamond brooch which the Duke presented the Duchess with on their 20th wedding anniversary (est. 100,000-150,000 GBP), a Cartier, Gold and multi-gem set cigarette case which engraved with a map of Europe charting three holiday trips (est.150,000-200,000 GBP), a fabulous Cartier Flamingo clip with rubies, emeralds, diamonds, citrines, and sapphires (est. 1,000,000-1,500,000 GBP), an important Cartier onyx and diamond panther bracelet, (est.1,000,000-1,500,000 GBP) and a Cartier diamond and gem-set cross bracelet (est. 350,000-450,000 GBP). While this sale will not provide us with any new discoveries it is sure to bring in record prices and remind us all, once more, that you can not put a price on great jewelry especially if it has a killer provenance. To view the entire catalogue and a video about the original 1987 auction visit the Sotheby‘s website.
PS…Speaking of DeLorenzo Gallery, Tony DeLorenzo will be the subject of a major single-owner sale at Christie’s New York on December 15th. That sale will feature a very important chair by Eileen Gray as well as other major pieces from his vast collection of 20th century decorative arts. But more on that later…