Saffronart’s upcoming online auction of Fine Jewels will take place on October 15th and 16th, features a curated selection of versatile fine jewellery that merges traditional Indian craftsmanship with modern sensibilities, as well as fine gems and signed collectible pieces selected for their uniqueness and rarity.
The auction is an Ode to Nature, and the collection of 174 lots will highlight the influence of floral and celestial motifs in jewellery design and techniques, as well as the natural processes that are responsible for the creation of gemstones, with their diverse and mesmerising hues, qualities and optical effects.
A Five Strand Natural Pearl and Diamond Necklace (Lot 65) leads the sale with an estimate of R90 lakh – R1.2 crore ($128,575 – $171,430). It is created with evenly formed pearls that graduate in size and have a similar shape, lustre, colour and tone – the process of assembling such a well-matched collection takes years. Other highlights include a stunning Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring (Lot 75) estimated at R48 – R55 lakh ($68,575 – $78,575), and a pair of Emerald and Diamond Earrings (Lot 74) estimated at R42 – R48 lakh ($60,000 – $68,575).
The pieces included in the auction emphasise timeless motifs inspired by nature – such as flowers, birds, crescents and stars – that have been a part of Indian jewellery design for centuries, and their contemporary evolution. Notable examples include a Pearl, Diamond and Emerald Necklace (Lot 21) with a pendant suspending a plaque designed as two birds mirroring each other (estimate: R8 – R12 lakh); and a Gemset Maang Tika or Forehead Ornament (Lot 29) set with a ruby cabochon and polki diamonds in a crescent motif (estimate: R4.25 – R6.25 lakh). Among contemporary designs is a sculptural, flexible Diamond Bracelet (Lot 28) featuring a scrolling vein of lotus flowers and buds, which can also be worn as a necklace via two attachments (estimate: R7 – R10 lakh); and a pair of Rubellite and Diamond ‘Dahlia’ Earrings (Lot 26) estimated at R7 – R9 lakh.
While traditional coloured gems such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires will always be coveted, more unusual semiprecious and coloured stones are increasingly attracting interest globally. Highlights among coloured stones include a Rubellite and Coloured Diamond Necklace (Lot 107) estimated at R28 – R32 lakh ($40,000 – $45,715), and a Paraiba Tourmaline and Diamond Necklace (Lot 88) estimated at R18 – R22 lakh ($25,715 – $31,430).
The auction also features a selection of intricately designed brooches inspired by nature, including a Diamond ‘Sunburst’ Brooch (Lot 63) estimated at R18 – R22 lakh, which is reminiscent of a brooch owned – and frequently worn – by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, former First Lady of the United States, who styled it differently on each occasion. A Diamond and Pearl Brooch (Lot 166) shaped as stylised leaves set with old-cut diamonds and two pearl buds is estimated at R5 – R8 lakh.
Commenting on the auction, Saffronart president and cofounder Minal Vazirani said, “This auction is our tribute to the underlying influences that nature has had on jewellery motifs and design over centuries, and features an exceptional collection of jewels for both new buyers and seasoned collectors. The auction closely follows the second edition of Saffronart’s Jewellery Conference, which will take place on 11 – 12 October 2019 in Mumbai and explore India’s jewelled histories and cross-cultural legacies.”
The auction will take place on saffronart.com, and will be preceded by viewings in New Delhi and Mumbai. All lots can be viewed on saffronart.com.