Aguttes opens the Parisian season of beautiful jewelry auctions

Oct 22, 2022

On 27 October, Aguttes will hold its first fine jewellery sale of the season. This will open the ball for the end of year sales. The catalogues have already been arriving in dribs and drabs for a few weeks now and this season is already shaping up to be exciting. There’s a reason why I love autumn so much. In fact, this season is not only synonymous with beautiful and warm colours, but also with bewitching stones and jewellery. With this catalogue of almost 150 pieces, the Neuilly auction house unveils a very nice set of charming and graphic pieces. Covering the 19th and 20th centuries, this sale is full of beautiful nuggets. So, as usual, I’ll take you with me to admire the few lots that made my heart beat a little faster than usual.

Lot 28: Silver and gold brooch, diamonds and emeralds. Estimate between 4500 and 6000 euros. Photos: Aguttes

A feminine symbol par excellence, the moon in jewellery has a lot to offer for the happiness of lovers of celestial jewellery. I am definitely one of them! Perhaps the expression “lunar triad” is not foreign to you, it symbolises the three goddesses around the moon: Selene, Hecate and Artemis in Greek (Luna, Hecate and Diana) symbolise respectively the full moon, the new or black moon and the crescent moon. They were, of course, highly honoured in their time and even today Wicca movements continue to celebrate Hecate, the goddess who enables communication between the earthly and the invisible. And the period is all the more interesting as it is close to the ancient festival of Samain, which consisted of celebrating the passage from the light to the shade of winter after the very last harvest. In the 19th century, this jewellery was very symbolic and not just a fashion whim. The moon was available in brooches, necklaces and even tiaras. Here in diamonds and emeralds, it was part of a set. The swan’s neck at the back and the screw system that allowed it to be fixed as a pendant and perhaps on a tiara are evidence of this…

Lot 57: Boucheron gold, platinum, fine pearl, diamond and rock crystal bracelet. Estimated at €25,000 to €30,000. Photos: Aguttes

How can you resist this type of piece? For me, it’s impossible. Art Deco pieces are relatively common in auctions today, so much so that this era is the talk of the town during auctions. While all the jewellery houses shone with their design during this period, some are now better known than others. Boucheron pieces from this period are not so common and yet, when they come out of their cases, they have that extra soul that makes them special. Here, we find all the codes of the house: platinum and diamonds that capture the light so well (this light that the founder of the house particularly liked, making him choose the location of the boutique on Place Vendôme for this reason), then rock crystal, which is the stylistic signature of the house that never ceases to have fun with it decade after decade, and fine pearls, symbols of this period when cultured pearls were beginning to make their appearance but were not yet the norm. Everything is beautiful in this piece. Definitely!

Lot 60: Gold and diamond ring signed by René Boivin. Estimated at €6,000 to €8,000. Photo: Aguttes

If I chose this ring, it’s because the news around the René Boivin house is rather intense. And that’s good news. Perhaps you haven’t noticed that René Boivin and its archives have been taken over by the Torroni family (based in Switzerland) who have unveiled a website with some very nice archive photos but who, above all, are preparing a very nice book based on the house’s extensive archives. I think everyone is waiting with great impatience for this new book which should be a milestone. So, in the meantime, this ring made in 1955 from a drawing by Juliette Moutard – and which I find very elegant – allows me to talk to you about this burning issue. It is sold with a certificate signed by Thomas Torroni-Levène and Olivier Bachet. There is no doubt that GemGenève, which is coming up, will be an opportunity to see some treasures from this venerable house. I am already looking forward to it. I am also delighted to know that this ring will soon find a happy owner. It deserves it!

Lot 80: Gold, platinum and diamond shooting star brooch. Estimate between 3000 and 4000 euros. Photo: Aguttes

Comets and shooting stars have been the joy of jewellers since the passage of a certain comet Haley in 1835. Since then, each time the comet appears, jewels celebrating this intriguing phenomenon have reappeared. Shooting stars are symbols of good luck. It is said that you should make a wish when you see one and that it will come true. You may not be a believer or superstitious, but I’m sure you’ll be charmed by this imposing brooch of almost 9 cm. So, beyond the shooting star, the star more generally is recurrent in jewellery. Appearing in the middle of the 19th century, at the height of the industrial revolution, the star, in its comet form or in its initial form, is everywhere. In a period of intense upheaval for the society of the time, we see jewels with stars in general or jewels with Polaris or Stella Maris, this polar star, symbol of hope and affection, which gives the North and orientates those who are lost… For my part, I already found my way back. What about you?

Lot 104: Gold “artifice” clip for O.J Perrin. Estimate between 1300 and 1500 euros. Photo: Aguttes

Back to the 1960s with this textured gold jewel from O.J Perrin. While the house is well known for its successful openwork hearts, the older pieces are less visible in auctions and yet they are far more interesting. This model is really not common, the last time I saw it was in 2019 I think. This one also bears the hallmark of the Pery house, a sacred monster of Parisian jewellery which was founded in 1875 with Lucien and which closed in 2012 after being bought by Van Cleef & Arpels, one of its most loyal customers. So, of course, you have to love the 1960s with its bold, often imposing jewellery where textured gold is absolutely everywhere. No workshop did not try its hand at surface effects in those days. A blessed time when you could do whatever you wanted in a block of green wax. Scraping, scraping, drilling, milling, hammering, everything was allowed. In the end, the metal no longer has that smooth appearance that seduced customers for so long. A beautiful metaphor for an explosive and playful era, a permanent firework display.

Lot 121: Quartz Birds on Jade Base. Erwin Klein for Vacheron-Constantin. Estimate 7000-8000 euros. Photo: Aguttes

If you don’t know the birds of the Klein house, I can assure you that you have missed something. An internationally renowned lapidary house, their sculptures are regularly featured in auctions and it is always the same emotion and the same delight when you have the chance to admire them. These birds, created in collaboration with the watchmaker Vacheron-Constantin, are no exception. Made in the 1980s, they are cut from amethyst quartz. The beaks are in coral, a material much appreciated by this lapidary who left us in 2018. Go and admire them if you are in Paris at the moment, you won’t regret it as the creations are remarkably executed and realistic. And if you can, adopt them. They don’t need to sing to make your heart beat.

Lot 127: Cartier Gold Cufflinks. Estimated at €1,500 to €2,500. Photo: Aguttes

This pair of cufflinks from Cartier is symptomatic of an era when computers and the internet have turned everything upside down! If Aguttes offers the Ctr and Alt keys, there are also Shift and Esc keys, which all keyboard users know the multiple useful combinations for, among other things, quitting a program that “doesn’t respond anymore”… The back of the buttons is also quite funny as they usually show a phone card chip. Quite an era with those 90’s in which I grew up. Very rare on the market, they will seduce – I hope – the circuit board fanatic or the lover of a certain Internet Explorer. Lycos, Yahoo, the modem that made an infernal noise to connect, the CDs with 20 hours of Internet access in a month, these jewels tell the story of all those crazy years. An era that is now over but oh so endearing for those who lived it as young adults… And thinking about it, I could see myself wearing them!

Lot 135: GAILLARDIA brooch, signed by Gianmaria Buccellati. Estimated at 6,000 to 8,000 euros. Photo: Aguttes

Few jewellery houses can boast of having a style that has been recognisable since their creation. But for Buccellati, the question doesn’t even arise and, if you don’t know it very well and want to learn more about it, a very nice book that I recommend will help you. The next Aguttes sale will feature this gold and diamond brooch by Gianmaria Buccellati. Everything here is the hallmark of this house: the engraving of course but also the chiselled and textured gold on the central pistils. With its 6cm diameter, this piece is imposing enough to stand on its own. This is also a Buccellati jewel, a very particular identity and an assumed character. And in a world of permanent uniformity, it is necessary to step out of the box.

See you soon!


marie chabrol

Hello my name Is Marie. Speaker, consultant & teacher, I write with passion about the world of jewelry.

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