Maurice Auction unveils its treasures!

May 21, 2024

On 30th May, Maurice Auction will be holding its spring jewellery auction. For the occasion, around a hundred lots will be dispersed and some very pretty pieces that I enjoyed selecting are hidden in this new sale by the auction house based on rue de la Boétie in Paris.
I’m used to say that a sale is like a box of chocolates: you never really know what you’re going to find unless you cheat and read the instructions. But here, we don’t cheat, and we let ourselves be seduced by the lots that I discovered at the time of cataloguing, the best moment in my opinion because it’s the time for investigation and surprises!

Lot 1: A pair of Van Cleef & Arpels earrings

The combination of diamonds and rubies is undoubtedly one of Van Cleef & Arpels’ signature styles. In 1937, at the Universal Exhibition, the company presented pieces combining rubies, diamonds and mysterious settings. This was enough to win acclaim from the press of the time.

The mysterious setting has since been applied to many other materials, but the red and white have remained and continue to adorn the brand’s pieces. Like this delicate pair of earrings, a very similar model of which appears in a 1962 advertisement for the brand.

The 50s and 60s are one of my favourite periods in the House’s history, when jewellery is joyful, colourful, voluminous, twisted and full of movement… Here, we can see the hallmark of the House of Péry & Fils, founded in 1927 as the successor to Lucien Péry’s workshop. An almost exclusive manufacturer for Van Cleef & Arpels, the workshop gradually opened up to other brands before finally being bought out by Van Cleef & Arpels. Having told you all this, I’m sure you’ll agree that this piece of jewellery definitely has it all!

Lot 3: Fred by Janca!

Over the last few months, I’ve come across the Janca workshop a lot. Founded in 1955 (closed in 2008) and based on rue Saint-Honoré, it is a major manufacturer for many maisons, including Van Cleef & Arpels and FRED, as with this wonderful pair of textured gold earrings. So 70s! And we love it, passionately, madly! Sometimes stones aren’t necessary, and the 70s proved that with its crumpled, brushed and hammered gold… All the houses came up with opulent and mobile variations, like this pair of earrings that I could see myself adopting!

Lot 3: Pair of gold ear clips by Fred. Estimated between €1,200 and €1,500. Photo: Maurice Auction

Lot 5: Have you heard of Rollang & Cie?

This bracelet alone, with its herringbone plaited links typical of the 60s, could be worth an article on a discreet house whose history spans from 1861 to the 80s… Of course, it could be seen as the work of the Lenfant workshop, but it tells a completely different story. Since you’re dying to hear it, here it is.

On 21 December 1861, Alix Angenot, a jeweller specialising in chains and purses, set up shop at 84 rue Saint-Germain l’Auxerois in Paris. Through a series of legal changes, the company became Angenot et Cie, Angenot fils & Cie, Angenot Frères. In the meantime, the initial hallmark, which was a bow with an arrow, became a pigeon. At the turn of the 20th century, the company worked for René Boivin and changed addresses several more times, settling for many years at 58 rue Chapon, still in Paris. Later, the workshop moved to rue de Turenne.

The firm was taken over by Rollang & Gangnereau (and not Gagnereau as is too often written) and registered in March 1911. From then on, the commercial ups and downs continued and the company changed names. The company became Camille Simon Gangnereau from 1925 until the Rollangs returned to the business in the 1940s. And then the hallmark became definitive: R&Cie with a pigeon.

The company specialised in gold bracelets, chains and necklaces. The circle is complete! And among the company’s major clients (they have worked for Marchak, for example), one in particular placed its trust in the workshop: Hermès. Now you can track down this hallmark at auction and not let this bracelet pass you by!

Lot 8: A retro necklace

When I selected the lots, I realised that I had kept a lot of pieces with a lot of metal. I think it’s been a long winter and I’m craving warmth, yellow gold, sparkling metal and playful jewellery. It goes without saying that I love stones, but sometimes it’s good to show that jewellery doesn’t always need stones to be beautiful. That’s the case with this necklace, which has no signature and no maker’s mark, yet is beautifully executed and I could see myself wearing it all summer long. So much for the rhyme! If you’re looking for a piece of jewellery that’s elegant, easy to wear and happy because it’s extremely mobile, this necklace is for you!

Lot 8: Retro gold drapery necklace. Estimated at between €1,200 and €1,800. Photo: Maurice Auction

Lot 27: A generous ring inspired by religious imagery

Anyone who sees an imposing gold signet ring set with a large amethyst will inevitably think of a bishop’s ring or, more broadly, an episcopal ring. The V&A in London has a fine example dating from the 1500s.

So why purple? Because amethyst was a sacred stone in the Great Pectoral (I invite you to read again Exodus 28 in the Bible for a description of this sacred jewel), because this material is associated with the bishops’ commitment to the Church and because, according to legend, it is a material associated with the preservation of drunkenness, the rooting of the spirit and fidelity. Quite a programme!

Maurice’s ring is not a bishop’s ring, but it is totally inspired by this imaginary world, with its generous volumes and massive cut stone. It’s a ring made to be shown and to be seen. And that’s what we love about jewellery, that it has character and tells stories!

Lot 27: 750 gold amethyst ring with gadroons. Estimated between 800 and 1000 euros. Photo: Maurice Auction

Lots 42-45: The return of the cameo

It took me a long time to fall in love with cameos. I thought they were old-fashioned and, really, not my thing. But only fools change their minds. And I did. This collection of shell cameos from the mid-nineteenth century is attractive, with its antique scenes mostly taken from the Aeneid. The mounts are all simple, in silver, and – in fact – set off the cameos perfectly.

Cameos are no longer worn on the collar, but imagine wearing them all together on a fine denim jacket, for example – it’s immediately a different story. For men or women, the brooch is a piece of jewellery that reinvents itself over time, and that’s certainly what I find so exciting here. I’ve already got an idea of what I’d wear. Don’t you?

Lot 51: A Leroy watch

It’s always a pleasure for me to come across a Leroy watch. Firstly, because a few years ago I mentioned it to you, having had some research to do. Between the Leroys and the Le Roys, it’s easy to get confused. The little diamond-set marvel appearing at auction in a few days’ time belongs, I believe, to Le Roy & Fils, now L. Leroy & Cie, whose adorable little diamond-set collar watches sometimes appear at auction. And the rose-cut diamond that adorns this object is really very beautiful. At a time when men are always in a hurry, I think it’s lovely to have an elegant object that requires you to take your time to tell the time and get on with your day!

Lot 51: Diamond collar watch, by Leroy in Paris. Estimated between €1,500 and €2,500. Photo: Maurice Auction

Lot 55: Jean Lombart, c’est oui!

There are some objects that you come across and never forget. And that’s exactly the case with the pieces by Jean Lombard, a renowned jeweller from Geneva. A great collector and supplier to the great Swiss fortunes and European courts, this aesthete had his boutique on rue de la Corraterie, just a stone’s throw from the Bastions. It was he who bought the Pelegrina in 1953 from Prince Yusupov, and supplied King Farouk and Queen Federica of Greece..

As well as jewellery, he also created decorative objects. This salamander set with chrysoberyls and rubies on a block of amethyst is a perfect example. The man doesn’t feature so often in auctions, which makes his presence at a Paris sale rather more appealing, as he is more likely to be seen at Swiss sales. To find out more about him, I invite you to read the excellent article published in 1955, which tells his story and even reveals some of his creations.

Lot 55: Amethyst, chrysoberyl, ruby, emerald, diamond and gold sculpture by Jean Lombard. Estimated between €2,000 and €3,000. Photo: Maurice Auction

Lot 73: A Claude Lalanne necklace

Claude Lalanne, who died in 2019, was a prolific and versatile artist. She tried her hand at everything: objects, sculptures, furniture and, of course, jewellery. Known for her collaborations with the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Bergé and Loulou de la Falaise, she left an indelible mark on the French and international artistic landscape. Her jewels, often in bronze, are mini-sculptures. The “Nœud” necklace was published in 1983 by Éditions Artcurial, and to my knowledge there are 250 examples. It is usually in gilded bronze.

This piece is possibly a prototype of the necklace, dates from the early 1980s and it’s very rare on the market. I don’t know about you, but I love being able to handle the beginnings of an object and understand how it was created. I find it fascinating. Well, with this necklace, it is!

Lot 73: A patinated bronze “knot” necklace by Claude Lalanne. Estimated at between €1,000 and €1,500. Photo: Maurice Auction

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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