From Cartier to Bulgari: Inside Sotheby’s ‘Luxury Week’ jewellery auction


Sotheby’s New York will hold an auction focused on signed jewels titled, “From the Vault Exceptional Signed Jewels” on March 7 in New York. It’s part of the auction house’s “Luxury Week” series of sales highlighting fine watches, wines, whiskies, handbags and accessories, and of course jewels.
Asprey fancy vivid yellow diamond and diamond necklace and earrings SOTHEBY’S

The Sotheby’s jewellery sale of more than 220 lots is from a single owner who requested anonymity. The collection features important pieces from historic jewellery houses in the U.S. and Europe.

It includes 81 pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels, 43 pieces by Cartier, 21 pieces by David Webb, 21 pieces by Bulgari and 15 pieces from Harry Winston. Prices for these and the remaining jewels in the sale range from $8,000 to $3 million.

The auction house says the prices will appeal to both entry-level luxury enthusiasts and seasoned collectors.

Signed jewels from these and other historic jewellery houses and independent designers have been increasing in value at auction for many years. This sale will further test the demand for these jewels.

The top lot in the auction based on estimates is an 18k white gold necklace and matching earrings by British jewellery house, Asprey. (top photo).

It features 50 graduated fancy vivid yellow round diamonds and one fancy intense yellow round diamond, with a total weight of 55.26 carats. The gems are connected by links with pavé set with round diamonds.

Its estimate is $2 million – $3 million.

A diamond necklace from Harry Winston designed by Francois Tavernier SOTHEBY’S

The number two lot is a platinum necklace from Harry Winston, created by Swiss jewellery designer, Francois Tavernier. It is designed as a line of round diamonds, bordered by alternating pear- and marquise-shaped diamonds.

Its estimate is $1.2 million – $1.8 million.

A platinum bracelet by Van Cleef & Arpels, created in 1938, features a line of oval-shaped sapphires, spaced and bordered by baguette and tapered baguette diamonds. The clasp is completed by square and round diamonds.

The total weight of the sapphires is 47.63 carats and the total weight of the diamonds is 27.54 carats. Several of sapphires are of Kashmir, Burmese and Ceylon origins.

Its estimate is $1 million – $1.5 million.

This is followed by one of the few unsigned pieces in the sale. An 18k gold and platinum ring mounted with a 41.02-carat cut-cornered rectangular brilliant-cut fancy intense diamond with VS2 clarity.

Its estimate is $800,000 – $1.2 million.

The signed pieces include some of the most iconic motifs from the high jewelry brands that have both historical significance and have been reimagined many times over the years.

Van Cleef & Arpels 18k yellow gold and diamond “Zip” necklace, bracelet and earclips SOTHEBY’S

For example, there’s the Van Cleef & Arpels Zip Necklace, an iconic design by the French jewellery house. This one from the 1940s is fashioned from 18k yellow gold and platinum.

The necklace designed as a zipper, is composed of herringbone links bordered by diamond and gold heart motifs. A tassel is suspended from the zipper pull accented by round diamonds.

It also can be worn as a bracelet. It comes with matching tassel earclips accented by round, single-cut diamonds.

Its estimate is $400,000 – $600,000.

Bulgari 18k white gold and diamond ‘Serpenti’ necklace SOTHEBY’S

The Bulgari “Serpenti” motif has been transformed in many ways by the Italian jewelry brand over its 75-year history. Sotheby’s is offering an 18k white gold necklace with this design that is notable for its extra-large size of 39.5 inches.

Because of this it can be doubled around the neck and even worn as a brooch.

Its estimate is $300,000 – 500,000.

Cartier diamond, emerald and Onyx ‘Panthère’ cuff-bracelet SOTHEBY’S

The Cartier “Panthère” motif, arguably the brand’s most recognizable design associated with the brand, is used in a cuff bracelet made of emerald, onyx.

Its estimate is $100,000 – $150,000.

David Webb gold, enamel, ruby and diamond ‘Twin Frog’ bracelet SOTHEBY’S

U.S. jewellery brand, David Webb, is known for its whimsical animal-themed jewels. Sotheby’s is offering a colourful gold, green enamel, ruby and diamond “Twin Frog” bracelet.

Its estimate is $35,000 – 55,000.

The live auction will be held in two sessions on March 7 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. However, bidding has begun online and can be accessed through Sotheby’s website.

This article was first published on and all figures are in USD.

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