Florida - Just in case you were wondering, sales of antique and vintage jewelry continue to remain hot - extremely hot - as this week will likely mark an extravaganza of bidding up and down the east coast at some of the world's leading auction houses. In addition to the heavyweights, a number of smaller online venders also plan to get in on the action by offering significant sales of their own. While not quite the Black Friday of general retail, this amalgamation of jewelry auctions occurring over a twelve day period in December is nevertheless an impressive event.
Sotheby's, Bonham's, Christie's and Skinners are but a few of the major players who'll be moving a stunning collection of jewels and precious metals across the auction block this week. Collections from a number of prominent woman and early period pieces from notable antique dealers, will feature heavily in the sales. However, it's Skinner's "Important Jewelry Sale," that will likely garner the most attention from those interested in precious stones and settings from the past.
Over the years, the Boston auction house has earned a reputation for locating rare and authentic period jewelry. Attendee's of Skinner's auctions are keenly aware of the house's ability to source some of the best historical jewelry out there, which is well reflected in their catalogs, and by the prices realized at their auctions. A major part of their sale this week will include 96 lots from the collection of Edith Weber - one of the country's top dealers in antique jewelry. Weber who started her company in 1960, quickly became one of Manhattan's most sought after dealers, and the person you called when looking for rare jewelry from the past. Aside from her spectacular overall inventory, Weber was also widely credited with being one of the country's top experts when it came to antique jewelry.
Some of the items from the upcoming sale will include:
Art Nouveau Plique-a-Jour Enamel and Diamond Dragonfly Brooch. The plique-a-jour wings are edged with rose-cut diamonds, and are set en-tremblant, body and green enamel head, set with old European, old mine and old single-cut diamond melee, engraved legs, silver and platinum-topped 18kt gold mount. Estimate: $7,000-10,000
However, it wasn't just Judith who had an eye for the bangles. Weber's son Barry, who joined the company in 1975, along with his wife Sonja, had learned the jewelry trade early on from his mother, and went on to become one of the most respected appraisers on the Antiques Roadshow for almost fifteen seasons.
Edith's jewelry pieces were often seen at black-tie affairs such as the Academy Awards, and were also displayed prominently in national advertising campaigns across the nation - all of which furthered the image of the family's impressive influence over jewelry couture, and their reputation as some of the world's top antique jewelry evaluators.
This month's auctions will no doubt garner wide attention from the mainstream media, which in itself is a testament to just how popular antique, and even vintage jewelry, currently is with the buying public. However, if one were examine the contents of each sale with a careful eye, as to style, grace, and overall beauty, then it's likely one auction would rise to the top. To that end, we thank Ms. Weber for being such a stalwart in the advancement of beautiful antique and period piece jewelry - collectors everywhere owe you a debt of gratitude.
- A.I.A. Staff Writers
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