Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


Collections from the estates of Countess Constance Denson and Cathryn Keith to be featured

BOSTON, Mass. – June 4, 2008 – – Skinner, one of the nation’s leading auction houses, today announced that its upcoming auction of fine jewelry will be held in the Boston gallery on Tuesday, June 17th at 10 a.m. Among the highlights of the sale are several exotic stones, a number of impressive diamonds, and a fine selection of Art Deco and antique jewelry.

black-opal1.jpgIncluded in the offerings are pieces from the estate of Constance Denson. In 1949 German Countess Constance “Huschi” von Franken Sierstorpff married William D. Denson, an American lawyer who served as the U.S. Chief Prosecutor for War Crimes committed in the Dachau, Buchenwald, and other Nazi concentration camps. The couple lived on the South Shore of Long Island, NY and “Huschi” became deeply involved in the artistic and cultural life of her adoptive country. Her jewelry includes several Art Deco charms such as a bunny and a retractable pencil, set with rose-cut diamonds (lot 633, est. $8/1,200); a platinum and diamond dachshund (lot 634, est. $4/600); a group of diamond stickpins – cat, fox and circle (lot 635, est. $3/500); and a gem-set rooster brooch (lot 637, est. $2,5/3,500). Also from the Denson estate is an antique 4.00 ct. diamond brooch (lot 555, est. $3/4,000); and an Art Deco amethyst and diamond jabot (lot 559, est. $8/1,200).

Jewelry from the estate of Cathryn S. Keith will be sold to benefit the Boston Ballet (lots 61-67). Highlighted pieces include an artist-designed 24kt and 18kt gold and enamel scarab necklace, Janiyé (lot 61, est. $2/3,000). Married in 1935, Ms. Keith and her husband travelled extensively in “out of the way places,” which may explain the bond that she shared with Miyé Matsukata, founder of Janiyé, who drew much of the inspiration for her designs from exotic cultures. Once a commissioned work had been completed by her friend Miyé, Ms. Keith would then have an outfit tailor-made to set off the jewel. She was a dedicated supporter of the Boston Ballet for more than 30 years. An honorary Trustee Emerita, Cathryn Keith involved herself in all areas of the institution, from sewing costumes to acting as ambassador for the school in the wider Boston community. As such, proceeds from part of the collection will go to benefit her Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund at the Boston Ballet.

Another group of jewelry (lots 540, 427, and 649) will be sold to benefit The Peace Abbey of Sherborn, Massachusetts, which serves as a model for religious organizations, communities, and individuals seeking non-violent, pacifist pathways to peace and social justice.

In keeping with Skinner’s fine jewelry auctions of the past, a number of fine diamonds will go on the block this June. Among the featured items is a platinum and diamond solitaire, transitional cut, weighing 12.28 cts. (lot 525, est. $30/40,000); a radiant-cut diamond solitaire weighing 4.52 cts. with GIA report stating that the stone is G color, VS2 clarity, with no fluorescence (lot 526, est. $20/25,000); a Cartier platinum and emerald-cut diamond solitaire with GIA report stating that the stone is D color, IF clarity, no fluorescence (lot 650, est. $50/75,000); and a 4.20 ct. platinum and diamond solitaire with GIA report stating that the diamond is K color, VS2 clarity, no fluorescence (lot 655, est. $25/30,000).

Several exotic stones grace the sale including pieces by Raymond Yard. Yard, who was famous for his use of colored stones for clients such as the Rockefellers, is the subject of a recent book. Among the Yard works is a black opal, ruby, colored diamond and diamond brooch (lot 583, est. $5/7,000); and a platinum, diamond and emerald “stepped-up” ring (lot 656, est. $3/5,000). Also within the category of exotic stones is an Edwardian platinum, demantoid garnet and diamond pendant (lot 597, est. $5/7,000) and an Edwardian platinum, black opal and diamond necklace (lot 596, est. $12/18,000).

Admirers of antique jewelry will vie for an Etruscan Revival 18kt gold, enamel and diamond pendant by Fontenay, retailed by Tiffany & Co., depicting a dancer (lot 590, est. $1/,5/2,500); a Hellenistic Revival 18kt gold and enamel brooch by Giacinto Melillo (lot 591, est. $3/5,000); an Ernesto Pierret Egyptian Revival 18kt gold brooch depicting an ancient pharaoh (lot 592, est. $2/3,000); an antique 14kt gold bead necklace (lot 593, est. $5/700); an Egyptian Revival enamel and Russian jasper seal by C.& A. Giuliano (lot 594, est. $1/1,500); and an antique 18kt gold scarab ring (lot 595, est. $3/500).

Other auction highlights include three Art Deco bracelets including two platinum and diamond bracelets, one composed of arched and brickwork links with an approximate weight of 37.92 cts. (lot 657, est. $35/45,000), the other with an approximate total diamond weight of 16.04 cts. (lot 646, est. $15/20,000); and a platinum, emerald and diamond bracelet with an approximate weight of 16.04 cts. (lot 645, est. $15/20,000). The sale will also feature a nice selection of cuff links including a set of Edwardian gentlemen’s enamel and diamond cuff links (lot 603, est. $5/700); a pair of 14kt gold and fire opal cuff links (lot 106, est. $6/800); two pairs of Georg Jensen cuff links (lot 231, est. $3/500); and a set of Cartier 14kt gold cuff links (lot 228, est. $3/500). Finally, Art Nouveau highlights include a molded opalescent glass Lalique pendant with lily of the valley motif (lot 351, est. $2/400) and a green molded Lalique glass pendant depicting tiger lilies (lot 353, est. $7/900).

Previews and Preview Events
Previews for the auction will be held on Sunday, June 15th from 12 to 5 p.m., and on Monday, June 16th from 12 to 7 p.m. During Sunday’s preview, Skinner invites attendees to participate in its Jewelry Clinic, hosted by Mr. Hagop Matossian from Bostonian Jewelers. Mr. Matossian, an antique and period jewelry restoration expert, is viewed by his peers in the industry as a pioneer in laser restoration techniques. For the past 25 years, he has collaborated with dealers and private collectors on restorations and alteration projects. He will be available for individual consultations concerning items in the auction throughout the afternoon. Another special addendum to the preview is a short talk to be delivered by Gloria Lieberman, Director of Skinner’s Fine Jewelry department, on the history of Janiyé and its founder Miyé Matsukata. Lieberman’s Gallery Talk will take place at 12:30 p.m. All preview attendees are invited to partake in both events.

Catalog Information
Illustrated catalog #2413 is available by mail for $32 ($39 for foreign requests) from the subscription department at 978-779-6241 x240. It is also available at the gallery for $29. Prices realized will be available at during and after the sale. For more information, call 617-350-5400, or visit Skinner’s site also allows users to view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, and order catalogs online.

Pictured above.
Black Opal, Ruby, Colored Diamond and Diamond Brooch, Raymond Yard, c. 1960.
Estimate: $5,000-7,000