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

Skinner, Inc. to auction Fine Jewelry in Boston on September 11

Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of Fine Jewelry in its Boston gallery on September 11, 2012. The sale will feature over 700 lots of fine diamonds, natural pearls, colored stones, signed pieces, artist jewelry, and antique jewelry. The collections of New York gallery owner Joan Sonnabend and American sportswoman Hope Goddard Iselin are also on offer.

The Collection of Joan Sonnabend
The fall Fine Jewelry auction at Skinner features jewelry from the Estate of Joan Sonnabend, owner of the New York gallery Sculpture to Wear. This collection features jewelry by artists and sculptors including Max Ernst and Picasso, as well as notable jewelry designers such as David Webb, Schlumberger, Marilyn Cooperman, and the Boston Atelier Janiye.

A 23kt Gold Pendant, Pablo Picasso, “Visage géométrique aux traits”

Sonnabend opened her tiny gallery at the Plaza Hotel in New York in 1973 where she started with a 100-piece collection of “sculptures to wear.” Although she offered jewelry in her collection, she was an art dealer, not a jeweler. Sonnabend’s gallery at the Plaza was in part responsible for the exhibition and the creation of a market for artist jewelry. Artist pieces available at the auction include a 23kt gold pendant piece by Pablo Picasso titled Visage géométrique aux traits (lot 260, estimated between $7,000 and $9,000), a gold pendant by Max Ernst titled Groin (lot 261, $12,000 to $15,000), a 24kt and 18kt gold gem-set necklace by Miye Matsukata, Janiye (lot 263, $4,000 to $6,000), an 18kt gold knuckle ring by Robert Lee Morris (lot 299, $800 to $1,200), and a large copper and bronze cuff with a heart design by Claire Faulkenstein titled The Heart Advances My Pulse (lot 402, $300 to $500).

Fine jewelry highlights from Sonnabend’s collection on offer include 18kt gold and citrine earpendants by Marilyn Cooperman (lot 272, $2,500 to $3,500) and a platinum, 18kt gold, emerald, and diamond ring by David Webb (lot 373, $8,000 to $10,000). An antique 18kt gold, yellow sapphire and diamond pendant by Tiffany & Co. (lot 363, $18,000 to $22,000) will be featured set with a cushion-shaped yellow sapphire weighing approx. 16.00 cts., accompanied by an AGL report stating that the sapphire is classic Ceylon, with no heat enhancement.

As part of a special presentation accompanying the Sonnabend collection, Skinner Inc. will be hosting a lecture by jewelry artist Robert Lee Morris, “Remembering Joan Sonnabend.” The lecture will take place on Monday, September 10th at 6:30 p.m. in the Boston gallery. Space is limited. RSVP online here:

Morris came to know Sonnabend when her assistant wore one of Morris’s necklaces to work. When the piece attracted Sonnabend’s attention, she and her partner decided to give him exclusive representation in their gallery. Morris later ran his own gallery, ARTWEAR and has represented over 400 jewelry artists.

The Collection of Hope Goddard Iselin
Lots 716 through 745 of the September Jewelry auction are from the collection of Hope Goddard Iselin. A natural pearl necklace composed of 77 pearls (lot 742, $10,000 to $15,000) and a pearl necklace with an Art Deco platinum and diamond clasp by Cartier (lot 735, $3,000 to $5,000) are fine examples of pearls from Iselin’s collection.

Other unique offerings featured in the collection include a pair of platinum, rock crystal, and diamond hat pins by Cartier (lot 740, $3,000 to $5,000) and an exquisite double strand jadeite bead necklace (lot 745, $20,000 to $30,000).

Iselin was an avid horsewoman, golfer, and accomplished sailor who competed on an international level. She was the first woman to compete in the America’s Cup. Her husband, C. Oliver Iselin, who defended the America’s Cup four times, was perhaps the most famed American yachtsman of the late 19th century. The pair’s vast inherited wealth, competitive spirit, and devotion to aristocratic sports made them one of the most fabulous couples of the Gilded Age.

Columbian emeralds are featured in the upcoming sale highlighted by a platinum, emerald, and diamond prong-set ring with an octagonal step-cut emerald weighing approx. 3.10 cts., (lot 688, $20,000 to $30,000), a platinum, emerald, and diamond prong-set ring with an octagonal step-cut emerald weighing approx. 5.60 cts. (lot 670, $30,000 to $40,000), and an emerald ring set with a pear-shaped emerald weighing 3.20 cts. (lot 493, $8,000 to $12,000), all three lots accompanied by lab reports from either AGL or Gubelin stating Columbian origin.

Signed Jewelry
The sale features signed jewelry by makers such as Verdura, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels, David Webb, Elizabeth Locke and Marilyn Cooperman. The sale’s cover lot is an 18kt gold, diamond, and gem-set butterfly brooch by Cartier (lot 633, $30,000 to $50,000). Other important signed pieces include a Van Cleef & Arpels 18kt gold and coral flower brooch (lot 634, $8,000 to $10,000), an 18kt gold and diamond bracelet by Cartier (lot 635, $12,000 to $15,000), and an 18kt gold, carved emerald, and gem-set elephant ring by Cartier (lot 637, $10,000 to $15,000).

Previews, Catalogue, and Bidding
Previews for the auction will be held on Sunday, September 9, 2012, 12 p.m.-5 p.m. and Monday, September 10, 2012, 12 p.m.-7 p.m.

Illustrated catalogue #2610B is available by mail from the subscription department at #508-970-3240. It is also available at the gallery. Prices realized will be available at during and after the sale. Skinner’s site also allows users to view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, order catalogues, and bid live in real-time through SkinnerLive! Like us on Facebook at

About Skinner
Skinner, Inc. is one of the world’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art. With expertise in over 20 specialty collecting areas, Skinner draws the interest of buyers from all over the world and its auctions regularly achieve world record prices. Skinner provides a broad range of auction and appraisal services, and it is widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the auction business. Skinner’s appraisal experts regularly appear on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, and its specialty departments include American Furniture & Decorative Arts, American & European Works of Art, European Furniture & Decorative Arts, 20th Century Design, Fine Ceramics, Fine Silver, Fine Jewelry, Couture, Fine Musical Instruments, Asian Works of Art, Fine Wines, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, Fine Judaica, Antique Motor Vehicles, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, Discovery and Science, Technology & Clocks. Skinner galleries are located in Boston and Marlborough, Mass.

For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit Skinner’s web site