Did you know that this is NYC Jewelry Week? Vintage jewelry, estate or period pieces are some of the names for the most covetable and collectible pieces you will find on Madison Avenue.
Vintage Goes Modern starts November 20th. View iconic jewelry, listen to expert talks, or enjoy cocktails as you browse at the many antique jewelry retailers who call Madison Avenue home.
Amazing pieces never go out of style. And they can be good investments. Case in point, a rare 1927 Art Deco Cartier bracelet just sold for a record $6.1 million at Sotheby’s in Geneva. Of course, the 46.05 carat Burmese sapphire was part of the allure, but the stunning Art Deco design clinched the sale.
Well, why not start your own collection and let these boutiques share their visions with you. Click the link below, sign up, and take a glittery look back in time:
Stephen Russell showcases a really interesting selection of pieces from many different centuries. The Cartier Egyptian Revival necklace from the 1960s displays amazing craftsmanship. As does the rare gold “Les Spiral” Renee Boivon c. 1950 bracelet. The other bracelet, French from the 1860s, features delicate jeweled flowers, while the 1940’s citrine and diamond earrings have a bold design.
The bracelet at the front is a mix of modern and period. 19th century diamond stars are placed on a new cuff. At the top is a c. 1860 century diamond corsage brooch spills elegantly, and the smaller diamond and floral brooch, also from 1860, comes with the original fitted box. The diamond chandelier earrings are c. 1840, but timeless.
These two Cartier clocks were part of the estate of Boni de Castellane and Anna Gould. He being the Parisian dandy who married one of the Gilded Age’s richest heiresses. Victoire de Castellane, who oversees the jewelry at Dior, is their great-grand niece. Good taste runs in the family. The rock crystal and diamond clock c. 1910 has his initials and comes with a case, and the larger one in the center is one of the famous Mystery Clocks made by Maurice Couet c. 1923. If you look closely you can see the original case through the rock crystal. The delicate earrings date to the 1840s.
The artist made this unique necklace c. 1940. It is hammered silver wire, and is similar to a gold necklace Calder made for his wife. The Museum of Modern art featured it in an exhibit on Alexander Calder in 1943-44.
Cartier made this elegant cuff ca 1936. It features sapphires and diamond clips whimsically displayed. The clips are removable so you have two pieces in one. The diamond and gold “Calla Lily” brooches dating from the 1950s are the work of Boivin. If big but simple rings are your thing, a 21.63 carat Sugarloaf Burma sapphire one might be for you.
Stephen Russell, 970 Madison Avenue, 212 570-6900
Historical Design is a small shop filled with goodies that is tucked in the back of the Carlyle Hotel lobby. It’s a must-see find. Featuring fine objets as well as jewelry, the boutique — like all seven stores doing the event — is a showcase for the owners’ particular taste and vision. I had never seen a chignon crown before. What is a chignon crown, you ask? This one is a small diamond and moonstone piece designed to go over a ladies bun or chignon at the top of her head. Once owned by the Bismarck family, it was designed by the House of Koch from Frankfurt, Germany.
Natural citrines, about 210 carats of them, and pave diamonds grace this cuff that Paul Flauto made for Delores del Rio c. 1940. Mr. Flauto, who created his pieces in New York City, was the first celebrity jewelry designer and was collected by many of the era’s grand movie stars.
The multi-color floral bag is from the 1920s and has a silver frame. The Kilim Rug patterned bag dates to c. 1895, and has a beaded frame. Micro beading is painstakingly done with super small beads, and all hand done. The Bvlgari Swallowtail Butterfly brooch is c. 1940, consists of citrines and black onyx, and comes with the original box.
The “Engagement Ring” motion machine shows six workers with the ring. It is still in good mechanical order. Plug it in and see. This c. 1940 piece was made by Baranger Studios from Pasadena, California. These theatrical displays delighted shoppers — perhaps Jay-Z should purchase it for Beyonce?
HD Gallery mixes the message. A David Webb c. 1950’s Ballets Russes and Tutti Fruit theme bracelet sits next to a Claude Lalanne “Roncier” 1970’s silver gilt necklace from Arcurial in Paris. A little silver fall theme bat rests on it. An Art Deco bronze with a fox, a badger and a chicken is signed 1934, and was made by Albert Poels of Antwerp. And I love the c. 1930 Deco ice bucket from Puiforcat.
Historical Design, HD Jewels at the Carlyle Hotel, 35 East 76 Street, 212 593-4528
The Eleuteri family started selling jewelry in Rome and currently has stores in four other Italian cities. They brought their unique vision to New York a few years ago, and the boutique is run by a third generation Eleuteri. The boutique has many important pieces from Italian designers that are not always represented in the city. Case in point is the magnificent pair of carved emerald and diamond earrings made in Italy in the 1980s. Other marks are on display, as well. The 1970’s diamond and emerald necklace is signed M.Gerard. An emerald, ruby and diamond Tutti Frutti brooch comes from Cartier, and was made in the 1930s. All the pieces look incredibly modern.
If cocktail rings speak to you, then this hand is speaking your language. A mix of emeralds, sapphires and rubies with oodles of diamonds thrown in for good measure, these 1970’s rings astonish. The 1960’s clip-brooch is made from the same cabochon stones, and is signed Bvlgari.
Make a statement with with ca 1970’s Bvlgari fringe necklace in gold, with cushion cut and oval sapphires, cabochon rubies and circular diamonds. A cabochon ruby brooch makes its own statement.
The shorter necklace in corals and diamonds was made in France c. 1950’s. It hangs with a gold, sapphire and diamond pendant necklace, made in Rome and signed by Cazzaniga ca. 1950s. The c. 1970’s Bvlgari tubogas “monete” bracelet features two ancient Roman coins — a Bvlgari signature design.
This Italian pearl necklace, c. 1980’s, is anything but prim and proper. The Italian earrings, c. 1970’s, also speak for themselves.
Eleuteri, 780 Madison Avenue, 646 649-5769
Twain Time is a small boutique with a concierge suite that specializes in vintage and contemporary collectible timepieces and jewelry. They have a large selection of Rolexes for men and women. A 1968 Daytona that belonged to Paul Newman and famously sold at auction for $15.5 million in 2017 threw an even brighter spotlight on the brand. The watches pictured here include a 1960’s Daytona, a 1970’s Red Submariner, and a gold Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph from the 1990s.
Patek Philippe is represented with a gold Calatrava from a limited edition of 600 pieces from the 1950s, and is signed with the Serpico Y Laino retailers. The woman’s watch, also from the 1950s, has the gold Topolino Bunny Ears Lugs, and is sometimes called the Andy Warhol watch. He owned one of these as well as about 300 different timepieces.
Ulysse Nardin is a Swiss brand that offers limited editions of cherished views of different cities. The San Marco Pisa features the Leaning Tower of Pisa is executed in enamel, as is the view of San Marco San Pietro in Rome.
Breguet is known for their Grand Complication movements. For novices, that means that one watch has many dials and can tell you many things. The two gold watches are one-of-a-kind IWC and the platinum watch at the center is a Classic Breguet.
Harry Winston watches are collectible. The women’s watch on the right is one of an edition of six watches. It is a Journe Opus One Power Reserve in platinum with diamonds. His watch is an Ocean Tourbillion Rose Gold, edition number 49 of 80. Not only does Twain Time sell watches, but they will also care for and service your timepieces so you too can pass them down or along.
Twain Time, 19 East 69 Street, 212 256-0303
Camilla Dietz Bergeron is located on a full floor upstairs in a small Madison Avenue building. Step out of the elevator and you will find several rooms of jewelry and objets. The large unusual pendant necklace on the right from Cartier, Paris. c. 1970, it is made from gold, lapis and mother of pearl. The colorful earings are from the 1960s and are made of rhodochrosite and lapis. The braided bracelet is a 1990’s piece from Tiffany with braided bands of gold with diamonds. The large brooch is from the 1960s and consists of gold and diamonds.
Seaman Schepps is known for striking pieces. The necklace on the right is his and is convertible — meaning it can be worn as one or two different necklaces. Made from tumbled baroque uniquely shaped semi-precious stones spaced by white pearls, it dates to the 1980s and is quietly colorful. The c. 1925 Art Deco diamond bracelet is set with emeralds and has intricate patterning. Or why not try some statement flower earrings? These beauties are of rubies with a diamond center. They were made by Sabbadini, an Italian mark. There’s also a turquoise and diamond domed ring, c. 1960, and an angel skin coral and diamond ring from Van Cleef, c. 1960.
An Art Deco black onyx and enamel clock or a Cartier one made from nephrite with moonstones and enamel? Both of these are from the 1920s. Card cases were very decorative back then when gentle people, as they were known, left cards when they went calling. The case on the left is made from chalcedony and diamonds. The one on the right is nephrite and enamel.
At the center is a bracelet watch c. 1945 from Sterle Paris. The watch itself is covered with a bombe of amethysts and diamonds. It has Vacheron Constantin works and the wrap-around fancy link bracelet goes over the bombe. The necklace is an interesting Van Cleef and Arpels made from black onyx and diamonds. It can be detached and worn as two separate necklaces. Very clever. The bracelet is a gold, platinum and diamond David Webb Princess Lilian piece.
Camilla Dietz Bergeron, 818 Madison Avenue, 212 794-9100
Stephen Kahan and Son offers a curated range of jewelry. A starkly modern necklace c. ’70s/’80s from Lalaounis is beautiful. A trio of bracelets are also striking. On the right is a wide retro American (made c. late ’40s/early ’50s) chunky bracelet. The center bracelet is a signed Seaman Schepps made from ebony and pave diamonds. The coral bracelet is Italian, and has a tribal feel.
A Mughal style necklace has carved emerald beads mixed with diamond and onyx rondelles. The star sapphire ring to the left is a star itself at 48.40 carats set in diamonds. It dates c. 1950s to 1960s. The ring at the center is a contemporary diamond rind ring. The bracelet is freshwater pearls with little tendrils of gold floating over the pearls and is from the early 1970s.
The cocktail rings is a boule design c. 1950s/1960s made of diamonds. It packs a punch. The earrings to the left are pink tourmaline and diamonds. The pair in the center are antique diamonds and saltwater pearls. The chandelier earrings (right) are made from natural multi-color sapphires and diamonds in a grape bunch design and are from the early 21st century.
An opera length necklace of graduated Tahitian pearls stand out. The 1950’s Italian coiled snake bracelet has a wicked look in its emerald eyes. And take a look at the 1950’s American-made diamond bracelet.
Stephen P. Kahan & Son, 25 East 61 Street, 212 750-3456
Fred Leighton was one of the pioneers in New York of vintage jewelry. Mr. Leighton popularized vintage looks by working with designers and stylists on red carpet and runway moments. Which would you choose? The Art Deco diamond and onyx bracelet by Oscar Heyman or the Art Deco diamond and emerald one? Perhaps the 1930s circular motif piece? Maybe the diamond link bracelet c. 1920 from Fontana Paris? Maybe try more than one.
A Victorian gold and amethyst fringe rivere is spectacular as is the diamond and enamel bib necklace. I love the dark blue enamel bracelet, c. 1845, is made from a monogrammed locket. Or perhaps a simple Old Mine diamond bangle bracelet, c. 1890s, will set off an outfit.
Major rings make major statements. At the top is a David Webb c. 1970s rock crystal and diamond ring. At the center is a c. 1930’s diamond European cut bombe ring. To the left is a stunning c. 1940s aquamarine ring touched with rubies. Below that is a c. 1970s sculptural diamond and gold ring one. The sapphire ring is from Van Cleef c. 1950s and has an invisible setting.
At the center is the c. 1940’s “Reflection” cuff by Trabert & Hoeffer Mauboussin in citrine and amethyst. It is a statement piece. Rene Boivin designed the other two beautiful cuffs, c. 1940s. The one on the right is in gold and aquamarine and the one the left is a gold and citrine. Come to the boutique and try them on!
Fred Leighton, 773 Madison Avenue 212 288-1872
The pieces from the seven participants pictured above represent a small fraction of what you can see if you take advantage of the showings offered during NYC Jewelry Week. You never know what you will find, and how much you can learn. You might even make a good investment:
Barbara Hodes is the owner of NYC Private Shopping Tour, offering customized tours in New York and Brooklyn.