Friday, May 25, 2018

Boivin Starfish, Signed and Unsigned


I’m reading an interesting book called Diving for Starfish: The Jeweler, the Actress, the Heiress and One of the World’s Most Alluring Pieces of Jewelry by Cherie Burns about her hunt for information on the ruby and amethyst starfish created by the jewelry house Boivin in the 1930s. Apparently only three or four of them were ever made back when they were originally fabricated. Juliette Moutard is credited with their design, based on an idea by Jeanne Boivin (wife of René Boivin, the founder of the house and sister of Paul Poiret, the famous couturier). Boivin did not sign their work. Burns writes:

“…Jeanne Boivin did not want to sign Boivin pieces because she believed the design alone was adequate to identify them.”

Boivin Starfish from the 1950s.

I happened to be at Christie’s for the Rockefeller auction exhibit when I unexpectedly got a chance to visit with two Boivin starfish about to go to auction in Geneva. They were stunning and huge! One was made of rubies and amethysts, the other, emeralds and aquamarines. They are fully articulated, so they move and mold themselves to the person wearing them.

This particular passage in Ms. Burns’ book has me thinking about the two starfish I saw in person.

“And then I had heard also that jewelers had on occasion taken a piece they believed to be Boivin to be stamped on its underside, so that prospective buyers would have confidence in its origin. (And thus establishing that it was possibly not original!) What was I to make of this? Like so much of the jewelry business it was shrouded in ambiguity and it would plague my attempt to identify the starfish later.”

According to the online catalog the starfish I saw at Christie’s were later creations, from the 1950s, so they are not the originals Ms. Burns spent her time hunting for, and, tellingly, the starfish I saw are signed, which, if you believe Ms. Burns, is not a good thing, and I would think would make them less valuable than the original starfishes, which I do believe are unsigned.

They are huge and gorgeous!

I would expect that these starfish, while stupendous, would not fetch the prices at auction than the starfish that belonged to either Claudette Colbert, the original owner of the starfish brooch, or Millicent Rogers, the Standard Oil heiress, who also owned one of the original pieces, would garner. However, both still sold for a lot of money. The ruby and amethyst brooch sold for CHF 125,000 (approximately $126,000) and the emerald and aquamarine sold for CHF 150,000 (approximately $151,000).

A photo of the starfish once owned by Millicent Rogers.

Love this photo of Millicent wearing her starfish. And her dachshund is adorable!

A closer shot so you can see the stones and settings in detail.

The emerald and aquamarine starfish in closer detail.

Signed or unsigned, I would be thrilled to have either one of these in my collection! I am only partway through the book and so far Ms. Burns writes of the secretive and mysterious world of high jewelry, of trying to get information about the original starfish only to be met with silence, hostility, or shifting and shady answers. It is a fascinating read!

Let me know if you are reading (or have read) the book or have ever seen one of the famous Boivin starfish.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Meghan’s Wedding Jewelry

My favorite shot from the whole wedding. Gorgeous!

A friend of mine asked me what my favorite part of Harry & Meghan’s wedding was. My favorite part was everything! I loved that they had it at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, I loved Meghan’s dress by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy (and it may not have been intended, but it seems like a nice tribute to Hubert de Givenchy himself since he just passed away in March), and I loved all the jewelry!

I loved the neckline and silhouette of her dress by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy.

I have never seen the tiara Meghan wore before, and I generally don’t like tiaras, but this one was stunning! I was crazy for the geometric patterns and it sparkled like pure glitter in the sun. It was created for Queen Mary (Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmother) in 1932 and the center brooch is detachable and was given to her in 1893 for her own wedding. If you would like to learn more and see some amazing close-up shots of it, head over to The Court Jeweller. You won’t be disappointed!

A great shot featuring the tiara, earrings, engagement ring, and wedding band!

A closer shot. Perfect manicure and I love seeing the delicate gold wedding band too.

I thought the tiara went so well with Meghan’s Galanterie de Cartier earrings which I wrote about last month. Now I am assuming the earrings were selected because they “spoke” to the tiara’s design. These earrings are so very gorgeous in person, I got to visit with them a few weeks ago at the Cartier Mansion and I told the SA that they feel like modern Art Deco to me. After seeing them with the tiara I feel like this even more.

Galanterie de Cartier earrings.

You can see the bracelet in this photo. I also love the small bouquet.

The diamond bracelet she wore immediately caught my attention and I knew I had seen it somewhere before…Because of the research I did on the Cartier website learning about Meghan’s earrings (plus the Cartier Trinity Ruban earrings that Princess Charlene wore recently) I thought it might be Cartier so I headed back to their website and there it was: Reflection de Cartier.

The bracelet is made of 18k white gold set with 104 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 4.50 carats and with 52 baguette-cut diamonds totaling 5.61 carats. My mother tells me that Prince Charles gave Kate Middleton a diamond bracelet for a present when she married William so she thinks that Prince Charles probably did the same for Meghan.

Reflection de Cartier bracelet. Stunning!

And maybe Prince Charles also gave her the fabulous earrings she wore to the evening reception, because they too are from Cartier, the same Reflection de Cartier collection. You can just make them out in the side shot of Meghan & Harry leaving for Frogmore, down below. They are made of 18k white gold, each set with 19 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 0.81 carats and 10 baguette-cut diamonds totaling 1.08 carats.

A great look for both of them, heading to the evening reception.

Reflection de Cartier earrings. Love them!

Cartier earrings and a ring from Princess Diana’s collection.

I read that the aquamarine ring Meghan wore was a gift to her from Harry and was a piece that belonged to Princess Diana. It was made by Asprey. I loved this close up shot of it I found over at the Daily Mail.

A closer shot of the ring. Wow!

It was a beautiful day and a beautiful wedding. I enjoyed it thoroughly and cried several times too! I hope the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be very happy together and I hope we will continue to see Meghan wear her new jewelry often!

Crazy for this shot of them in the landau carriage!

Love love love this photo of them.


Let me know what you thought about any aspect of the wedding!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Princess Charlene and Her Cartier Trinity Ruban Diamond Earrings

Charlene & Albert, April 2018. AP Photo.

Just after I did a post on Meghan’s Galanterie de Cartier diamond earrings, who should I spy also wearing Cartier diamonds but Princess Charlene of Monaco! I saw these photos in the Daily Mail of a recent tennis match she attended with Prince Albert and of course I loved her outfit and makeup and mirrored sunglasses right away. On closer inspection, having spent enough time on the Cartier website to learn about Meghan’s earrings (ha!), I recognized what Charlene had on were the Cartier Trinity Ruban earrings, in diamonds set in 18k white gold. Gorgeous! Do you think maybe Albert is whispering to Charlene how great she looks in the above photo?

I do believe those are Cartier Trinity Ruban earrings on Charlene! Reuters photo.

Just like the Galanterie de Cartier, you can pick the size and specs of the center stone of the Cartier Trinity Ruban earrings, from .50 to .59-carat each, to .70 to .79 each, to 1.00 to 1.15, or 1.50 to 1.69. I love that swirl of pavéd diamonds around each center stone and how it gives the entire earring a 3D effect. They look so modern and glamorous on Charlene. I don’t know what size she is wearing, maybe the half-carat each (any guesses?), but they seem like they would be a great earring for every day wear!

Cartier Trinity Ruban diamond earrings.

A shot of the side. Love that swirl of diamonds!

I hope they were a gift to Charlene from Albert. She just turned 40 this past January so perhaps they were to mark that special occasion? I visited with these this past weekend since I was near the Cartier Mansion on Fifth Avenue. The pair I saw had a center stone size of well over a carat, so with the added pavé swirl they were quite large and so very elegant!

Let me know what you think of these Cartier earrings on Charlene!