Friday, September 4, 2015

Brooches & Bracelets from the Estate of Rita Dee Hassenfeld at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

A Van Cleef & Arpels brooch of onyx and diamonds in 18K yellow gold. Let the weeping begin!

If you would like to get your September off to one dreamy and glamorous start, do head over to Leslie Hindman Auctioneers to peruse the many glorious offerings about to hit the block in Chicago on September 16, 2015 at 5:30pm Central Time as part of the “Important Jewelry From the Estate of Rita Dee Hassenfeld” auction.

I learned from the Leslie Hindman Auctioneers catalogue that Rita Dee Hassenfeld was born in New York City and graduated from Adelphi University at the age of 19. She was a ballerina and accepted into the School of American Ballet but decided instead to get married and focus on having a family. She wed Harold Irwin Hassenfeld, whose family business was Hassenfeld Brothers, which you may know better as Hasbro Industries, manufacturer of Monopoly, Play-Doh, and Mr. Potato Head! She and her husband raised their three childen in Nashville and Palm Beach and were noted for their generous philanthropic efforts. Ms. Hassenfeld passed away in January of this year at the age of 88.

Mrs. Hassenfeld had amazing taste in jewelry and quite the collection, the online catalogue is filled with so many things to love!

Here are a few pieces that I fell for at first sight and there are many, many more over at the auction catalogue. I regret that I did not know of this auction sooner because there was a preview open to the public at the Waldorf-Astoria that I would have attended! For those of you in Chicago, click here to see the exhibition times that run for a week, from September 10-17, 2015.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend and these stunning pieces of jewelry!

A tulip brooch of diamonds, sapphires, and tsavorite garnets in 18K gold.

This tulip brooch is my idea of a perfect pin since I am crazy for multicolored pavé pieces. I would love to see how this beauty sparkles in the light, wouldn’t you?

A gorgeous abstract multi-gem brooch.

This striking brooch is mesmerizing for its use of cabochon-cut amethyst, pink tourmaline, chalcedony, and dyed blue chalcedony, surrounded by inlays of black onyx and diamonds in 18K yellow gold. I bet this brooch is one you cannot take your eyes off of in person!

A Seaman Scheppes bracelet of cabochon sapphires in 18K white gold.

Don’t mind that sound of crying you might be hearing right about now, that’s just me dying over this vintage Seaman Scheppes bracelet of the most amazing set of cabochon sapphires. I hope this goes to a good home, especially if that home has someone with a September birthday. How about this as a celebration of your birthstone? This is the kind of piece I wish we could see on the red carpet during the next Golden Globes or Oscars.

Would love to see this on the red carpet!

An enchanting seashell brooch by Lee Havens of pearls and diamonds in 18K white gold.

This beauty by Lee Havens seems like the perfect summertime brooch. I adore not only the colors but also its mix of Mabe, Tahitian, and button pearls affixed to the seashell. I would want to wear this pretty regularly from June until August!

An aquamarine and diamond three-row bracelet set in platinum. My blue heaven!

I have a particular fondness for aquamarine stones so this magnificent aquamarine and diamond bracelet set in platinum stopped me in my tracks with one glance. I love the bezel settings for the aquamarines and that there are rows of diamonds in between!

The following two brooches are from the “Important Jewelry” auction to be held September 17, 2015 at 12pm Central Time and features pieces from a number of different consignors.

A 1960 Van Cleef & Arpels brooch.

I love the quiet elegance of this 1960 brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels featuring 17 round brilliant-cut diamonds in white gold, outlined in yellow gold. There is something about this wave shape that always makes me think of the early 1960s and I never fail to be completely charmed by it! This seems to be the kind of brooch that would look amazing whether you wore it on a piece of clothing or in your hair!

Love this Van Cleef & Arpels dog brooch!

I love this vintage Van Cleef & Arpels pooch so much! I believe it is from the 1960s or early 70s and part of the “La Boutique” series of playful animal clips that Van Cleef & Arpels offered to attract a broader range of clients back in the day. Isn’t this adorable? I don’t even own a dog and I would still love to pin this to my fall coat!

Let me know if you have any favorites in this roundup. If you end up bidding on something at this auction, whether in person or online, come back and tell me everything!

All photos courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Ivanka Trump in a Tassel Necklace

Ivanka Trump in a gorgeous diamond tassel necklace.

When looking for photos of ladies wearing tassels, I came across this nice shot of Ivanka Trump wearing a gorgeous blue ruffled blouse and an amazing diamond tassel necklace, which is probably from her own jewelry collection. I think she looks so lovely in this shade of blue, and with diamonds around her neck! Don’t think for a minute that my Van Cleef & Arpels-addled brain didn’t also notice the lady behind her, wearing her own stunning piece—a 10-motif Vintage Alhambra necklace in what looks to be chalcedony set in white gold. Oh I weep. Does anybody know who that woman is? I have to tip my hat to both of these ladies—this is my exact ideal of late summer bejeweled glamour! Ivanka’s father may be a controversial presidential candidate, but I think Ivanka always represents her family, and herself, in polished and elegant Manhattan style!

Let Ivanka’s tasseled splendor be your friendly reminder that September’s “How I Wear My” is devoted to the tassel. Style your favorite tassel and send a photo of the resulting look to by September 7, 2015. Join us! Ivanka would want you to!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Afternoon Tea at Bergdorf Goodman

Tea at BG!

When my mother was in town recently for the New York Antique Jewelry & Watch Show we decided to go to Bergdorf Goodman afterwards for their afternoon tea service.

You know how I love the windows at Bergdorf, and being inside shopping is always great fun too, but it was a new experience to take the elevator up to the 7th floor to the BG Restaurant!

A view of the interior from the Kelly Wearstler website.

We were seated in the back of the restaurant, which I just loved, for its touches of green, black, cream, and gold!

A chair tucked into a lovely corner next to us.

The view from my seat. This is looking uptown.

My mother and I both loved the table settings, the linens, and the restaurant’s décor, by noted interior designer Kelly Wearstler. It was a nice (and glamorous) blend of modern, classic, and unexpected, such as the different water glasses on every table.

There was a good mix of locals and tourists and the place was pretty lively. My mother and I opted for the BG Tea Service Royale, which came with a Dammann Frères tea of our choosing, as well as a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne (because everything is better with champagne!). Each patron gets to select their own tea but we both went with Nuit à Versailles, which has a lovely light flavor with slight citrus notes that I thought was so good even without sugar, and I’m normally not a tea drinker.

I like the striped plate and water glass. BG Tea Service Royale includes a glass of bubbly.

My mom laughing with other patrons about all the pictures we were taking!

There was a wonderful selection of savory and sweet goodies brought to us on the three-tiered stand. Two of every kind of sandwich, which included chicken, tuna, egg salad, and salmon. There were also gorgeous mini tarts, macarons, scones (with Devonshire cream) and petit fours. Everything was fresh and delicious. It was more food than I was expecting, actually, and I was definitely full by the end of the tea!

Tiered tray of treats both savory and sweet!

A great assortment of sandwiches and jams to go with the scones!

The waiter refilled our tea pots and no one rushed us at all, even though it was fairly busy since it was a Saturday afternoon in July, and we stayed past tea time! The service is offered daily from 3-5pm.

A couple of days before going to the BG Restaurant I asked a friend of mine—a Bergdorf Goodman aficionada and a born-and-bred Brooklyn gal—about how formal it was there and she said she never dresses up for the restaurant, and she has a deep closet with many wonderful things! I found the other patrons to be both casual and dressy—the pretty Japanese young lady next to our table wore a gorgeous sky-blue Chanel jacket with her navy shorts (!) and carried a Kelly—a Sellier 32 in black boxcalf with gold hardware, if you’d really like to know—while the gentlemen sitting next to her table wore polo shirts and long khaki shorts. A beautiful woman wore an ivory-colored sundress with high heels. My mother wore a black and white polka-dot dress and I wore a leopard-print top, a cardigan and white denim capris.

A fellow guest took this photo of my mom and me. Thank you, kind sir!

Reservations are recommended and I booked our spot at Open Table. It was easy and free.

If you’ve been to tea at Bergdorf let me know what you thought of the experience. If you have suggestions for other places for tea in New York City (or around the world!), I’d love to hear what they are. This is a tradition I would like to regularly take part in!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New York Antique Jewelry & Watch Show 2015

A stunning 1980s necklace by Fabergé, shown by the lovely Rachel of 66 Mint.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the New York Antique Jewelry & Watch Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan. What a glamorous bazaar it was, with booth after booth of some of the most amazing fine jewelry on the planet!

The first passageway inside the Metropolitan Pavilion.

The show is produced annually by U.S. Antique Shows and travels to different cities around the country. I have included a list of cities at the end of this post if you are interested in attending a show near you! I found the exhibitors friendly and informative, and a cosmopolitan bunch from around the world! I spoke with jewelry dealers from London, Geneva, Atlanta, San Francisco, and of course from right here in New York. They were interesting to talk to and learn from. I went with an open mind, happy to look at anything and everything, but of course I fell in love with a few pieces that caught my eye, some new to me, and some I’ve seen online but never in person. Here were a few of my absolute favorites:

Pavé diamonds, tourmalines, and pink Guilloché enamel, set in yellow gold. J’adore!

Above is a detailed shot of the magnificent Fabergé necklace at the 66 Mint booth. Of course when I hear Fabergé I immediately think of their world-famous eggs, so I always forget that they even make jewelry, let alone this drop-dead gorgeous necklace from the 1980s, which I think is perfectly wearable today! Someone else must have thought so too because I see from the 66 Mint website that it is now sold. Whoever owns it now is one lucky lady!

My mother in an angel skin coral and opal necklace.

At the Harley Brown booth my mother tried on an exquisite necklace made of angel skin coral and opals. I have never seen a necklace like this and it was stunning on my mother!

Amazing graduated beads of angel skin coral, with opal in between. Even the clasp is of opal!

A trio of necklaces by Van Cleef & Arpels.

I fell hard for several pieces at the M&G Signed Jewelry booth. I loved these Van Cleef & Arpels necklaces, especially the Lapis Lazuli Clover pendant with a diamond center, from 1973. Gorgeous! I would wear that all the time if I owned it.

A Van Cleef & Arpels Lion Ébouriffé brooch from 1962.

Another thing I loved at M&G Signed Jewelry was this 1962 Lion Ébouriffé or “Tousled Lion” brooch, by Van Cleef & Arpels, which features a 18K gold lion with pavé face, black enamel nose, and emerald eyes. Princess Grace of Monaco owned one of these exact brooches!

Van Cleef & Arpels sets of coral and turquoise and pearls.

Yet another favorite at M&G were these 1960s Van Cleef & Arpels sets of bracelets and earrings featuring red coral and pearls and turquoise and pearls. I especially love that turquoise and pearl brooch in the center. Isn’t it divine?

One of the shows many aisles of exhibitors.

A Boivin lipstick case from the 1930s. I weep!

I went nutty for this beyond-gorgeous lipstick case from the 1930s by renowned French jewelry house Boivin. I think it may have been my single favorite thing at the show! It was at the Larengregor SA booth and the (very handsome and charming) young Swiss man who showed it to my mother and me pulled it apart and said, “You can still smell the lipstick.” And you could. At the bottom of the gold cylinder insert was the tiniest remnants of the boldest red. The case was heavy and supremely elegant and so old school. It is made of black enamel, gold, and tiny cabochon rubies. Can you imagine having this in your handbag?

I read over at Antique Jewelry University that during the 1930s and 40s the house of Boivin was run by the widow of René Boivin, the founder who died in 1917 at the age of 53. René’s widow, Jeanne (sister of couturier Paul Poiret!), along with three female jewelry designers, Suzanne Vuilereme (later Belperron and famous in her own right), Juliette Moutarde, and Boivin’s daughter Germaine, helped the house reach the zenith of jewelry design.

So how about that, ladies and gents? This lipstick case was designed by a WOMAN!

Note the tiny cabochon ruby lift that brings the lipstick to the top. I love this case!

I tried on this extremely gorgeous fire opal and spinel ring!

At the Aaron Faber booth I had the pleasure of trying on this glorious ring of a center fire opal surrounded by bright red spinels! You cannot take your eyes off this ring, it flashes color from every angle and is so dramatic and wonderful.

An intricate and beautiful dragonfly brooch.

My mother spied this stunning and huge dragonfly brooch at the Morelle Davidson booth. It features sapphires, diamonds, and an enameling technique known as “plique-à-jour.”

I read over at Wikipedia that “Plique-à-jour, (French for ‘letting in daylight’) is a vitreous enameling technique where the enamel is applied in cells, similar to cloisonné, but with no backing in the final product, so light can shine through the transparent or translucent enamel.”

This explains why the wings look so gorgeously luminous!

A detailed shot of the wings.

An early 1960s Van Cleef & Arpels “Chat Malicieux” brooch.

Also at the Morelle Davidson booth was this crazy and fun “Chat Malicieux” brooch from the early 1960s by Van Cleef & Arpels. It is made of gold, pavé diamonds above the emerald eye, a tiny ruby nose, and a bulbous onyx body. So great and for cat lovers everywhere! My cat Tippi actually gives me a very similar look to this on some mornings before she’s had her Fancy Feast!

If I could own two items here I would pick the 1973 Van Cleef & Arpels Lapis Lazuli clover pendant and the 1930s Boivin lipstick case. How about you?

Thank you to the U.S. Antique Shows and New York Antique Jewelry & Watch Show teams, as well as every exhibitor who took the time out to talk to me, show me something beautiful, and teach me something new.

If you get a chance to attend one of these shows around the country, I highly recommend it. You will have one glamorous and fantastic time!

Future Dates:

Lueur NY, October 23-25, 2015, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, NYC
Pier Antique Show, November 14-15, 2015, Pier 94, NYC
Miami Antique, Design & Art Show, Miami Airport Convention Center, January 22-24, 2016 
The Original Miami Beach Antique Show, Miami Beach Convention Center, January 26-February 1, 2016 
Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show, Paris Las Vegas Hotel, June 2-5, 2016
Los Angeles Antique Jewelry & Watch Show, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, 2016 Dates to Be Announced
New York Antique Jewelry & Watch Show, Metropolitan Pavilion, NYC July 22-25, 2016

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Lou Doillon and the Lure of the Long Jacket

“My Stuff: Lou Doillon,” Vanity Fair, August 2013.

Going through old magazines I came across the feature “My Things” with Lou Doillon in a Vanity Fair from August 2013. Lou is the daughter of actress Jane Birkin and she certainly has that Jane Birkin/1970s/Bohemian look down pat, right? I love her sooty eyes, heavy bangs, dark nails and leopard jacket in this photo. I also really like the length of the jacket she is wearing. It seems lightweight and perfect for fall when temperatures are starting to cool.

The moody-looking Lou. Love this photo of her!

I must’ve been influenced by Lou in her leopard because I could not resist picking up this jacket by Laundry by Shelli Segal during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which I normally have no problem resisting. I like the fabric and the trim but I think this has to go back because it is much heavier than the lightweight long jacket I had in mind—to be fair it is called the “Ribbon Trim Tweed Coat” but I was hoping it would be a super thin one!—and it is also much more formal looking than the jacket I had in mind.

Ribbon Trim Tweed Coat from Laundry by Shelli Segal.

I like the fabric and detailing.

I do like this length of a jacket, especially since it seems most fall jackets hit at the hip or just below, so my search continues.

Let me know what you think of Lou’s look or longer jackets for fall. If you have any shopping or brand recommendations, please pass them along!