Friday, December 9, 2016

Favorites from the Estate of Betsy Bloomingdale at Christie’s

A “Bird on a Rock” by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co.

I went to Christie’s last weekend to have a look at their “Magnificent Jewels” auction preview and it featured a collection of jewels going on the block that once belonged to Betsy Bloomingdale, who died this past July at the age of 93. I don’t know very much about Betsy, but I do know that I admired the jewels which once graced her jewelry box!

Betsy in her couture and diamonds! Unknown photographer. From the Christie’s catalog.

The mini-exhibit within the larger auction preview showcased that Betsy had a nice mix of jewels from all the big houses. She owned the classic “Bird on a Rock” brooch, above, of citrine, diamonds and rubies, one of my favorites by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. I never get tired of seeing it! Betsy also owned some beautiful David Webb, Van Cleef & Arpels, and heart-stopping Harry Winston diamonds.

Harry Winston jewels owned by Betsy Bloomingdale.

The above photo is not the clearest shot I know, but I like that the reflection makes it look like I am about to lift that Harry Winston necklace right off the display!

A Harry Winston stunner.

The above diamond ring by Harry Winston features a center stone that is 29-carats. The ring sold for $1,927,500.

Jewelry by Van Cleef & Arpels.

The Van Cleef & Arpels ruby bead and diamond tassel necklace is circa 1970 and features a detachable tassel. Every one of those ruby tassels ends in a gold bead tipped with a diamond! On an estimate of $30,000-35,000, the final hammer price was $100,000.

A detail of the tassel.

The three-tier pendants on the earrings seen below are also detachable. We do love multitasking jewelry, that is for sure, and it seems Betsy did too. These earrings had an estimate of $10,000-15,000, but sold for way past that, at $75,000.


A glorious Harry Winston Diamond Cluster Brooch that sold for $223,500.

Let me know if you saw this preview or if you have any favorites from the pieces shown here. You know I can't resist a good pin so mine are the brooches by Jean Schlumberger and Harry Winston.


Coulda shoulda woulda said...

Thing about these vintage jewels is that the workmanship in today's terms would cost so much that it really is better value to go vintage. Plus there are stones left of course but who knows how the environment will change and how lobbying will change these things in the jewellery market as well. But that is quite a collection of pieces x

Jill said...

Hi Naomi, I think you are 100% correct re it's better to go vintage! These pieces were just stunning, as was everything else I saw at Christie's that day, whether signed or unsigned. You won't be surprised to know I made a beeline for vintage Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier and Oscar Heyman. xx

No Fear of Fashion said...

Don't you just wish you had the money to buy a few of Betsy's pieces... (I do.)
That yellow/ocre pleated dress of Betsy... what a dream come true.

Jill said...

Hi Greetje! Oh yes, I would definitely wish for the funds to pick up a few of these pieces at auction. Betsy was a lucky lady and I think she knew it. I loved that yellow dress on her too, I hope I can find out who made it. It was just gorgeous on her. xx