Several important pieces in Sotheby's first jewellery sale of the season helped the internationally renowned auction house get off to a fine start this autumn. Held in New York on 24 September 2013, the sale brought together a remarkable breadth of jewels from estates and private collections, including period pieces by celebrated French jewellers from the collection of Alex and Elisabeth Lewyt. The sale exceeded its pre-sale estimation, realising a total of US$24,738,439 - the highest-ever total for Sotheby's annual autumn auction of jewels in New York.
The Lewyt private collection included a blackened gold, diamond, citrine and ruby Labrador brooch by René Boivin that nearly tripled its high estimate of US$90,000. Designed with the Parisian jeweller's typically naturalistic attention to detail, Boivin used red rubies to replicate the sad puppy dog eyes. Its charm, and the appeal of Boivin jewellery to collectors, helped it achieve an impressive US$257,000. A Belperron platinum, palladium and diamond cuff bracelet, worn by Elisabeth Lewyt on her wedding day, also achieved more than three times its high estimate, selling for US$185,000.
A Jean Schlumberger-designed platinum and diamond double clip pendant brooch, set in the voluptuous style that made him the toast of the wealthiest and most glamorous women of America, also proved a highlight. It sold for US$485,000, significantly above its high estimate of US$300,000. All the proceeds from the sale of the Lewyt private collection will go towards a charitable foundation that is to be established in their name.
One other jewel that stood out was the 19.51ct emerald-cut diamond Harry Winston ring from philanthropist George Rothman's family collection. Described pre-sale by Gary Schuler, Director of Sotheby's Jewelry Department in New York, as "a stone that is sure to generate early excitement in the global jewelry market this auction season," it sold for US$2,105,000, the joint highest price achieved on the day.