luxury · travel

Fine Jewelry at Freeman’s

Freeman’s Auction has done it again. You may recall that I attended my first Freeman’s Auction a few months ago, when I saw a brooch that I wanted to add to my collection. I got a catalog from them a few days ago, letting me know about an upcoming fine jewelry auction.

Guys, I’m thinking about making the trip.

I generally avoid going anywhere north of Washington, DC from the months of November to April (I hate the cold) but I may put my usual protocol aside to do this trip. Besides, I loved the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a return trip would be awesome.

As far as the auction goes, I liked a few pieces in the catalog but I wasn’t struck by any lot in particular. However, I was much more impressed when I checked out the full list of jewelry on the Freeman’s website. My favorite is this wheat stalk brooch. It’s 18 karat gold, simple but unique. How many wheat brooches have you seen recently? Exactly. I’m sure there are only, like, 2 of them in existence. And I’d love to own this one.

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This gold pillbox is also going to be auctioned by Freeman’s and it’s so beautiful and vintage: I can’t stand it! It’s also 18 karat gold and has a Greek key-like pattern on the outer edge, and concentric circles on the top. No one has elegant holders for their pills anymore: how lovely is this?

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The Freeman’s Fine Jewelry Auction will be held on November 6, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA at 12PM EST. I may be there, so if you decide to make the trip, make sure that you say hello if you see me!

art

My Top Picks from Freeman’s Asian Art Auction

Freeman’s Auction is kicking off Asian Art week by holding the first Asian-themed auction of the season. This auction has a lot of Chinese art, though there are a few pieces available from India, Japan and Korea. The pieces span multiple dynasties and the expected prices are refreshingly reasonable, with most items expected to sell for less than $5,000. Of course, I have a few items that caught my eye and I’m going to share them with you all in this post. However, I encourage you to peruse the entire catalog and go to the auction in person, if you can.

The first pieces that caught my eye were this vivid pair of turquoise blue luduan. Luduans are symbols of luck in China, and are an amalgam of a deer, horse and unicorn. This pair is especially beautiful and well-preserved. They could go for $8000 or more.

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Pair of Chinese turquoise-glazed pottery luduan

Next, I saw this lantern and immediately fell in love. The lotus design is gorgeous, and the fact that it would work with several different decorating themes appealed to me. This is one of the Japanese pieces in the lot: the age of the lantern wasn’t provided, but my guess is that it isn’t extremely old, as it’s expected to fetch somewhere between $1000 and $1500.

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Japanese bronze spherical lotus lantern

I then saw this pair of striking Chinese vases – one in creamy jadeite and the other in intense lapis lazuli – and I was blown away. So many times, vases that are seen in auctions are very standard in appearance: they look much like the vases we can find in most home decor stores around the country. However, the organic shape and unusual materials make these vases very special. The jadeite one is expected to sell somewhere between $1500 and $2500, while the lapis lazuli vase will probably go for a bit less (between $1000 and $1500). It’ll be interesting to see the final selling prices for these beauties.

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Chinese jadeite “magnolia” vase (Qing Dynasty)

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18th-19th Century lapis lazuli incense tool vase with (later) sterling mount

What auction is complete without jewelry? The jewelry lot that I loved came from India. The item that caught my attention was a set of gilt turban ornaments. While I rarely wear turbans, these incredible ornaments make me want to reconsider my current fashion choices. These make me want to wear turbans daily!

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Indian gilt metal and white stone turban ornaments

Those are my top picks from the Freeman’s Auction. The Asian Art Auction will happen on September 7, in Philadelphia. You can also view the collection on the days prior to the auction (September 3 – 6, from 10 AM to 5 PM [September 3 by appointment]). I hope that you all take some time to see what Freeman’s is offering!

art · luxury

A Jewel Lover’s Paradise

I am SWOONING over the pieces in Bonhams’ upcoming jewelry auction. So many gorgeous pieces and a little something for everyone: what more could you want?

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This stunning diamond necklace could fetch up to $7,900

Bonhams Auctions will be selling over 300 jewelry items on July 11 at their London, Knightsbridge location. This sale boasts pieces by luxury brands such as Bulgari, Boucheron, Cartier and Tiffany. Also, there are a lot of colorful gemstone pieces in this sale, which is a special treat: from what I’ve seen, many jewelry auctions feature diamond pieces (almost) exclusively, with only a few colored gemstones represented.

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Gorgeous sapphire and diamond ring

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My birthstone, a flawless peridot solitaire

This collection has a wonderful range, from very affordable to truly luxurious. There is a little something for everyone with this auction, and that excites me tremendously. Some of my favorite pieces were expected to sell for less than $1000, though I saw some other pieces expected to fetch over $25,000 once the bidding starts.

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One of my favorite pieces, a diamond clip brooch

You all know how much I love jewelry, and I was in heaven looking at the incredible pieces offered by Bonhams. I registered for an account, so who knows? Maybe I’ll end up getting my dream item after all.

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Tiffany Seagull brooch set

The information for the auction is below. If you’re able, you should check out the pieces in the days prior to, and the day of, the sale.

Bonhams, Jewelry Auction, July 11, 2018

London, Knightsbridge location

Montpelier Street
Knightsbridge
London
SW7 1HH
Viewing dates and times (BST):
July 8, 11:00 – 15:00
July 9, 09:30 – 16:30
July 10, 09:30 – 16:30
July 11, 09:00 – 10:00

 

 

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A Day at Freeman’s Auction, Part 2

After enjoying a fun first day at Freedman’s Auction, I was eager to return the next day for the actual auction.

I arrived just after bidding started and I went to Client Services to retrieve my paddle. The young woman that assisted me the day before recognized me and grabbed my paddle and a form for me to sign before I started bidding. Once the form was signed, I returned to the main room where the auction was being held.

Ooh, what fun I had! It was amazing to see how high some of the prices would go! I couldn’t help but think about how this collection – carefully assembled, with pieces loved and well worn – would soon be parceled out and sent to new homes, to become beloved pieces in different collections. There were so many people eager to make these lots part of their own personal collections; it’s just a testimony to the lasting good taste of Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton (the original owner of the pieces).

And my beautiful platinum bow brooch? I didn’t get it. I’m not disappointed: I’m sure that the right piece will come along at the right time. I’m also sure that someone will absolutely LOVE it when they get it and see that beauty in person (a bidder on the phone was the lucky winner). It’s a treasure that I’m positive will be going to a good home where it will be loved and cherished.

My time as Freeman’s was so much fun! I’m already planning to attend again, but next time, my budget will be much bigger, and I will have a winning bid!

That’s all for my experience with Freeman’s Auction. I hope you all enjoyed, and have a Happy Wednesday! Talk to you all tomorrow!

art · luxury

A Day At Freeman’s Auction, Part 1

As you all know, I went to Philadelphia a few days ago. I didn’t just go for the sake of having a getaway (though I desperately needed a getaway!). I went to attend an auction at Freeman’s, the oldest auction house in the United States. Freeman’s has been in business over 200 years, and they find new homes for all sorts of treasures.

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The star of the auction, sold for $802,000

I stopped by on May 8th to view the items to be auctioned on May 9th (you have to come at least the day prior to an auction in order to view and inspect items to be sold). The auction I planned to attend was the sale of jewelry and accessories previously owned by billionaire heiress Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton. 

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I had my eye on one piece in particular: a platinum and diamond brooch shaped like a bow. I figured I would bid on it if the price was right but I needed to check it out first. The staff in the display room was friendly and professional. I was given information on how to bid and I stopped by Client Services to drop off my bidder registration form. Again, the staff in the Client Services office was friendly and professional.

 

The object of my affection

Freeman’s is a throwback to bygone years (they have an elevator with an actual elevator operator!) but it’s fascinating to see how they’ve managed to blend the past and the current day. The same building with an elevator operator has huge monitors so that bidders can see the items being auctioned as well as online bidding capabilities.

In Part 2 of this post, I’ll discuss the actual auction and the outcome. Talk to you all soon!

life curation · luxury

The Auction You Won’t Want to Miss

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This sapphire and diamond ring by Cartier, Paris is expected to fetch between $125,000 and $150,000

You all know, just by browsing through my previous posts, that I love sparkly stuff. So it should be no surprise that I let out an audible gasp when I saw that Sotheby’s is having a fine jewelry sale on April 19th at their New York location.

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This diamond bracelet will likely fetch more than $20,000 when it is auctioned

It’s a work day for me, and I can’t justify a New York day trip this month. But just know that I’m at the auction … In spirit.

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This bracelet by David Webb is an equine enthusiast’s dream

 

Lots are estimated as low as $400 and as high as $150,000+. I think this will be a fascinating sale, simply because the price points are so wide-ranging. This may attract a varied group of jewelry collectors and appreciators.

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This Tiffany & Co. brooch is expected to be on the lower end of the cost spectrum with high bids estimated at around $600.

My favorite piece is this pin by David Webb. The cat’s coy, over-the-shoulder expression is what drew me in. It’s an unexpected rendition of the typical feline brooch. Instead of looking fierce, stoic or languid, this kitty looks inquisitive and alert. She looks more like a curious housecat than a fearsome predator.

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The cat that stole my heart

The auction is broken into two sessions, with the first session starting at 10:30 AM, and resuming with the second session at 2:00 PM. The event will happen on April 19, at Sotheby’s New York location (1334 York Avenue). As far as I could tell, this one does’t have the option for online bidding. If you can go, just know that I’m living vicariously through you!

 

(All photos courtesy of Sotheby’s)

 

hollywood glamour · luxury

Baubles, Hollywood Style Part Deux

Not too long ago, I mentioned the Hollywood Collection, a company that recreates jewelry worn by the stars of yesterday, in a Hollywood Glamour post. Today, I’m excited to share with you all yet another company that does spectacular jewelry that is inspired by classic Hollywood actresses.

Filthy Rich has their own “Hollywood Collection“, complete with replicas of jewelry worn by stars such as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Jean Harlow. This company doesn’t just limit it offerings to jewelry styled after the ones worn by Hollywood’s finest: they also has recreations of jewelry owned by Jacqueline Kennedy and Kate Middleton. Here are a few of my favorites from the site:

ahearring

Audrey Hepburn Roman Holiday earrings

kate

Kate Middleton Royal Engagement Ring

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Jacqueline Kennedy Gold Bracelet Watch

They have some other glamorous options for anyone interested in adding some Hollywood to their wardrobe. I love that these pieces are not only beautiful but very affordable, too: the prices average less than $50 each. So reasonably priced, so chic!