ASPREY & CO. LTD. (founded 1781) London, UK
Important Natural Ruby Gem Set 18K Gold Cardinal Bird Sculpture 1980
Finely chased and chiseled 18K yellow and white gold realistically rendered sculpture of a Cardinal bird set with
75+ carats (approx.) of natural gem quality oval and round cut Burmese rubies (GIA certificate) further heightened with enamel eyes and blackened gold face plumage details, the 18K gold and natural ruby cardinal sets atop a natural Amethyst crystal “mountain rock” with a tooled and gilt (script mark) on the leather under-pad.
Marks: A & Co. (in a quatrefoil), Crown mark, 750 (gold standard mark) Lion’s head (London assay mark) “F” date mark for 1980, tooled and gilt Asprey (script mark) on the leather under-pad
Provenance: Privately commissioned by the Sultan of Brunei’s younger brother, Prince Jefri Bolkiah who also later became the owner of Asprey & Co in the 1995. This rare sculptural 18K gold and natural ruby Cardinal was handmade by the finest jewelers and work masters in the workshop of the London Asprey & Co. located above the flagship store at 167 New Bond Street.
H: 3 ¾” x L: 5 3/4” x W: 1 ½”(Cardinal only)
H: 6” x W: 6 ¾” x D: 5 ¾” (with Cardinal atop natural Amethyst crystal rock)
As one might guess, a large part of the animal symbolism of the cardinal comes from the brilliant red color of the males. In fact, its name is derived from the royal red vestments worn by Catholic cardinals. This shock of red, especially against the stark backdrop of winter snow, is a magnificent sight. The male cardinal reminds us passion, warmth and vibrancy is available to us – even under the cloak of Winter’s grey clouds. Interestingly, the more bold and bright his color is, the more successful the cardinal will be at prolonging his lineage. Dull colored male cardinals are less likely to mate successfully than bright colored ones. True to the fire of his color, the crimson cardinal has got some major spunk. He will aggressively defend his territory, and fight attackers with ferocity. Indeed, they have been known to fight ghost males (their reflections) in mirrors for hours on end. Both male and female give us glorious songs. Along with peeps and pips and warbles, the tuned ear can also hear “cheer, cheer, cheer!” Very appropriate to the animal symbolism of cardinals, because they are a delight to both eyes and ears. The cardinal makes a fantastic animal totem. It reminds us to hold ourselves with pride, not ego pride but rather the cardinal asks us to stand a little taller, be a bit more regal and step into our natural confidence as if we were born to lead with grace and nobility. Those who attract the cardinal as their totem are naturally energetic, love life, and happily help others where and when they can!
BISMARCK FAMILY CROWN
HOUSE OF KOCH Germany
Chignon crown c. 1900
Moonstones and diamonds set in an elaborate platinum mount, original leather box
The renowned “House of Koch” made this remarkable bejeweled chignon for the Bismarck family of Lauenburg, Germany. It is an early example of exquisite work in platinum and is set with cabochon moonstones and rose cut diamonds. The jewelry firm, known as the “House of Koch” was founded by Robert and Louis Koch in 1879 in Frankfurt, Germany with a branch in Baden-Baden. By 1883, the jewelers had earned the coveted title of Jeweler of the Court of Frankfurt and crafted jewels for many European Royal families. In fact, their jewels were famous across Europe, and their fashionable styles were worn in the courts of several European royals including the King of Italy and the Czar of Russia. By the time Robert Bosch had assumed control of the firm in 1938, the Koch family was forced to “Aryanize” their jewelry house. It was common during the late nineteenth Century for prestigious families to retool old antique heirloom pieces to bring them up to contemporary fashion standards and since this chignon has characteristics of both the 18th and the 19th Century jewelry, it was likely made from older pieces owned by the Bismarck family. The company closed doors in 1987 and jewels from the great time of the House of Koch are very much sought after in today’s antique jewelry market.
Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. “Berry brooch” 18K yellow gold set with 40 oval cut demantoid garnets (approx. 9 carats TW /G.I.A. certificate) and 7 small oval cabochon Persian turquoise stones, Signed: Tiffany, Schlumberger, 18K, c. 1968
Illustrated: (“Bejewelled by Tiffany 1837-1987”, Clare Phillips, page 279 (Vintage Tiffany Blue Book 1968-1969, ruby version of this brooch priced at $1,475)
Illustrated: “The Power of Jewelry” Nancy Schiffer, 1988
For the mate of this brooch see the other listing nearby in Fine Jewelry.
Illustrated: “The Power of Jewelry” Nancy Schiffer, 1988
For the mate of this brooch see the other listing nearby in Fine Jewelry.
BAILEY, BANKS & BIDDLE
Joseph Trowbridge Bailey and Andrew B. Kitchen opened their first store on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia on September 20, 1832, known as Bailey & Kitchen, offering silverware, jewelry and assorted other articles. In 1878, Joseph T. Bailey II; George Banks, formerly of J.E. Caldwell & Co.; and Samuel Biddle formed a partnership. They renamed the company, Bailey, Banks & Biddle. In 1894, the company incorporated with Bailey as president. The firm has always maintained their main store on Chestnut Street, relocating to 1218, and in 1953, to their current address at 1530. In October 1986, Bailey, Banks & Biddle became a member of the Zale group and currently maintains forty-four branch stores throughout the United States.
PAUL FLATO (1900-1999)
Paul Flato, signed, Important Necessaire in the shape of a Trompe L’oeil black suede and red leather “Wrapped Package” containing silver, gold and enamel “Envelopes / Packages” Made Expressly for Elizabeth Arden, postmarked and dated New York, Dec. 31st, 1938
Sterling silver and 14K gold details with black and various colored champlevé enamels as trompe l’oeil mailed package/envelopes addressed to Elizabeth Arden and postmarked New York Dec. 31st, 1938 in the forms of a cigarette case, powder compact, watch and lipstick case with an additional red leather change purse and comb all within a black suede with red leather interior “wrapped package” envelope case detailed with red enamel seals and gold twisted cording
Marks: FLATO (4x), Sterling, 14K, Pat. Pending (2x), Elizabeth Arden, New York
Dec. 31st, 1938 (script signature and date in champlevé enamel, four pieces)
Provenance: Elizabeth Arden (born Florence Nightingale Graham 1884-1966), Private Collection London, Private Collection New York
For more information about Flato and his close friendship with Elizabeth Arden see: Paul Flato Jeweler to the Stars, Elizabeth Irvine Bray (Antique Collectors’ Club Ltd. Woodbridge, Suffolk UK, 2010) pp. 40,79,88 and 142 (for related gold stamped and addressed envelope cases)
Black suede and red leather case: H: 4 ¼”x W: 7 ¼” x D: 2”
Paul Flato was one of the most successful jewelry designers of the 1930’s and 40’s and in his heyday was as famous as Tiffany & Co. and Harry Winston! Flato made custom jewelry for Doris Duke, Millicent Rogers and Linda and Cole Porter. However, he was particularly well known and liked in Hollywood and was the favored jeweler to stars such as Rita Hayworth, Katherine Hepburn and Greta Garbo who all wore his jewels both on and off the movie sets. In fact, he designed the jewelry for six films including “Holiday” starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn in 1938. Flato designed jewels for and was a close friend of the legendary cosmetics tycoon, Elizabeth Arden and together they shared a particular bond and love of promotion, politics and racehorses.
“Around 1940, Flato had a very large pink diamond set in a ring, in a very creative and ingenious maneuver, he contacted Elizabeth Arden’s public relations department. In a memo entitled “Arden Plan for Publicity on the Pink Diamond,” Flato presented ideas for a dual promotion of Arden and Flato: Mr. Flato has available a large pink diamond, weight about 25-35 carats. He has shown it along with other jewelry at fashion shows but has never promoted it. The ring is still available. Elizabeth Arden, his close personal friend and a good customer, has been studying jewels in order to develop new nail-polish and make-up. I was told that she was creating a line of make-up linked to colored stones…. We took up with Miss Wobber her publicity chief the idea of naming her natural or rose nail-polish “PINK DIAMOND” and we would co-operate on publicity… Miss Arden likes the idea so well she wants to do a new nail-polish and lipstick called “PINK DIAMOND.”
ELIZABETH ARDEN (1884-1966)
Florence Nightingale Graham, who adopted the business name Elizabeth Arden was a Canadian born American entrepreneur who built an enormously successful cosmetics empire in the US and at the peak of her career was one of the wealthiest women in the world! Early in her life, she briefly worked as a bookkeeper for the E.R. Squibb Pharmaceuticals Company and began spending many hours in their laboratory learning about skincare. She went on to work as a beauty culturist and in 1912 traveled to France to learn beauty and facial massage techniques. Arden revolutionized cosmetics, bringing a scientific approach to her make-up and skin-care formulations. She innovatively brought modern eye makeup to North America, introduced the concept of the “makeover” in her salons where she created foundations that matched a person’s skin tone creating a “total look” and was the first to make a cosmetics commercial shown in movie houses. In the early 1940’s, she also started a fashion business with Charles James and Oscar de la Renta on staff. During WWII, Arden addressed the needs of women entering the workforce and created a lipstick called Montezuma Red for the women in the armed forces that would match the red on their uniforms. Elizabeth Arden began expanding her international salon operations as early as 1915 and eventually opened salons in virtually all the major cities in the world. By the end of the 1930’s, it was said that “There are only three American names that are known in every single corner of the globe: Singer sewing machines, Coca Cola, and Elizabeth Arden.” A fact proved by Heinrich Harrer in his book “Seven Years in Tibet,” where he stated that it’s possible to buy Arden products —- even in Tibet. From the 1930’s through the 1960’s, Elizabeth Arden was considered the most upscale cosmetic brand with celebrated clientele that included Queen Elizabeth, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Wallis Simpson, Jacqueline Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe.
Arthur & Bond, the fine art gallery, dealers in high-class curios, antiques and modern, was located at No. 38 Water Street, Yokohama, Japan. They had two branches, one located at 90 Concession, Kobe, Japan, and another located at 52 St. Mary Axe, London E.C.. They also had London Correspondents, Henry. S. King & Co. and American Agent, G. W. Sheldon & Co..
Their business card describes;
The Fine Art Gallery is one of the Sights of Yokohama and contains some of the most superb pieces of both modern & Ancient Art Workmanship in the country, embracing Gold Lacquer, Chased, hammered and inlaid Metal Works, Ivory Carvings, Embroideries, Cloisonne, Porcelain, Kakemono, Screens, Cabinets, so, so.
Visitors to Japan are cordially invited to inspect our collection, and will find all articles marked in Plain Figures at Moderate Prices. No troouble to show Goods.
They catered mainly to English expatriates and foreign travelers. They appear to have been retailers and manufacturers of a wide variety of goods, including Gold Lacquer, Chased, hammered and inlaid Metal Works, Ivory Carvings, Embroideries, Cloisonne, Porcelain, Kakemono, Screens, Cabinets.
They were a retailer but also an active manufacturer to employ local silversmiths. We can see some of their surviving products, like various pieces of silver including a Swiss watch with a Japanese silver case with their name on it. Among them the most famous and monumental product is the Liscum Bowl which was made by Japanese silversmiths employed by them in 1902.
MAISON OSTERTAG (Place Vendome, Paris) 1920’s and 30’s
ARNOLD OSTERTAG (Jeweler / Designer)
VERGER FRERES (maker)
Art Deco jewel mounted mechanical covered box c. 1925
Of rectangular stepped form, the black enamel box hinged and accented at the top with a gold bezel mounted sugar loaf shaped coral; spring loaded to pull down and reveal a cinnabar red enamel interior, the exterior with gold champlevé set highly stylized geometric initials and further ornamented with geometric square cut out gold applied handles embellished with salmon coral beads and red enamel bands, all resting on a recessed agate base and conforming black onyx base punctuated with a gold bezel mounted sugar loaf shaped coral on each corner.
Marks: Ostertag (on a gold plaque inset into the underside of the onyx base)
H: 4″ x W: 3 1/2″ x D: 3 1/2″
Arnold Ostertag was a Swiss-born jeweler who became a dominant force in the creation of fine jewels and objects in Paris during the 1920s and 30s. After studying dentistry in Chicago, Ostertag embarked on a world tour and, while traveling through India, became fascinated by jewels. He later settled in Paris and opened a very successful salon on the Place Vendome. In design and quality, Ostertag’s jewels, which frequently featured Indian themes, rivaled the production of many of the most famous Parisian jewelry houses. In fact, the renowned clockmaker George Verger/Verger Freres, produced wonderful clocks and mechanical objects for Ostertag, as well as for many other world renowned jewelers and likely masterminded the mechanism of the Art Deco box above. In addition to making pieces for Ostertag, Maison Verger made pieces for Cartier, LaCloche, Marzo, Boucheron, Hermes, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chaumet, Mauboussin, etc. Arnold Ostertag was popular on the international front and made many trips to America spending time in both New York, as well as Los Angeles where he befriended many Hollywood stars. He also received commissions during his trips to make exquisite custom jewelry and precious jeweled objects such as this fine Art Deco box.