September 28, 2022

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Did You Know Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, and Ettore Sottsass Ended up Also Jewellery Designers? | Architectural Digest

3 min read

“Nobody could believe that I got all these Calders for the auction,” states Tiffany Dubin—Sotheby’s artist jewellery expert and head of sale—of the pieces she procured for Art as Jewelry as Art, the auction house’s initially worldwide sale concentrating on jewelry by artists. Bidding opens on September 23 for much more than 150 tons by 65 artists, which includes Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Salvador Dalí, Claude Lalanne, Ettore Sottsass, Louise Bourgeois—the record goes on. Put together your paddle: When calculated to the charges and availability of their works of fine art, the costs of these wares are comparatively accessible.

Prior to the announcement of Sotheby’s first-of-its-type intercontinental auction, Dubin curated what she calls “pop-up” profits of artist jewelry, which includes a single with Louisa Guinness (of the famed Louisa Guinness Gallery in London) at the auction house’s East Hampton outpost past calendar year. The knowledge exposed a growing curiosity in these miniature and wearable sculptures. “The discerning collector understands that they can personal a masterpiece made at a human scale,” Dubin mentioned in a push release at the time. 

These days, her self confidence in the marketplace continues to be. “What I have found is that the men and women who invest in are present-day collectors, not jewelry collectors,” Dubin tells Advertisement Professional. “There are persons who have their grandmother’s diamonds, but want a little something a small extra offbeat that has a tale, a discussion stage, and that they can put in their condominium as a miniature sculpture.”

Crab-Shaped Brooch and Snake Brooch, both built by Harry Bertoia in 1943.

Photo: Jordan Doner courtesy of Sotheby’s

Some of the impending sale’s pieces go through avant-garde, and many others verge on crafty. The aforementioned Alexander Calders, for illustration, incorporates a tiara composed of hammered swirl motifs—similar to those in his paintings. (The piece, with an approximated benefit all around $200,000, was gifted by Sir Kenneth Clark to his wife, Lady Kenneth Clark, circa 1938.) Calder, who fashioned his very first piece of jewellery at age 8 for his sister’s dolls, was prolific in the category, manufacturing “approximately 1,800 special parts of brass, silver, and gold overall body ornaments, usually embellished with identified objects these as seaside glass, ceramic shards, and wooden,” according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The sale’s Calder collection also attributes a fanciful floral headpiece realized in hammered brass, a bracelet and headband fashioned into wave figures, and a coiled pendant.

Likewise, modern-day home furnishings designer Harry Bertoia was also a committed jewelry designer. He secured a comprehensive scholarship to Cranbrook Academy of Artwork right after then director Eliel Saarinen reviewed his portfolio of jewelry patterns. He even went on to style and fabricate Ray Eames’s gold wedding band. For the Sotheby’s sale, Dubin secured two brooches—silver abstractions of a crab and a snake, just about every estimated all over $35,000—and a pendant produced up of a sequence of vertically-suspended rods reminiscent of the designer’s kinetic sculptures.

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