Opal: A Spectrum in a Gem

Black Opal in a Belle Epoque Necklace
Offered at auction June 2020

Opal has fascinated people for thousands of years. Its hypnotic iridescent spectrum of colours flash as the gem moves. The colours in an opal float mysteriously from within its translucent depths.

Sources

While many people think of opal as a distinctly Australian gem, the ancient Romans were very enthusiastic about opal. Pliny the Elder, a scholar in ancient Rome, 2000 years ago, wrote that opals “combine…the brilliant qualities of the most valuable gems…all combined together in incredible brilliance…they defy description”1… . Opals known in ancient Rome were not from Australia, they were likely from what is now known as Slovenia.

These days, most opal in the market is from either the classic sources in Australia, or Mexico (for “fire” opal), or from the relatively new source in Ethiopia. 

Opal is known under many different variety names. These names usually describe the body of the opal. The body colour is the appearance the gem has before you take the flashes of colour into consideration.

Opal Types

Black opal has a black to dark grey body colour. The dark background shows the flashes of colour to their best effect. Black opal from Lightning Ridge, in Australia’s New South Wales, is the most famous. Other sources do produce opal with a dark background, often dark grey, or from Ethiopia it’s sometimes dark brown. Often black opal is opaque. Black opal is the most rare and valuable opal. 

Semi-black opal has a dark body colour, while not quite “black” it’s next in darkness. Semi-black opal can come from Lightning Ridge and from other sources, including Mintabie in South Australia.

White opal has, as you might guess, a white body colour. The flashes of colour are seen against a light background. The best known source for white opal is a town in South Australia called “Coober Pedy”. 

Fire opal has an orange or red body colour, like flames in a fire. The most famous source is Mexico. Often fire opal has no flashes of colour at all, but it is still prized for its near-transparent appearance, and is often faceted, with small flat faces, like a diamond or other gems. 

Crystal opal is often colourless, and very close to transparent, but with a “play of colour”, those famous flashes of colour that makes opal so desirable. In a crystal opal, the colours are particularly mysterious as they float in the clear colourless gem.

Colours of Flashes

There is a hierarchy of desired colours in opal. Flashes of red are the most desired, and if you have red, you’ll usually find the other colours present in the opal’s flashes. Some opals may show just green and blue colours, and can be quite lovely.

Patterns

Pattern of colours is another thing we note. One pattern, of geometric blocks of colour flashes is called “harlequin”, is rare, and highly desired.

“Rolling flash” is a pattern of play-of-colour that has areas of colour that may roll over large parts of the surface of the opal, changing colours as the opal is moved.

A common pattern is called “pinfire”. Opals that have this pattern show tiny dots of colours scattered and shifting as the viewer’s angle changes.

One of Queen Victoria’s favourite gems was opal, and during her long reign, several of the Australian localities were opened up by the colonists. The discoveries of opal in Australia meant that there was a renewed interest in opal in Europe, in the nineteenth century. 

The discovery of opal in Ethiopia has produced a new source of striking and beautiful gems. The opals from this African nation range from crystal opal to black. The film Uncut Gems features an Ethiopian black opal. 

Fine Harlequin Opal
A Fine Black Harlequin Opal sold for $13,000 at Auction

(1: Pliny: Natural History Books 36-37, Translation by D.E. Eicholz, Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass, 1962)

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Tompion Banger: A rare antique pocket watch

Way back, in the mid 1700s, there was a person who needed to be on time for appointments. The name D. L. Darcy is engraved, just above the date 1762 on the case back of this rare and fine timepiece.

The engraved name on the case

The watch, which still runs, remarkably enough (imagine buying a machine, and having it still working more than 250 years later!), is a wonder of the watchmaker’s art.

The craft of the silversmith’s work on the case is lovely, but the the workmanship inside the case is really of greatest note.

The watch has a chain driven fusee movement. The chain turns around a cylinder to keep the watch running at a regular pace, to keep accurate time. The chain is an extremely tiny version of a chain that would be more familiar today on a bicycle. at about a millimetre, the chain wouldn’t work on a bike very well, and the bicycle wasn’t invented for about another century.

The chain driving the watch

The pillar forms, and the decorative scrollwork in the movement are wonderful.

The intricate engraving is beautiful.

Engraved Plate

Remember, this is all inside the watch, and that is not the part that we expect to see.

The watch has a crystal (the glass cover on the front the dial). The crystal is what is called “bullseye crystal” it has a concave centre. At night the watch is put on your side-table face down. The edge of the “bullseye” is the only contact surface, and the movement of the workings of the watch won’t make the rounded watch wiggle, and it will keep more accurate time.

Bullseye Crystal

Truly a rare timepiece and bound to be a valued addition to a collection. Offered in November 2019.

https://bit.ly/2QhhnhJ

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The Case for Unique Jewels

Granite pyramid with a treasure hidden within

When we receive an important jewel, we think of it in an important box. The joy of seeing the telltale blue of Tiffany (Pantone colour 1837, the year that Tiffany was founded), the frisson of pleasure on unwrapping the distinctive rich red of a Cartier box.

We imagine the exquisite jewel box of European Nobility. The lid squeaking open to reveal great treasures hidden within.

Even the great sea chests of ancient buccaneers on the wild high seas, bound by strong strapping, tempt us to peek inside to discover the treasures stowed inside

In the Dupuis Important Jewels Auction, November 17th, 2019, we are offering a number of important jewels by jewellery artist Andrew Jordan. Three of these jewels are housed in fascinating and beautifully made boxes that are absolutely unique.

The Artist

Andrew Jordan arrived in Canada as a refugee from Romania when he was a teenager. He completed a master’s degree on the international diamond business, and then entered the diamond industry. He has focused on design and art since then.

The Case For Cases

While Jordan focused on jewels, he felt that an important jewel should have its own important case. The cases were designed by Andrew Jordan, and he collaborated with highly skilled craftspeople and artists to create the jewel boxes.

The Pyramid

https://bit.ly/2KjKOvQ

Granite pyramid
The pyramid opening
The treasure within

One of the boxes, made by stone artist Thomas McPhee, is a pyramid of black granite with a top that swivels to reveal a gold opening into which drops a long chain set with 365 yellow diamonds (for the 365 days of the year) and with a 5 carat diamond in a gold pyramid form at the base. The ancient Egyptian pyramids are famed for having secret compartments inside. This granite pyramid houses a major treasure.

The Tree of Life

https://bit.ly/34WyPfp

Rhodonite box
The rhodonite box, open
The tree of life

Another box houses a pendant in the geometric form of a tree-of-life. The tree-of-life is an ancient symbol from ancient times, and is represented in another familiar form of the “paisley” boteh form from eastern folklore. The tree-of-life pendant fits snugly into a box of the bright pink gem, rhodonite, situated on a set of bronze legs, and that closes to form a handsome ornament.

The “Donut”

https://bit.ly/2QhIB7Y

The steel box, closed

One necklace features six uncut octahedral diamond weighing over 17 carats in total, and hanging below a handmade platinum and gold fancy chain with four round diamonds of over a carat, and embellished with pink and golden yellow diamonds.

The steel “donut”, open
The central diamonds in the steel box

Any of these jewels would be a welcome addition to the jewellery wardrobe of a discerning collector, and the boxes are all fascinating works of art in themselves.

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A Fan Of Diamonds

Who isn’t a fan of diamonds?

Qu’apelle Fan created for DeBeers 2004 Venice exhibitition “Diamonds, Nature’s Miracle”

After seeing this extraordinary jewel, it would be difficult not to be a fan.

Created by artist Derek Olson, this functioning fan is an extraordinary work of art. Olson is a creative artist, a master goldsmith, and obviously a man up for a challenge.

In 2004, DeBeers Diamond Trading Company (DTC) accepted entries for an International Design Competition: Diamonds: Nature’s Miracle. The criteria for the competition were: “Age, Imprinted By Mother Nature, Journey (reality), Journey (mythical), and Rarity.

Derek Olson, followed up with a bold design that prompted the Competition jury to express some “concerns about the feasibility of actually creating the finished piece reflected in your design”.

Undaunted, Olson created a diamond and gold work of art that identically re-created the original painted design. The fan won the design competition.

Certificate presented to the winner
Original painted artwork for The Qu’apelle fan

The jewel is designed to celebrate the “beauty, mystique, and allure of natural diamonds”.

The base features a “diamond” shaped natural fancy coloured diamond weighing over three quarters of a carat, in place in the centre, as though it is in the centre of the earth.

Diamond at the base of the handle of the fan “deep in the earth”

Above the base is a representation of a red-hot (rose gold) lava filled fissure carrying scattered square diamonds that are being carried to the surface of the earth by an explosive volcano.

Rose gold red hot lava flow, cracking through the earth’s rocky crust, full of diamonds

Above the volcano, the fan features the power of the explosive force as the diamonds, in the hot lava reach the surface of the earth. The heat of the lava is shown by natural fancy orange and yellow diamonds.

The explosion of red-hot diamond-bearing lava cracking through the crust of the earth

The heat of the vapour from the volcano is shown with wispy veils of diamonds floating above the hot diamonds.

Veils of steam from the igneous explosion

The diamonds cool to the icy form of crystals in diamond set zig-zags in the middle of the fan.

Diamonds crystallize once they reach the surface of the earth

Having been released from the earth, and finally revealed to the light of day, the sky is full of sparkling and joyful swirls of diamond clouds, twinkling stars, comets shooting through the sky with pink diamonds, and the glowing orb of the warm diamond sun, and the perfect arc of the crescent moon.

Diamonds sparkle in the light of the stars, pink glowing comets and the crescent moon

The finished fan is a virtually identical reproduction of the original painting. It took three months of solid work to build this exquisite and unique jewel.

The fan is accompanied by a travelling stand, but, additionally has a vitrine made of glass and marble, designed for display of this treasure.

This fan is a true work of art, and like the history of diamonds is bound in its beauty, to resonate for ages to come

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Erté Art Deco Designer

Erté

Lot 336 June 2018

Erté designed Egyptian inspired wing earrings and necklace, offered at auction June 2018

Erté is a name central to the world of design and closely associated with the height of Art Deco style. This long lived artist became prominent in the 1920s, and held influence over the world of fashion for most of the 20th Century.

Born In Russia

Born in Russia in 1892, a quarter century before the Russian revolution, Romain de Tirtoff was an internationally renowned designer who moved to France in 1912. He adopted a name based on his initials “R T” creating the world famous moniker Erté.

Art Deco

He quickly established himself as a fashion designer and illustrator. Erté was in the perfect place and time and had the sense of style, design, and flair to perfectly fit with the Art Deco movement that shook the world in 1925, and for the following decades.

His fashion designs were central in the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 1930s. The entire world of fashion was enraptured by the inspired designs of the flamboyant Erté.

Erté signature

The famous Erté signature from lot 336 Egyptian inspired necklace and earrings offered in June 2018

World Recognition

Erté designed for magazines, and fashion houses, he created posters and created theatre sets and costumes. His work was everywhere. His designs are absolutely identifiable. He had a flair for the highest of style, his designs flowing with eye-catching forms and colours.

He never stopped designing. Thus generation after generation was drawn to his unique style. Art deco has never gone out of fashion, and this period was his strongest influence. The distinctive geometry of Art Deco brings a beauty to his designs, and his flair for the dramatic adds a unique element to his forms.

Thus his magazine covers and posters are instantly identifiable. Fashion designers set out to copy and reproduce the unique style.

Ornaments in our houses were designed by, or at least influenced by Erté. His designs, sculptures and posters remain highly collectible.

He was a design style unto himself. However, like all designers, he was, in turn, influenced by what was going on in the world around him.

After he moved to Paris, the tomb of the ancient Egyptian child-king Tutenkhamun was uncovered in 1922, and in the couple of years following, the extraordinary treasures of King Tutenkhamun came to light. The timing was perfect. Thus, the amazing ancient Egyptian treasures were in the public consciousness. Art Deco designers were heavily influenced by the geometry of ancient Egyptian design. back in the 1920s Art Deco jewels features images of pyramids and the Sphinx in Egypt.

Lot 336, June 2018

Erté Egyptian theme earrings offered as part of Lot 336, June 2018

Erté Jewels

His influence extended to the worlds of fashion, printing, theatre, and jewellery. Living for 98 years, Erté passed away in 1990, yet he remained active in design to the end of his long life. He created this this Egyptian inspired jewel set in the 1980s.

 

Lot 336, June 2018

Erté Egyptian theme earrings offered as part of lot 336 in June 2018

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Burma: What Does It Mean for Gems?

Burma

(Also Known as Myanmar)

No heat antique Burma ruby ring

Burma Ruby and Diamond Ring Sold, November 2017, $22,000

Burma, it’s a name that evokes images of great treasures to anyone who knows about gemstones.

Now known as Myanmar, the country is still referred to as Burma by many people.

The country of Burma is in Southeast Asia, bordering India, Bangladesh, China, Laos, and Thailand. Several of these countries are known for their gem wealth. However, this one country stands out as a shining light among the great gem sources.

The Most Famous Rubies in the World

Burma is historically known as the source of the finest rubies in the world.  These remarkable red gems are found in several sources, but no rubies are as eagerly sought-after as those from Burma, the most famous of gem sources.

The finest Rubies from Burma have an intense to vivid tone of slightly pinkish red colour, and it can be a colour that is remarkably eye-catching. Of course, variations in colour can come from any source, but Burmese rubies are very fine, on average, and are reminiscent of a hot coal.

Other countries in Asia are noted sources of ruby. Neighbouring countries of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and nearby Vietnam have all produced many beautiful rubies. However, these nearby sources don’t have the same fame and history. Also, none of the other sources produces rubies of quite the same vivid colours.

Additionally, a number of countries in Africa have been producing rubies, but still Burma rings on the lips of gem lovers.

Jade

Jadeite jade ring

Burma (Myanmar) jadeite jade and diamond ring, Lot 354, offered in the Important Jewels Auction, June 2018

Jade is a gem that is famous for its luminescent green colour. The word “Imperial” is often given to the richest, strongest green found in the gem known as jadeite jade.

Two types of gem that are called jade: Jadeite jade and nephrite jade. The rich and vibrant green of the finest jadeite from Burma is unmatched. There really is no other source for this most precious jadeite jade. While the other type of jade, nephrite, is found in many countries around the world, Canada is a major exporter of this other type of jade. Nephrite jade has a lower intensity of colour and often has a greyish green colour. Historically, for centuries, jadeite jade of a bright green colour and a high degree of translucency has been a gem most highly prized in China. and other countries.

Sapphire

Lot 402 June 2018

6.44 carat Burma (Myanmar) sapphire offered in June 2018 Important Jewels Auction

Burma is a source of very beautiful sapphires, and has been for a very long time. The only sapphire more desired is one from Kashmir, but Kashmir hasn’t been mined for decades, making sapphires from Kashmir extremely rare. So, these days, Burma produces some of the finest sapphires in the world. The colour of a Burma sapphire is often a rich and very attractive blue.

Burma is a key gem source, and remains that way after centuries of production, it is highly important to this day. The country is a most highly desired source for the most important gems in the world. Being from Burma adds to the value of a gem when compared to similar gems from other countries.

We are very fortunate to have the consignments that allow you to purchase Burmese gems at Dupuis auctions on a regular basis.

 

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Selling your Jewels at Auction

Selling at Auction is a Simple Affair

Are you thinking of selling your jewels? Is it time to find a new home for your precious things?

A ruby and diamond ring

There are lots of reasons for looking for ways of selling:

“I’m selling my beautiful jewels because I’m downsizing, and I hope someone will love them as much as I have.”

“I just don’t wear them any more.”

“No one in the family wants them.”

“My lifestyle doesn’t really go with these jewels anymore.”

“We’ve inherited something that no one will ever wear.”

“I’ve worn them and enjoyed them, but want to change it up.”

What are your options?

Consigning to auction provides you with an international audience of potential bidders. An auction house has the job of finding buyers for your precious items. Therefore, auctioneers are as eager to get strong bids as you. Because we don’t buy, our task is to put word out about your jewels and timepieces, and create an eager and well-informed bidder base. The commission is a fee based on a percentage of the selling price. Thus, we aim to see you realize the highest selling price for your jewels or timepieces.

Fine Harlequin Opal selling for beyond its estimate

A Fine Black Opal sold for $13,000 at Auction

Make An Appointment

We are happy to consult with you, examine your jewels, and provide you with a professional opinion about the jewels you show us.

We meet potential consignors throughout the year. You can make an appointment to meet at our offices in Toronto. We also make regular visits to cities around Canada. Contact us or check our website to see when we might be visiting a city near you.

Call toll-free: 1-800-879-8975

If it’s not convenient to meet with us, we are happy to provide preliminary estimates by email. So, if you are able to send photos and/or appraisals to us, we are pleased to consult electronically or by telephone.

Here is the online estimate request form:

Estimate Request Form

Consultation

10 Loupe

We will examine your jewels and timepieces, and provide you with an estimate for any jewel that would be a good candidate for auction. The recommendations will include which  auction would be appropriate for the items.

We have two different types of auction: Live “Important Jewels” auctions, and online “Boutique Jewels” auctions. On average, the Important Jewels Auctions will feature items with a pre-auction estimate over $2,000. Boutique auctions will average items with an estimate between approximately $500-$2,000

We can provide you with clear instructions for safely packing, shipping and insuring items if you choose to send them to us.

Estimates

Selling for $50,000 this watch generated widespread interest

Cartier limited edition wristwatch, “le Cirque Des Animaux”, Lot 384, offered in Spring 2017, selling for $50,000

The estimates we provide are based on our experience and research of similar items that have been offered and sold at auction in recent times, around the world.

The pre-auction estimate for an item is stated as a range: As an example: $8,000-$12,000. This serves as a guideline for you to know roughly what to expect, and for the bidders to know where the need to start to bid (and up from there).

“Reserve”

We also establish a minimum selling price, called a “Reserve”. So, with this, you know that there is a bottom line for selling your jewels.

Preparation

Once you have decided that a Dupuis Auction is the way to go, we prepare a contract and take responsibility for your jewels, photograph, and catalogue them. Then we get to work telling the world about your precious item available for bidding.

Previews

We display the timepieces and jewels at previews, with hundreds of viewers, both online, and in person. Also we’ll answer any questions bidders have and provide all the necessary details to make them eager to bid.

Selling

The auction is held, bids are taken until we the highest bidder wins. One of the big advantages at auction is that there is a set time for the auction, and you know your precious items will be offered at that time. When the auction is finished, you know right away how you did.

The exciting thing about an auction is that all it takes is two or more people who really want a beautiful item, and who knows where the bidding will stop? Every auction has hundreds of bidders, and some items can go well beyond expectations in bidding.

Payment

Once the successful bidder has paid for and collected their new precious item, we then send you a cheque.

It’s as simple as that

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ABC of Jewellers

ABC of Jewellers

Here we present an ABC of jewellers whose work has been offered at auction at Dupuis:

Around the world and around the alphabet, Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers has offered jewels to bidders from East to West, and from North to South.

We have bidders around the world, and our auctions also have offered jewels from jewellers and designers around the world, and covering nearly the whole alphabet.

Asprey

Asprey, historic jeweller in London, England, holder of many Royal warrants and recipient of Royal commissions through most of the history of Asprey:

249 Spring 2013

Asprey: Rose brooch, lot 249, Spring 2013

Buccellati

Buccellati, Italian jeweller, famous for exquisite textures in precious metals. Unmatched in attention to surface finish on jewels:

Buccellati: Citrine and diamond ring, Lot 376, Spring 2017

Cartier

Cartier, Paris based, and known around the world, jeweller to royalty, stars, and lovers of innovative design:

Cartier: Limited edition wristwatch, “le Cirque Animalier du Cartier Tigre”, Lot 384, Spring 2017

David Webb

David Webb is New York based, and is famous for natural forms including whimsical animals, and is a a favourite of the Stars:

Lot 51, Spring 2016

David Webb: Diamond earrings, Lot 51, Spring 2016

Elsa Peretti

Elsa Peretti, important Tiffany designer, famous for simple and voluptuous forms and textures:

Elsa Peretti: Delicate and supple chain mesh scarf, Lot 16, Spring 2017

Friedrich

Friedrich, based in Frankfurt Germany, is known for attention to detail, and precise work:

Friedrich: Fine ruby and diamond bracelet, Lot 301, Spring 2017

Garrard

Garrard, based in London, England, is famous for centuries of service to the British Royal Family, and for the finest in design and gems for collectors around the world:

Garrard: Sapphire and diamond ring, Lot 21, Fall 2013

Harry Winston

Some of the most important jewels of the world have passed through the doors of New York Based Harry Winston, including the world Famous Hope Diamond:

Lot 326, Fall 2012

Harry Winston, emerald and diamond brooch, Lot 326, Fall 2012

International Watch Company

International Watch Company was established in 1868, the Swiss watch company has a great reputation for fine timepieces:

IWC Lot 632, Spring 2014

International Watch Company, Pocket watch, Lot 632, Spring 2014

JAR (Joel Rosenthal)

JAR is Paris based. The designer is famed for innovative and unusual use of colours, and is a favourite of the famous:

Lot 344, Fall 2015

JAR earrings, Lot 344, Fall 2015

Kutchinsky

Kutchinsky was established over a century ago in London, England, Famous for fine and delicate work.

Lot 155, Spring 2017

Kutchinsky, buckle bracelet, Lot 155, Spring 2017

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton, famed for luggage and accessories, is also known for jewels, particularly ones that may clip on to luggage.

Lot 7, Spring 2017

Louis Vuitton, Eiffel Tower charm, Lot 7, Spring 2017

Marina B

Marina B, known for creative use of colour and coloured gems, and collected by “A Listers” worldwide.

Lot 169, Spring 2017

Marina B earrings, carnelian and rutilated quartz, Lot 169, Spring 2017

Nardi

Nardi, the Venice based jeweller, is famous for jewels honouring the renowned aristocratic general who helped to protect the city of Venice, and is immortalized in Shakespeare’s Othello.

Lot 2, Fall 2016

Nardi brooch featuring the famed general revered for preserving Venice at war. Lot 2, Fall 2016

Oscar Heyman

Oscar Heyman, the New York based jeweller produces jewels of delicate detail, and unstinting finish. Commonly using geometric forms to wonderful effect.

Lot 247, Spring 2013

Oscar Heyman bracelet with emeralds and diamonds. Lot 247, Spring 2013

Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe: “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” The company slogan says it all, timepieces of enduring quality and reliability.

Lot 170, Spring 2017

Patek Philippe wristwatch with classic blue dial. Lot 170, Spring 2017

Q (Quartz)

As far as we recall, Dupuis has not offered any jewels made by a jeweller whose name starts with “Q”. We will look at quartz. Found in many colours and textures, amethyst is purple, citrine is yellow, and rock crystal is clear and colourless, sometimes frosted in texture.

Lot 62, Spring 2017

Quartz, rock crystal and amethyst orchid, Lot 62, Spring 2017

Rolex

Rolex watches are among the best known and most widely recognized in the world. Very strong at auction, and always in demand, Rolex is preeminent in the watch world.

Lot 171, Spring 2017

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust with a “Thunderbird” bezel. Lot 171, Spring 2017

Sterlé

Sterlé was a Paris based jeweller, established in the 1930s, and boasting a client list of royalty and stars. Jewels by Sterlé are noted for their embracing of forms from nature.

Lot 157, Fall 2013

Sterlé brooch in a feather form with gold and diamonds. Lot 157, Spring 2017

Tiffany & Co

Tiffany & Co was established in New York, in the year 1837. Continues to meet the needs of jewellery connoisseurs around the world.

Lot 389, Spring 2017

Tiffany & Co rubellite and diamond bracelet, Lot 389, Spring 2017

Universal Geneve

Universal Geneve, maker of fine timepieces, including the Golden Shadow, the thinnest automatic wristwatch of its time. Known for stylish precious jewel timepieces.

Lot 453, Spring 2014

Universal Geneve gold and diamond wristwatch, Lot 453, Spring 2014

Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels, one of the most sought-after names at auction, world-wide. Based in Paris, and represented around the world, their jewels are classic and timeless, and have adorned many royals.

Lot 400, Spring 2017

Van Cleef & Arpels ring, 6.47 carats, Lot 400, Spring 2017

Walton & Co

Walton & Co, United States based, their jewels represent the choice elements of the Arts and Crafts movement, and incorporate natural forms into delicate jewels.

Lot 189, Spring 2017

Walton & Co brooch with pink topaz, Lot 189, Spring 2017

X

We can state that as far as we recall, Dupuis has not offered jewels made by jewellers whose name starts with “X”. We have never offered Xylophones, and only occasionally use X-rays to test pearls.

Yurman

David Yurman is famed for jewels that feature twist form wires, often in sterling silver,  decorated with coloured gemstones, often with gold accents.

Lot 52, Summer 2016

David Yurman silver and gold bracelet with black onyx, Lot 52, Summer 2016

Zolotas

Zolotas, based in Athens, Greece, and established in 1895, Zolotas embraces a combination of ancient influences with modern style.

Lot 191, Spring 2015

Zolotas, brooch with gem flowers, Lot 191, Spring 2015

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Castellani and Giuliano

Castellani and Giuliano

Lot 323, Spring 2017

Giuliano Brooch (Carlo and Arthur Giuliano), Diamond, Sapphire, and Chrysoprase, Lot 323, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

The nineteenth Century is a time of change. Industry creates a growing middle class. Archaeology is invented, and all around the Mediterranean, sites reveal beautiful decorative items of the ancient world. Artifacts of ancient Greece, Egypt, and the Italian peninsula provide inspiration. Designers look fondly back on the ancient world. Castellani and Giuliano are two jewellers drawing on this inspiration, and become two of the most important names in jewellery history.

Castellani

Fortunato Pio Castellani was a collector and dealer in artifacts of the ancient world. Founding a business in Rome in 1814, Castellani is one of the first dealers to bring ancient decorative items of beauty to 19th century customers.

Lot 327 dupuis.ca Spring 2017

Castellani Caduceus Hairpin, Circa 1875, Lot 327 offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

Castellani’s believed the ancient world produced the most beautiful items. He also felt the forgotten styles and techniques of our ancestors should be resurrected. The delicacy of hand made and custom ornamented artifacts of the ancient world would benefit connoisseurs and collectors.

The house of Castellani, under Fortunato’s sons, Alessandro and Augusto, thrived in Rome. They began creating fine jewels inspired by jewels of the ancient world. The company gained a reputation for being the go-to place for interesting and beautiful interpretations of ancient design in a modern (nineteenth Century) world.

Symbols found in ancient art, mythological creatures, ancient wine jugs, (for example, a ram, and amphora, seen in the brooch, below), and religious images are among the forms commonly found in Castellani jewels. A caduceus, seen in the hairpin, above, was an ancient Greek and also ancient Egyptian symbol of messengers (bringers of good news), only more recently has the symbol come to represent the medical profession. The jewels often contain mixed images drawn from different places in ancient history.

Archaeology

Lot 326 www.dupuis.ca Spring 2017

Castellani brooch, Circa 1880s, a mythical ram’s head with an amphora, Lot 326, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

The Castellani family often visited archaeological sites. They examined ancient jewels as they were excavated. With access to these jewels, the family became fascinated by metal-working techniques that had been lost in the mists of time.

Delicate filigree and texturing with tiny grains of gold (“granulation”) were decorative elements that the Castellani family really wanted to revive. After decades of work, they re-discovered these methods and produced incredible jewels. As a result, the elements of ancient design were incorporated into highly desirable jewels which appealed to Europe’s wealthiest classes.

Worldwide Reputation

By the late 1850s, travellers to Italy and Rome absolutely had to make a stop at Castellani’s to make a purchase of their famous “revival” jewels. These treasures were so popular that Castellani opened stores in Paris and London.

Giuliano

Lot 325, Spring 2017

Giuliano pendant on a Tiffany & Co chain, with Garnets, Circa 1890, Lot 325, offered in Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

The London office was opened by Castellani protege Carlo Giuliano. Giuliano became fascinated by the jewels of the Renaissance. Thus, he shifted his focus from ancient to Renaissance jewels of the 1500’s. The jewels of Giuliano rarely focused on expensive gemstones, the gems were seen as an integral part of the design. The pendant, above, is a perfect representation of this focus.

The jewels of the ancient world had very little enamel, but there was widespread use of enamel in the Renaissance. The Castellanis used stone inlay and mosaic in their ancient revival jewels. Giuliano, however, worked widely with delicate enamels.

Giuliano opened his own business in London, and immediately developed a reputation for extraordinary Renaissance revival jewels. A trademark of work by Giuliano was very delicate enamel work. Of great note is the unique combination of black detail on white enamel, or white on black. Below, the brooch shows the delicate enamel work of Giuliano.

Lot 322 Spring 2017

Giuliano Brooch (Carlo and Arthur Giuliano) garnets and enamel, Circa 1900, Lot 322, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

Giuliano and Castellani jewels are known for being decorated on the back. Most jewellers don’t bother with making the back of jewels pretty. Both Castellani and Giuliano looked at the complete beauty of the entire jewel. The pleasure of a beautiful reverse side of a jewel provides joy to the wearer each time they put it on and take it off.

While Castellani and Giuliano made what are called Archaeological and Renaissance Revival jewels, they were inspired by, but not direct copies of designs and styles from bygone eras. Cameos, similar to the one below, are often seen in ancient Roman jewels, but this cameo is framed by classic Giuliano black and white enamel.

Lot 324, Spring 2017

Giuliano Cameo Pendant, Lot 324, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

Castellani and Giuliano are two of the most important names in the history of jewellery. These two names generate real excitement among collectors. At Dupuis, we are very pleased to have the opportunity to offer six important jewels from these two houses in a single auction.

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Diamond Carat Weight: Large is Rare

Diamonds By The Carat: Large Is Rare

Lot 400, Spring 2017

Van Cleef & Arpels ring, marquise 6.47 carat D colour, VS-1 clarity, Lot 400, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $240,000


We weigh diamonds in carats. A carat is a metric measurement of 200 milligrams. That means 5 carats equals a gram. Most people will never own a gram of diamonds. While a large diamond is rare, a really large one is extremely rare. Also, most diamonds mined in the world will not be of a quality to become gems, and may be used for industrial purposes. Thus, there aren’t many gem quality diamonds

One Carat

One carat is a good sized diamond, makes an impressive statement, and is larger than most people will ever own.

1.00ct Lot 113, Spring 2017

1.00 carat, Lot 113, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $4,400.

Two Carats

Two carats, that much rarer than one carat, has a value that is about twice the value, per carat, of an equivalent one carat gem, all other things being equal. Meaning that a two carat diamond is at least twice as rare as one carat, and a two carat diamond will be four times the price of an equivalent one carat (twice the price per carat, plus twice the carats).

Lot 330 Spring 2017

2.14 carat, lot 330, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $16,000

As each new carat weight is reached, there can be an increase in price per carat.

Three Carats

Lot 328 Spring 2017

3.00 carat, Lot 328, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

Looking at the diamonds as they increase in size, the diamond becomes rarer and rarer.

Four Carats

Lot 353, Spring 2017

4.15 carat, Lot 353, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $12,000

Most people will never even see a 5 carat diamond, let alone OWN one!

Five Carats

Lot 352, Spring 2017

5.01 carat cushion shaped, Lot 352, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction

There is no question of the obviously impressive visual impact of larger diamonds

Six Carats

Lot 397, Spring 2017

6.35 carat, Lot 397, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $90,000

A seven carat gem is a similar price per carat to five and six carat weights.

Seven Carats

Lot 334, Spring 2017

7.64 carat, Lot 334, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $55,000

Once we get to ten carats, it it enough to make people stop in their tracks. The price per carat really jumps, because ten carats is so rare.

In the Spring 2017 Important Jewels auction, there are six diamonds with a weight greater than 10 carats.

Ten Carats

Lot 336, Spring 2017

10.00 carat, Lot 336, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $60,000

What more is there to say? A pair of earrings: Two diamonds with a total of over 27 carats!

Thirteen Carats (Each)

Lot 404, Spring 2017

13.58 carat, and 13.62 carats, Lot 404, offered in the Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction, sold for $320,000

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