Retail Disruptor Dover Street Market Curates Sotheby’s Fine Jewels Auction

05 Dec 2018 | Updated on: 27 Sep 2022 |By Mhairi Mann

The Fine Jewels auction will take place at Sotheby's in Mayfair on 11 December 2018 

Retail maverick Dover Street Market is a mecca for fine jewellery, known for mixing long-term collaborators such as Gaia Repossi and Delfina Delettrez with limited-edition pieces, from the wildly popular Vampires Wife collection for Annoushka to Bamford Watch Department’s customised Rolex watches. The retailer is also credited with discovering and nurturing some of the industry’s most exciting contemporary talent, including Danish minimalist Sophie Bille Brahe; Bangkok-based Patcharavipa and Castro Smith, purveyor of the finest hand-engraved signet rings in London (if not the world).

The ever-growing jewellery department is positioned on the ground floor of Rei Kawakubo’s Haymarket emporium. During Frieze Week, it presented cult 1960s Danish jeweller Arje Griegst for the first time outside of Copenhagen, introducing his daring, sculpted designs to a new, contemporary audience.

A pair of tortoiseshell and diamond hair combs by Chaumet, circa 1900 (estimate £6,000 – £8,000)

For its next trick, Dover Street Market has partnered with Sotheby’s auction house to guest-curate a special 16-lot offering of period and vintage jewellery. The edit, which will be showcased at both DSM London and Sotheby’s in Mayfair, is an arresting mix of storied fine diamond pieces and Brutalist bold gold. “We selected the jewellery in the same way that we do from contemporary designers and collections,” comments jewellery director Mimi Hoppen. “We look for unique, beautifully designed jewellery with something to say.” The showcase is brilliantly complemented by a series of subversive collages by Belgian artist Sammy Slabbinck.

Highlights of the Fine Jewels auction include:

Diamond Necklace, Oscar Massin, late 19th century

French Oscar Massin is considered one of the most important and influential jewellers of the 19th century. He famously created a tiara for Empress Eugenie in 1855 and is credited with popularising the chandelier earring. Designed as a series of clusters, this diamond-loaded necklace is exemplary of Massin’s refined craftsmanship and bold aesthetic, with a suspended drop-shaped pendant.

Estimate: £70,000 – 90,000

Diamond and coloured diamond ‘Toi et Moi’ ring, early 20th century

While this diamond ring dates back to the early 20th century, its sinuous curves wouldn’t look out of place in Dover Street Market’s current curation of diamond-bedecked treasures. It was gifted from the collection of Adele Bloch-Bauer, the “Woman in Gold” immortalised by artist Gustav Klimt in 1907. The claw-set ring features a tinted brown and near colourless diamond weighing 2.19 and 1.85 carats respectively.

Estimate: £5,000 – 7,000

Enamel travel watch, Paul Flato

Now, this is something quite special. Designed by Paul Flato to resemble an envelope with a red enamel wax seal, it opens to reveal a travel watch. Fred Astaire gifted this to Ginger Rogers circa 1940, inscribed with Fred Astaire’s handwritten note: ‘By hand, To Feathers, All the best love -Fred.’

Estimate: £5,000 – 7,000

Tourmaline and diamond beetle brooch

This bijou stag beetle might catch the eye of Dover Street Market stalwart Delfina Delletrez, who has an enduring infatuation with insects. With a glossy tourmaline body, the head and upper body are resplendent with brilliant-cut brown and yellow tinted diamonds.

Estimate: £4,000 – 6,000

Ring, ‘Iophassa’, George Braque for Heber de Lowenfeld, 1960s

George Braque created this beguiling ring for Heber de Lowenfeld during the sixties. It is beautifully embellished with an illustrative, polished profile, which will travel with you wherever you go.

Estimate: £3,000 – 5,000

The Fine Jewels auction will take place from 10am on 11 December 2018,