Art is a time stamp, you can know what an era was like by looking at a piece of work it left behind. What the values were, what was interesting to the time, and of course the fashion. Art is timeless in that it will always be beautiful no matter how much the world has changed, and in its beauty it holds little clues of how we developed to be where we are now.
Jewelry is unique in how personal and intimate it can be; It is worn, loved, and often a keepsake. A memory of a relative, a gift from a significant other, a reward for a personal achievement. It gets passed along the generations until the sentiment is lost and what is left is its clue to history. Seeing people unearth new gemstones and creating new ways to cut and mount them. We can see in a piece of jewelry how it was made, what the technology was for that time, what was being discovered. The shift from rose cut stones to the faceting we have today was part of a scientific revolution. Going from hand cut and having to reflect candlelight, to being laser cut to reflect fluorescent lights. We see progression but that doesn’t make the old any less beautiful or unwanted.
Early in December we got to see a piece of history with Heritage Auction’s Holiday Signature Sale, showcasing over 2,000 jewels to bid on, 80 of which belonged to Shirley Temple.
We can see an expansive timeline of incredible works. Some are common but extraordinarily set, while some stones are so exotic they don’t even need to be mounted to be valued.
I chose some of my favorites of the sale to share below.
Shirley Temple, Cartier Lapis and Turquoise Ring
Shirley Temple, Cartier Lapis, Pearl Tassel
Shirley Temple, Multi-Stone Brooch
Created by Lebon & B.
Shirley Temple, Lapis Dragon Cuff
Shirley Temple, Ruby and Dia Platinum Bracelet
Shirley Temple, Jade, Ruby, and Sapphire
Shirley Temple, Platinum Yellow Dia Ring