During Hollywood's Golden Age, the leading ladies of the day sparkled on screen and off, often commissioning red carpet-ready jewelry for their personal collections. Some of their jewels even made star turns themselves, appearing in movies and advertising. Such was the case for the Raymond Yard citrine and gold jewelry suite commissioned by Joan Crawford and offered in Heritage Auctions
' May 2 Spring Fine Jewelry event.
Consisting of a statement-making necklace, brooch and bracelet, the spectacular suite (estimate: $15,000-$20,000) which Crawford wore in the 1941 film When Ladies Meet and in a print ad for Royal Crown Cola was created by Yard especially for the Academy Award-winning actress. The famed jeweler was a bit of a celebrity himself, earning renown among America's elite for his exquisite Art Deco designs and the fine custom pieces he crafted for families such as the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers and du Ponts.
The Crawford-commissioned suite in this auction stands out as one of the jeweler's most elegant creations, even earning a spot in the 2007 book YARD: The Life and Magnificent Jewelry of Raymond C. Yard.
A bevy of jewels belonging to actress, dancer and singer Mitzi Gaynor also shine in this event. Gaynor delighted audiences in movie musicals such as There's No Business Like Show Business (1954), Anything Goes (1956) and South Pacific (1958), and her jewelry collection is sure to dazzle bidders as well.
Among the 15 Gaynor-owned jewels on offer in this event are a pair of Colombian emerald and diamond brooches (estimate: $40,000-$60,000) and a sailor-themed Balogh's brooch (estimate: $5,000-$7,000) made of diamonds, sapphires and freshwater cultured pearls. The sailor design is a whimsical nod to Gaynor's role as Ensign Nellie Forbush in South Pacific.
Though the owners of the following collections may never have seen their name in lights, the pieces they amassed deserve top billing nonetheless.
Property of a Collector: This fashion-savvy collector spent the past decade amassing a brilliant assemblage of bold, colorful JAR ear clips. The 20 pairs available in this event represent the largest private collection of composite, titanium and aluminum JAR ear clips ever to have been offered at auction.
Property from the Phyllis Rubin Estate: An artist and self-made businesswoman, Phyllis Rubin was known for her impeccable taste and appreciation for the finer things in life, including gorgeous jewels. Case in point: a stunning 19.02-carat diamond and platinum ring (estimate: $150,000-$200,000).
Property of a Lady: This collector has a fondness for big, beautiful diamonds, including a sparkling 21.93-carat diamond and gold necklace (estimate: $200,000-$250,000) and an unmounted diamond weighing 17.39 carats (estimate: $150,000-$200,000). Other highlights include a 12.49-carat diamond and gold ring (estimate: $125,000-$175,000) and a flower-themed brooch featuring a golden South Sea cultured pearl measuring 11.30 mm and a 4.15-carat diamond (estimate: $90,000-$120,000).
Property from the Cary M. Maguire Estate: Cary Maguire was a leader in the energy industry and a dedicated philanthropist, perhaps most notably for his years of support of Southern Methodist University. Two highlights from his estate include a wow-worthy pendant featuring a cushion-shaped tanzanite weighing 105.10 carats (estimate: $50,000-$75,000) and a Dunay necklace with a triangular-shaped peridot weighing approximately 56.00 carats (estimate: $10,000-$15,000).
Other top lots include:
Seaman Schepps Ceylon Sapphire, Diamond, Platinum Bracelet(estimate: $80,000-$100,000)
Ceylon Sapphire, Diamond, Platinum, White Gold Convertible Earrings (estimate: $50,000-$70,000)
Paraiba-Type Tourmaline, Diamond, White Gold Ring (estimate: $50,000-$70,000)
Van Cleef & Arpels Diamond, Sapphire, Platinum, Gold Brooch, circa 1950 (estimate: $30,000-$50,000)
Van Cleef & Arpels Diamond, Multi-Stone, Gold Necklace (estimate: $18,000-$22,000)