New York—The “Light of Africa” diamond
isn’t the only major draw at the upcoming Magnificent Jewels sale at Christie’s New York.
Also headlining the June 8 auction are 12 jewels by JAR from the estate of Ann Getty.
Joel Arthur Rosenthal—commonly known by his initials, JAR—is the exclusive American designer beloved by discerning collectors. Rosenthal opened his Parisian studio in 1977, crafting one-of-a-kind jewels that most often reference nature, as well as historical architectural elements and textile-like patterns.
Case in point: Rosenthal’s “Branch Under Snow” bangle bracelet sold for $1.9 million
at Christie’s last year, though its high estimate was only $600,000.
Said to produce no more than 100 pieces per year, the notoriously private designer has earned plenty of recognition from major art institutions. He was the first living jeweler to be granted a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in 2013.
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Getty was a longtime JAR collector who has loaned pieces from her collection to such exhibitions. In addition to the Met, she loaned to a JAR exhibition at London’s Somerset House in 2002 and the “Masterpieces of French Jewelry” exhibition at the San Francisco Legion of Honor Museum in 2007.
Married into the famed Getty family, Ann was a philanthropist, socialite, and publisher. Born Ann Gilbert, she was the daughter of farmers in northern California, Christie’s said.
She studied biology and anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, even participating in anthropological digs, and was passionate about the fields throughout her lifetime.
“Ann Getty was a trained scientist whose personal collection of JAR reflected her innate curiosity and impeccable taste for jewelry that was both beautifully-crafted and evoked memories of her family and research trips abroad,” Christie’s Americas Head of Jewelry Daphne Lingon said.
“Her jewels tell the story of a woman pursuing ideal beauty and a lifelong appreciation of craftspeople. Only works by JAR achieve the balance of nature, color, and form that she loved so much.”
Christie’s said the 12 pieces belonging to Getty going to auction could fetch a total $1.5 million, but, based on past performances, that estimate seems conservative.
They will prove by just how much on June 8 at Christie’s New York
. The collection will be on public display in Geneva May 6-10, Hong Kong from May 25-27, and New York from June 3-7. SEE: JAR Jewels from the Estate of Ann Getty