Auctions

Piece of the Week: ‘Birds in Flight’ by Oscar Heyman

AuctionsMay 20, 2022

Piece of the Week: ‘Birds in Flight’ by Oscar Heyman

The New York jeweler made this incredible, colorful Art Deco bracelet featuring tropical birds in 1927.

“Birds in Flight” has found a new nest and, sadly, it isn’t ours.

Created by Oscar Heyman in 1927, this incredible jeweled depiction of tropical birds in flight amid flowers features buff-top rubies, emeralds, sapphires, onyx, and about 12 to 14 carats of circular-cut G-H color diamonds.

It’s a bracelet so beautiful, it’s landed in three books.

Birds in Flight was featured in Penny Proddow and Debra Healy’s “American Jewelry Glamour and Tradition” (New York 1987), Suzanne Tennenbaum and Janet Zapata’s “The Jeweled Menagerie” (London 2001), and “The Jewelers’ Jeweler” (Boston 2017) by Elizabeth Hamilton and Yvonne Markowitz. 

The bracelet, which was most recently property of a “distinguished European family,” went up for auction last week at Sotheby’s Geneva, and it soared.

At the time it was made, Oscar Heyman sold the bracelet to Shreve, Crump & Low for less than $5,000.

At the “Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels” sale on May 10, a buyer paid $1.5 million for Birds in Flight, doubling its highest pre-sale estimate. 

For a bird’s eye view of the bracelet, just look up.

 Related stories will be right here …
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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