Auctions

At Auction, Talley’s Chanel Jewelry Is Tops

AuctionsFeb 21, 2023

At Auction, Talley’s Chanel Jewelry Is Tops

Christie’s concluded the auctions of the late fashion editor’s estate last week, with the sales totaling more than $3.5 million.

20230221_Talley Chanel cuffs.jpg
A buyer paid more than $11,000 for this pair of Chanel cuffs featuring Gripoix glass, imitation pearls, and rhinestones that belonged to André Leon Talley. Christie’s wrapped up a hybrid auction of items from the late fashion editor’s estate last week.
New York—The auctions of items from the estate of the late André Leon Talley brought in more than $3.5 million, with Christie’s finding buyers for all the lots offered in the hybrid online/in-person sale. 
 
Talley was a trailblazing fashion journalist who served as the first and only Black creative director at Vogue and was known for his unmissable personal style—flowing caftans with bold prints, oversized coats, cloaks, and capes, and numerous sets of matching monogrammed luggage.
 
He died in 2022 at 73 due to complications from a heart attack and COVID-19. 
 
The auction of his estate wrapped up last week, with all proceeds benefiting two Black churches Christie’s described as “central institutions” in Talley’s life—Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist in Durham, North Carolina, and Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.

The auction house said the live sale of “The Collection of André Leon Talley” garnered $1.4 million and was 100 percent sold by lot, led by two paintings longtime Talley friend Andy Warhol made for the editor and a set of monogrammed Louis Vuitton luggage. All three lots sold for $94,500 each.  

Online, the Talley sale tallied $2.2 million and also was 100 percent sold by lot, led by a Bradley Theodore portrait of legendary fashion editor and Talley mentor Diana Vreeland. It sold for $40,320. 
 
 Related stories will be right here … 
 
For the most part, the jewelry and watches included in the sale of Talley’s estate were an extension of his overtly bold oeuvre. Think: a lot of chunky amethyst geodes set into jewelry; big, bold cuffs; and watches with a lot of bling on their dials. 
 
However, the piece that garnered the highest bid among the auctions’ jewelry and watch lots—spanning both costume and fine—was simple, demure, and classic. 
 
A buyer paid $25,200 for a pair of Chanel onyx and diamond cufflinks, enough to make it one of the top 10 lots of the online portion of the sale. 
 
In person, a buyer paid $15,120—nearly double the highest pre-sale estimate, $8,000—for an unsigned Chanel amethyst geode cross pendant set in gold gilt on a gold gilt chain. 

Another forked over $11,340 against a pre-sale estimate of $4,000 to $6,000 for a pair of costume jewelry Chanel cuffs featuring Gripoix glass, imitation pearls, and rhinestones (pictured at top of article). 
 

 
While Talley’s Chanel costume pieces attracted the auction’s top jewelry bids, his fine jewelry held its own, including the aquamarine cross pendant pictured above. 
 
Sold online, the pendant features four pear-shaped aquamarines with an approximate total carat weight of 25.50-27.50 carats, rectangular and baguette-cut sapphires, and 1-1.25 carats of single-cut diamonds, all set in platinum.
 
A buyer paid $8,190 for the piece, topping pre-sale expectations of $3,000 to $5,000. 
 
To see full results from the live auction of The Collection of André Leon Talley, visit the Christie’s website.
 
Results from the online-only portion of the sale can be seen here. 

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