19 Hemmerle Pieces From a Private Collection Head to Auction

AuctionsMar 15, 2021

19 Hemmerle Pieces From a Private Collection Head to Auction

It will be the largest single-owner collection of the German brand’s jewels to appear at auction, Sotheby’s said.

Hemmerle header resized.jpg
Sotheby’s New York will have 19 Hemmerle jewels from one collection up on the block next month, which it said is the brand’s largest private collection to appear at auction.
New York—Hemmerle lovers are in for a treat with one upcoming jewelry auction at Sotheby’s.

The auction house will offer what it says is the largest single-owner collection of the German brand’s jewels to appear at auction next month.

Nineteen Hemmerle jewels will appear in “A Vision: Property from the Collection of Michelle Smith” at Sotheby’s New York.

This is seven more than were featured at a 2019 Sotheby’s auction—at the time the largest private collection to go up for sale—where all but one lot exceeded its pre-sale estimate and some went for five times those amounts.

Next month, the jewels will be at the center of the Sotheby’s New York auction comprising 400 lots across two auctions—20th and 21st century design, fine art, jewelry, and handbags from the collection of the late philanthropist and art patron Michelle Smith. 

She was the daughter of the late renowned businessman, real estate developer, and philanthropist Robert Smith—who developed large parts of the Crystal City outside of Washington, D.C.—and artist Clarice Smith.

She served as vice president of product design and development for Charles E. Smith Residential Realty and its successor, Archstone-Smith, becoming one of D.C.’s most respected figures, known for her exacting eye, kindness, and championing of various organizations and educational institutions.

Among those she supported are the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institute, the Aspen Institute, the New York Historical Society, and many others.

Smith died in September

The Hemmerle pieces in her collection that are heading to auction were gathered over the course of decades, offering a look at the brand’s distinct style, using innovative combinations of colors, textures, and stones. 

Highlights include a pair of diamond and copper stud earrings, a bronze and sea urchin necklace, and a peridot, tourmaline, brass, and wood cuff bracelet. 

Smith’s jewelry collection also features several pieces from iconic jewelry houses, including a “Ludo Hexagone” bracelet ($60,000-$80,000) and a “Chevalerie” demi-parure ($40,000-$60,000) from Van Cleef & Arpels, and a selection of diamonds and pearls from Graff. 
The Hemmerle collection will be part of the live auction on April 22 at Sotheby’s New York, alongside a selection of Smith’s artwork. 

An online sale of jewelry, design and Hermes handbags will complement the live component, running from April 16-27. 

Lots will travel to Sotheby’s Paris from March 11-15 before returning to New York for exhibition at Sotheby’s York Ave galleries starting April 16. 

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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