Chrıstıe’s to Auctıon Rare Rothschıld Jewelry
A selection of pendants and jewels dating all the way back to the 16th century will be auctioned at Christie’s New York.
Come October, collectors of all sorts will see if they agree with this sentiment, as the collections of Baron James de Rothschild, his wife Betty, and their sons Baron Alphonse and Baron Gustave will head to auction at Christie’s Rockefeller Center. These masterpieces include important Maiolica produced in Renaissance Italy, headstone boxes, silver and silver-gilt sculptures, European furniture, Old Master paintings, and more. But, those with an affinity for precious stones may be seduced by the expansive selection of Rothschild jewelry to be offered.
Take a moment and recall the interior and jewelry styles of the Gilded Age Astor and Vanderbilt family. They are baroque with heavy detailing, gilding, wooden panels, and parquet flooring. That style stemmed from the Rothschild’s taste, eventually called Le Gout Rothschild, which originated in France, Britain, Austria, and Germany during the nineteenth century when the family was at its height. The reputation of the family was so aspirational that it influenced other rich and powerful families across Europe and eventually the United States.
There is a vast selection of jewelry in the Rothschild collection that contributed to this style that will be present at the sale. For example, a brooch depicting a perched bird (c. 1890) made of ruby, emerald, diamond, and 18k yellow gold will be for sale, as well as an ornament made of petal-shaped rubies and emeralds (c. 1890). For horology collectors, a French Lapis-Lazuli pocket watch (c. 1950) finds its place in the collection as well.
Another part of the auction is dedicated to The Kunstkammer, which translates to “room of rarities” in German, where a series of rare architectural pendants (which lean towards religious connotations) will be sold. Among the items, a continental jeweled and enameled gold pendant of Judith and Holofernes reigns supreme. Their oldest, however, is a Roman Sardonyx portrait of the Emperor Claudius (c1593-1596). It is estimated to be sold for $200,000-$300-000.