Sat. Oct 1st, 2022

Works by Asian contemporary high jewelry artists, Feng J, Carnet, Wallace Chan and Cindy Chao will be among the highlights of Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale on October 7. All these artists are highly celebrated not only in Asia, but throughout the world for their original bejeweled creations.

Feng J, the 36-year-old Chinese artist is the youngest of the group. She is presenting “Fountain on Fire,” a ring with a spiral design, centered with 7.64-carat oval-shaped Burmese ruby surrounded by diamond beads, to the band decorated with brilliant-cut diamonds. Among these artists this is the top lot in the sale with an estimate of $1.4 million – $2.3 million.

Feng J says the ring is inspired by “the fountain of joy and freedom and its graceful and fluid abstract lines.” The diamond beads symbolize water droplets arranged from large to small, reflecting the splashes of a fountain. The ruby in the center represents “the fiery color of the dazzling sun,” she says.

Wenhao Yu, chairman, Asia, Jewelry & Watch, at Sotheby’s, says the ring with this minimalist design concept “of a spring fountain with its elegant curves” is the highlight of the Hong Kong auction, which is quite a statement considering some of the other items being offered.

“Like the elegant notes, such as cheerful water droplets, Feng J’s design built this unparalleled Myanmar pigeon blood ruby on the stage of jumping up the cloud, romantic, unrestrained, and passionate,” Yu said in a statement. “It is the perfect combination of nature’s gift and superior art craftsmanship. It is the top highlight of this auction.”

A ring by Hong Kong high jewelry house titled “Zephyrs” is created by Michelle Ong, the co-founder of the internationally renowned jeweler. It’s described by Sotheby’s as an “openwork sea of clouds” centered with an 18.16-carat oval jadeite cabochon with a highly translucent vivid emerald-green color. It’s decorated with rose-cut diamonds and mounted in platinum. It is the highest quality jadeite, known as “jadeite-jade (Fei Fui) type A” with the highly sought after “imperial green” color designation. Its estimate is $305,781 – $445,931.

Wallace Chan, the internationally renowned high jewelry artist, based in Hong Kong and Macau, has two pieces for this sale. Both are being offered by private collectors. They are led by a bejeweled cicada (a favorite motif of Chan) with cabochon ruby eyes, holding a cushion-shaped diamond. The head and body are set with opal and lapis lazuli topped with carved amethysts. The wings of the insect are made of carved rock crystal with mother-of-pearl backing and titanium veins. This complex piece is further embellished with brilliant-cut diamonds, blue sapphires and pink sapphires, mounted in titanium and 18k yellow gold. Its estimate is $102,000 – $152,890.

Taiwanese high jewelry artist, Cindy Chao, also has two pieces in the sale being offered by private collectors. The lead item is a diamond and ruby ring in a floral design. It’s centered with a 1.81-carat oval diamond surrounded by yellow lacquer pistils. The undulating petals are pavé-set with circular-cut rubies and the stylized stem hoop is decorated with diamonds displaying a yellow tint. The gems are mounted in 18k yellow gold and silver. Its estimate is $89,186 – $152,890.

While the contemporary jewels in the sale are impressive, the sale of 136 lots is being led by two jadeite pieces. Both are being offered with estimates upon request.

The first is a gently carved “imperial green” jadeite melon pendant with smooth translucency and deep luster. It is topped by a brilliant-cut diamond. The reverse is adorned with two brilliant-cut diamonds, to a black cord. The gems are mounted on 18k white gold.

“Conventional wisdom holds that the best jadeite should not be carved, but this jadeite melon breaks that convention to stunning effect. The gentle carving emphasizes the rare texture and mellow translucency of the jadeite through the imagery of a plump, juicy melon,” Sotheby’s said in a statement.

The second is a necklace composed of 41 jadeite beads weighing approximately 753.35 carats. Sotheby’s describes the jadeite beads as having “intense emerald-green color and very good translucency,” earning the imperial green designation. The necklace is finished with a diamond-and-ruby-set detachable clasp.

There are many important colored and colorless diamonds in the sale. Among them is a pair of unmounted pear-shaped diamonds weighing 31.46 and 30.00 carats. They are both D color, flawless, with excellent polish and symmetry, according to a report from the Gemological Institute of America. The estimate for the pair is $5.7 million – $7 million.

Another diamond lot of note are moonstone pendant earrings set with a 4.53-carat pear-shaped D-color internally flawless diamond, and a 3.79-carat internally flawless Fancy Intense blue diamond. Its estimate is $3.1 million – $3.8 million.

Among signed jewels from historic brands, the most noted is a Van Cleef & Arpels emerald, ruby, diamond and onyx pendant necklace. Two suspended, detachable pendant-brooches feature carved emeralds, ruby beads topped by diamonds. The neck chain is highlighted with carved emeralds, brilliant and rose-cut diamonds, and onyx beads. Its estimate is $2.3 million – $2.8 million.

Other important lots include:

  • A jadeite “ruyi” pendant necklace. Each pendant is set with a jadeite plaque of highly translucent bright emerald green color, carved in the curved ruyi shape, which in China represents a talisman symbolizing power and good fortune. The pendants are surmounted by variously cut diamonds. The necklace is decorated with pear- and marquise-shaped and brilliant-cut diamonds, mounted in 18k white gold. The pendants are detachable to be worn as earrings. Its estimate is $1 million – $1.5 million.
  • With 17 lots, Cartier, is the most prolific jewelry brand in the sale. Pieces being offered include a yellow gold and platinum ring set with a 10.45-carat cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire between two calf’s head-shaped diamonds weighing a total of approximately one carat. Its estimate is $993,789 – $1.2 million.

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