Rare 20th century fine jewelry slated to sell June 10

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – On Sunday, June 10 Rago Auctions is privileged to offer for sale two pieces of jewelry by Marie Zimmermann (1879 – 1972), widely considered the most versatile and skilled craftswoman of the 20th century with an oeuvre that spanned movements, styles, and mediums.

Zimmerman Leaves Gifts of Design

Between 1940, when she closed her studio, and her death in 1972, Zimmerman sold or bequeathed to intimate friends and household staff some of her most substantial pieces. The Estates of Melita (Bessie) Smith and Ida Egli have consigned Lot 2050 and Lot 2051 respectively. Both women were housekeepers, cooks and, eventually, companions to Zimmerman and her partner Ruth Allen. They jointly inherited Zimmerman’s Punta Gorda, Florida home.

Lot 2050, is a circa 1930 tourmaline, sapphire and ruby yellow gold ring. The octagonal scissor-cut green tourmaline, approx. 10.13 cts. by formula, is set against a pierced and millegrained bezel-set blue sapphire and ruby gallery. The hoop, enameled in translucent blue, red and green, is stamped with artist’s cypher. Size 6 ¾. Note: A ring of similar design with a garnet center appears in the book “The Jewelry and Metalwork of Marie Zimmermann,” p. 331. It comes to auction with an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000.

Egyptian Style Necklace May Lead Fine Jewelry

Lot 2051 is a 1937 enamel yellow gold and gem-set collar necklace by Zimmerman in the Egyptian style. Floral carve garnet cabochons with bezel-set emerald centers alternate with cobalt blue enameled leaves between two rows of carved beads: either drum-shaped beads of yellow gold with green or red enamel or carved turquoise rhondelle beads. Unsigned, it tapers from 3/4″ – 7/8″. 62.1 dwt. A Marie Zimmermann pouch dated 1921 accompanies the necklace. Note: A bracelet that matches this necklace appears in “The Jewelry and Metalwork of Marie Zimmermann,” p. 142. The related essay states that in 1937, Walter T. Rosen, of Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (Katonah, NY) purchased the pictured “Egyptian type” bracelet and an “Egyptian necklace” of the same design. This collar necklace carries an estimate of $35,000 to $55,000 into the sale.

Works by Marie Zimmermann appear at the Columbus Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston, among others.

Additional Lots Enhance

Also included in the June 10 Fine Jewelry Auction are more than 500 lots of antique, designer, modern, bridal and gem-set jewelry and objets de vertu, including works by Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Buccellati, Bvlgari and Patek Phillipe, among others.

This Fine Jewelry Auction is part of Rago Auction’s June Auction series, which begins June 8 with an Unreserved Jewelry sale. On the heels is a Coin + Currency and Collectibles auction, June 9.

For those unable to attend, telephone/absentee bidding available at 609-397-9374. Online bidding available at www.bidsquare.com.

For more information, visit www.ragoarts.com or call 609-397-9374.

Warman's Antiques & Collectibles 2019


If you like what you’ve read here, we recommend adding “Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles 2019” to your library. The jewelry section of this book features a brilliant mix of antique and contemporary pieces.
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