Google+ The Daily Jewel: 5/10/09 - 5/17/09


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Negotiation by Jewelry....

Photo: 'Serpent Pin': Madeleine Albright wore this brooch dating from about 1860, after the Saddam Hussein government called her a serpent. - Photo provided by Museum of Arts & Design reported by

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's Pin Collection Exhibited for First Time at Museum of Arts and Design

NEW YORK, NY.- The first major museum exhibition of jewelry from the personal collection of Madeleine Albright will premiere at the Museum of Arts and Design on September 30 and will remain on view through January 31, 2010. Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection features more than 200 pins, many of which Secretary Albright wore to communicate a message during her diplomatic tenure. The exhibition examines the collection for its historic significance as well as the expressive power of jewelry and its ability to communicate through a style and language of its own. The exhibition will be presented in the Museum’s Tiffany & Co. Gallery, dedicated to the study and presentation of contemporary jewelry from around the world.

In 1997, Albright was named the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. While serving under President Bill Clinton, first as U.S ambassador to the United Nations, and then as Secretary of State, Albright became known for wearing brooches that purposefully conveyed her views about the situation at hand. “I found that jewelry had become part of my personal diplomatic arsenal,” Secretary Albright has said. “While President George H.W. Bush had been known for saying ‘Read my lips,’ I began urging colleagues and reporters to ‘Read my pins.’”

The collection that Secretary Albright cultivated is distinctive and democratic—sometimes demure and understated, sometimes outlandish and outspoken—spanning more than a century of jewelry design and including fascinating pieces from across the globe. The works on view are chosen for their symbolic value, and while some are fine antiques, many are costume jewelry. Read My Pins will explore the stories behind these works and their historical and artistic significance, and will be accompanied by a book, Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box, published by HarperCollins.

“Secretary Albright’s approach to collecting focuses on the communicative value of jewelry, which often transcends its material worth,” said Holly Hotchner, the Museum’s Nanette L. Laitman Director. “The pins in this exhibition have all been used as non-traditional tools for political negotiation and personal expression. MAD is always looking for the back-story of art, exploring the many layers of context in which objects develop meaning. We are delighted to organize this first-time exhibition of her collection ten years after we presented Brooching It Diplomatically, a show of new pins created by contemporary artists. Two of those commissions are now in her personal collection, and will be exhibited in this show beside her other pins from across the world.”

Over the years, Secretary Albright’s pins became a part of her public persona, and they chart the course of an extraordinary journey, carving out a visual path through international and cultural diplomacy. A highlight of the exhibition will be the brooch that began Secretary Albright’s unusual use of pins as a tool in her diplomatic arsenal. After Saddam Hussein’s press referred to her as a serpent, Secretary Albright wore a golden snake brooch pinned to her suit for her next meeting on Iraq. Read My Pins will feature the famous snake brooch among many other pins with similar stories—some associated with important world events, others gifts from international leaders or valued friends. ......more

Photo: Liberty pin features two working watch faces - one is upside down so the wearer can use it. AP Photo via HuffingtonPost

Sneak Preview....
I recently purchased "Brooching It Diplomatically: a Tribute to Madelaine K. Albright" check my A Fly On The Wall Views & Reviews blog - and "Read My Pins" ASAP - review coming soon!

Magnificent Jewels Auction - Sotheby's Geneva

GENEVA, 12TH MAY 2009 – Tonight Sotheby’s spring Magnificent Jewels sale series realised a strong total of $35,762,327 and was 76.9% sold by lot and 91.3% sold by value.

The centrepiece of the Magnificent Jewels auction
series - an important and rare fancy vivid blue, internally flawless, cushion-shaped diamond weighing 7.03 carats from Petra Diamonds’ historic Cullinan mine – realised $9,488,754 against a pre-sale estimate of $5.8-8.5 million. This total represents the highest price for a fancy vivid blue diamond sold at auction and the record price per carat for any gemstone sold at auction ($1,349,752). The winning bidder, who wishes to remain anonymous, is yet to exercise their privilege to name the stone.

The auction series comprised one of the most important private collections to come to auction in recent years, A Celebration of Taste and Style, which achieved a total of $7,116,227, in addition to Soth
eby’s third annual Noble Jewels sale, which exceeded its top presale estimate and raised a total of $4,730,865 and was 87.5% sold by lot and 95.5% sold by value.

Commenting on tonight’s sale, David Bennett, Chairman, Europe & the Middle East, Sotheby’s International Jewellery department, said: “We are very pleased with tonight’s sale series total and strong sell-through rate, which demonstrate the continued demand for rare jewels of exceptional quality and provenance. We are particularly thrilled with the price achieved for the exceptional fancy vivid blue diamond, and its record price per carat as the highest for any gemstone sold at auction. It has been very exciting and rewarding to work so closely with Petra Diamonds and to follow the progress of this remarkable gem over the last few months and through to its auction success on the international stage this evening.”


The centrepiece of the Magnificent Jewels sales series was the fancy vivid blue, internally flawless, cushion-shaped diamond weighing 7.03 carats. Following heated bidding that lasted for over 15 minutes the remarkable stone realised of $9,488,754. The pre-sale estimate of this stone was $5.8-8.5 million. The diamond, cut from a 26.58 carat rough, was discovered in 2008 at Petra Diamonds’ historic Cullinan diamond mine in South Africa. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has graded the stone as fancy vivid blue in colour and internally flawless in clarity, the highest possible grading for a blue diamond.

Petra Diamonds CEO Johan Dippenaar commented:
“The price achieved at the Sotheby’s auction for this exquisite, internally flawless blue diamond is a world record by value per carat and the highest price to be achieved by a fancy vivid blue diamond, and reflects how incredibly rare and collectable such an important blue diamond is to the connoisseur. The renowned Cullinan mine continues to captivate the world with spectacular diamonds, building on its legacy as the source of some of the world’s most famous gems. This has been a very successful partnership with Sotheby’s, one of the pre-eminent names in jewellery sales, and has provided the perfect platform to garner international recognition for a gem of this calibre.”

Two further diamond highlights in the Magnificent Jewels sale include an exceptional type IIa fancy intense pink pear shaped diamond of 5.29 carats which sold for $2,048,508 and a magnificent marquise modified brilliant-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing 18.13 carats, from the property of an International Collector, which achieved $1,065,152. via Sotheby's Auction Report

Register to Receive Catalogs
Take a minute to register at Sotheby's - they will send notification of upcoming auctions - and an online catalog of YUMMY gems and jewelry! I will not soon forget the December 2008 sale of Magnificent Jewels in New York. Sotheby's top lot at that sale was a 36.99 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond ring that sold for nearly $2.7 million.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Designer at Close-Out Prices!

Photo: amrita singh featured today at ideeli

If you know me you know that Designer names don't make a huge impact in my life! They do however make a HUGE impact on a large portion of the population. Whether we are willing to admit it or not they determine trend and if you wait long enough you will find knock offs in almost every price point.

I recently discovered a wonderful thing! I don't have to go to the mall or those isolated discount malls to see what people are buying - there are designer outlets on line!!! The three I have listed are ones that I have used - they are membership only so - email me and I will send you a personal invite (YES - I get a monetary pay-off for each invitation - what can I say I am always looking for a discount!) Check them out there is always something new!

GiltGroupe - this week the featured sales on this site range from Oscar de la Renta, Carlos Falchi Python, Botkier, Menswear from Gordon Rush, Jewelry from Ivanka Trump and Alex and Ani !

The offerings at ideeli also varies, with new sales beginning and ending daily today - amrita singh jewelry, Emilio Pucci and one of my all time favorites...Max Studio.

From LuLu handbags to childrens clothing from Feather Babies, today HauteLook offers jeans from Citizens of Humanity, Lauren Conrad Clothing and jewelry from Mary Louise Designs.

Look around - whether you use these sites as inspiration or trend watch - or just for something stylish to wear to your next big is always a fun trip through the style that surrounds us!

Photo: Ruby earrings by Marie Louise Designs at HauteLook


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