In Conversation With - Jessica Diamond

Talks Edwardian Brooches, Colombian Emeralds & The Jazz Age

Ahead of the Jewellery sale taking place on the 18th September, we were delighted to welcome Jessica Diamond, Jewellery editor for Condé Nast Traveller and contributor to the Telegraph Luxury, to preview the rare and unusual jewels offered in the sale and pick her top ten lots.

'I spend most of my working life on Bond Street and Place Vendôme; and I’ve lost count of the number of extraordinary, beautiful jewels that I’ve set eyes on. But there is a separation between what I see and what I know I can have; on one level they feel removed. Because as much as I can assess and appreciate, I am, by means, disconnected from many of them. Imagine a place where this isn’t the case. Where a selection of jewels, from diamond cluster rings, to soft chunky chains, to exquisite Edwardian brooches are all within the realms of ownership – where you can believe that they can be yours. This stirs a different emotion that is wholly personal, and altogether more exciting – because jewellery should evoke exactly that – a reaction that is thrilling but then leads to something tangible. I didn’t expect to feel so optimistic when I viewed this sale’s selection, but I honestly felt I could have happily walked away right there and then with several of the lots.' - Jessica Diamond


Lot 241
A Tortoiseshell necklace, circa 1865



This is a beautiful Victorian curiosity. Of course it wouldn’t be made today, but the waver thin slivers of shell are whisper light and beautifully composed. Wear it or simply treasure it as an object.'


Lot 170
A Diamond Snail Ring, by Alex Soldier



A lovely weighty ring this snail’s shell is gorgeously engraved with a diamond swirl accent and realistic dimpled skin - the perfect slime-free zero maintenance finger-pet by this American designer.'


Lot 166
A Fancy-Link Necklace, by Chaumet


What a joy to own a piece of Chaumet, one of Place Vendome’s most storied maisons. It helps a lot that it’s an imminently wearable chunky chain, perfect for everyday adornment – a keep-for-ever-classic.'


Lot 127
An Art Deco Jade, Enamel and Diamond Vanity Case by Cartier circa 1925


'A sensational lot from Cartier, not only for its exemplary craftsmanship and perfect Art Deco stylistics, but because it’s a perfect snapshot of the Jazz Age, when women dared to apply lipstick and rouge in public – imagine that!'


Lot 110
A Coral Dragon Bangle, circa 1860


'I made an immediate bee-line for this fellow when I saw the assembled lots for this sale. His head is beautifully carved; the rest of his coral body is fairly naïve but I still love him and all his 150 year old patina. Imagine on a tanned wrist – so chic.'


Lot 10
A Scorpion pendant necklace, by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co


'This Scorpion design doesn’t get as much air-time as Peretti’s other designs for Tiffany, like her ubiquitous silver bean or Diamonds-by-the-Yard. But this Scorpion necklace is Peretti at her fearless, androgynous, stylised best. Wear low and with attitude.'


Lot 261
An Emerald Pendant Necklace


'The vogue for emeralds shows no sign of waning, and this stone, just shy of 50 carats, will certainly scratch that itch. While emeralds are now also mined in Zambia, gems from Colombia are still considered the best, which this is. A great investment or, re-set, the centre piece to one show-stopping jewel.'


Lot 118
A Diamond-set Pendant / brooch

'There aren’t many craftsmen left who can achieve piercing as fine as this. Buccellati are one jewellers who still practice the art, Moira are another, who created this extraordinary pendant/brooch. The effect is like a piece of precious needle-point with a diamond embroidered rose in the middle.'


Lot 259
An early 20th Century Emerald and Diamond Pendant necklace


'This pendant is so pretty, with its diamond scrolls at the top and diamonds encircling a 1.6 carat Colombian emerald. Its design may not be as graphic or fashionable as Art Deco a few decades later, but a perfectly evocative and elegant jewel of its time.'


Lot 46
A diamond double-clip brooch, circa 1950

'The brooch is back. No longer the favoured jewel of your granny’s generation (and older), they look great pinned to a lapel, shoulder or collar. This statement jewel from the 50s splits into 2 – imagine divided and attached to the neckline of a cashmere jumper or jumpsuit – very cool.'