Centuries of fine artistry showcased at Toomey’s May 31 sale
CHICAGO – Toomey & Co.‘s Jewelry, Silver & Objects of Vertu auction on Wednesday, May 31 will feature more than 300 lots showcasing the skilled artistry of various periods: Antique, Georgian, Victorian, Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts, Jugendstil, Art Deco, Modernist, Mid-Century and Contemporary. This sale also boasts an array of watches, cufflinks and jewelry from the collection of Governor Jim Thompson, with more than 80 works by esteemed makers such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, Breitling, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels and David Webb. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
During the course of several decades, Governor James R. Thompson, the 37th and longest-serving governor of Illinois (1977-1991), assembled an impressive, wide-ranging collection of art and design thanks to his keen eye, refined tastes and eclectic sensibility. Since 2018, Toomey & Co. has presented a varied selection of material from the collection of Governor Jim Thompson, including political memorabilia, silver, jewelry, match safes and vestas, metalwork, lighting, furniture, glasswork, pottery, fine art and folk art. Toomey & Co. will once again offer watches, cufflinks, and jewelry from the collection of Governor Thompson on May 31.
Highlighting Governor Thompson’s collection are timepieces that include a Patek Philippe Pagoda limited edition platinum wristwatch, estimated at $15,000-$20,000; a Breitling Navitimer for Tiffany & Co. gold wristwatch, estimated at $6,000-$8,000; a Rolex two-tone Prince Brancard wristwatch, estimated at $5,000-$7,000; and an Audemars Piguet Disco Volante white gold wristwatch with an estimate of $5,000-$7,000.
From Cartier, the auction has Art Deco coral, enamel and gold cufflinks, estimated at $3,000-$4,000, and a pair of Medusa gold cufflinks, estimated at $2,000-$4,000, which make a strong impression. Other bold forms on offer include David Webb enamel and gold frog cufflinks; Van Cleef & Arpels diamond, lapis lazuli, and gold cufflinks; and Deakin & Francis diamond and gold skull cufflinks, each individually estimated at $2,000-$3,000.
There are many other highlights beyond the Governor Thompson collection. Several attractive necklaces are featured in the auction, such as a Kalo Shop abalone blister pearl and gold necklace that carries an estimate of $3,000-$5,000; a Josephine Hartwell Shaw fire opal and gold necklace, estimated at $2,500-$3,500; and a Dorrie Nossiter Arts & Crafts multi-gem, silver and gold necklace, estimated at $1,000-$1,500.
Showcasing the breadth of jewelry in the sale is an early Victorian topaz and gold cross pendant, estimated at $4,000-$6,000; an Etruscan Revival gold and enamel pendant brooch and earrings, estimated at $3,000-$5,000; a French Art Nouveau enamel, gem-set and gold brooch, estimated at $2,500-$3,500; a Georges L’Enfant Art Deco coral, gold and platinum bracelet, estimated at $2,500-$3,500; and a Bjorn Weckstrom sterling silver pendant necklace and brooch that has an estimate of $800-$1,200.
Many elegant flatware services by notable makers are available. From Tiffany & Co., the auction has Audubon and Bamboo pattern sets, each estimated at $6,000-$8,000. Danish artist and designer Johan Rohde created some memorable lines for Georg Jensen, and the auction features Rohde’s Scroll and Acanthus flatware, respectively assigned estimates of $4,000-$6,000 and $3,000-$5,000.
Other standout silver choices include a Georg Jensen Grape compote, model 263 B, estimated at $2,000-$3,000; Mexican silversmith Juvento Lopez Reyes’ six-piece coffee and tea service with tray, which bears an identical estimate; a Tiffany & Co. New York Yacht Club presentation trophy pitcher with an estimate of $3,000-$5,000; a Gorham Manufacturing Company Aesthetic Movement mixed metal bowl, estimated at $2,000-$3,000; and a Mario Buccellati mushroom-form salt and pepper shaker set that has an estimate of $800-$1,200.
Among various charming and intricately wrought objects of vertu, Professor Hilmar Lauterbach’s jewelry casket in enameled and parcel-gilt bronze with 11 gemstones and a crowned bird on its lid is a feat of artful design that might have been made to commemorate Wilhelm Kaiser II, King of Prussia. It carries an estimate of $8,000-$12,000. Decorative works from Mexican silver artisans grace the sale as well in the form of a William Spratling lidded box with quilted and applied design, estimated at $800-$1,200, and a Margot Van Voorhies Carr (de Taxco) Eagle Knight mosaic cigarette box, estimated at $700-$900.
Match safes and vestas are also part of the auction, including several Edwardian and Victorian examples by Sampson Mordan & Co. Each is estimated at $1,000-$1,500. Rounding out the sale are some striking clocks: a Hermes table clock with an estimate of $3,000-$5,000, and a Geneva Clock Co., pink guilloche enamel and sterling silver-gilt desk clock, estimated at $2,500-$3,500.
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