Reds owner’s diamond bracelet leading off Cowan’s sale May 17-18


Platinum, diamond and emerald bracelet created for Marge Schott, former owner of the Cincinnati Reds, ca. 1940. Estimate: $30,000-$40,000. Cowan’s Auctions image

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s Fine Jewelry and Timepieces: Live Salesroom Auction on Thursday, May 17, will feature jewelry and accessories from important makers such as David WebbCartier, Bulgari and Tiffany & Co. along with certified diamonds and gemstones and fine timepieces from makers such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars-Piguet and Omega. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Cowan’s Spring Live Online Auction on Friday, May 18, features fine and costume jewelry, watches, and handbags. Absentee and Internet live bidding is again available through LiveAuctioneers.

Highlighting Thursday’s auction is a platinum, diamond and emerald bracelet created for Marge Schott, the late owner of the Cincinnati Reds. The 8-inch-long bracelet (above) weighs approximately 30.53 carats total with natural emerald accents and is estimated at $30,000-$40,000.

Having the highest estimate in Thursday’s auction is a rare Marcus & Co. match safe, pencil and penknife set in gold, enamel and emeralds (below), which is expected to sell for $50,000-$70,000. Herman Marcus was one of the finest American jewelers of the Art Nouveau period. A former employee of Charles Tiffany, he established Marcus & Co. in New York in 1892. The firm produced jewelry and cufflinks in both gold and platinum, decorated with gemstones and enamel. Marcus & Co. was a leading importer of emeralds at the turn of the 20th century when these pieces were made.


Etruscan-style match safe, pencil and penknife set by Marcus & Co. in gold, enamel and emeralds, early 20th century. Estimate: $50,000-$70,000. Cowan’s Auctions image

A unique highlight is a 14K gold and gold quartz match safe purportedly given to King Leopold II of Belgium. Leopold II (1835-1909) is remembered for being, at the time, the world’s wealthiest monarch, and for being the personal owner of the Belgian Congo from 1885-1908. Leopold enticed American investors to the Congo using land grants that could include valuable commodities such as rubber. Henry I. Kowalsky, a San Francisco attorney, gifted this match safe to Leopold in 1900 in an act of self-promotion. The two began a correspondence that continued until 1904, at which point Kowalsky was hired by the king as a lobbyist to Congress on matters relating to the Congo. The match safe has a $55,000-$65,000 estimate.


King Leopold II 14K gold and gold quartz match safe, American, possibly by Shreve & Co., , the front featuring a gold panel with the enameled crossed flags of the United States and Belgium beneath a crown set with six diamonds, sliding out to reveal a presentation panel reading ‘Presented to / His Majesty / Leopold II / King of Belgium / by / Henry I. Kowalsky / San Francisco, Cal. / U.S.A. 1900,’ 2 5/8 in. x 1 3/4 in. Estimate : $55,000-$65,000. Cowan’s Auctions image

An 18K yellow gold and diamond brooch and earrings set contains 180 round brilliant cut diamonds weighing approximately 8.40 carats total. The flower-form brooch and earrings (below) are accented with green enamel (est. $20,000-$30,000).


18K gold, diamond and enamel brooch and earrings, 8.40 carats total, brooch 2 ¼ in. x 2 in.,
Estimate: $20,000-$30,000. Cowan’s Auctions image

More than 20 timepieces are included in Thursday’s auction, none finer than an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak perpetual calendar wristwatch in stainless steel and 18K yellow gold. The automatic movement watch is mechanically programmed to indicate the day, the date, the month, chronometric time and the phase of the moon, taking into account leap years (est. $20,000-$30,000).


Audemars Piguet Royal Oak perpetual calendar wristwatch in stainless steel and 18K yellow gold, 38-jewel automatic movement. Papers, key original tag and manuals included. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000. Cowan’s Auctions image

Jewelry highlights in Friday’s online-only auction include gold and gold-filled Victorian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Edwardian, vintage and contemporary pieces. Timepiece highlights include a Cartier octagon travel alarm clock, Omega watches and pocket watches. Couture highlights include Prada bags, a Whiting & Davis silver mesh handbag and an Eversharp Skyline 14K yellow gold pen and pencil. Also included in this sale is a collection of cigar cutters and accessories.