SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Turner Auctions + Appraisals will sell the Felicia Michalski collection of fine and costume jewelry at an online auction Sunday, Feb. 18. Composed of 140 lots acquired over six decades, the sale offers fine jewelry for women, including necklaces, bracelets, rings, brooches, pendants and wristwatches. Most are crafted of gold, white gold, platinum or silver, with precious stones and embellishments such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, amethyst, opal, jade, turquoise, coral, cultured pearls, cameos and French bloodstone. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
There is also a vast range of antique and vintage costume jewelry from the Anita Hellman Collection. The diverse selection features large groupings of necklaces; brooches; belt buckles; antique miniature portraits and scenes; Mickey Mouse, pocket and fob watches; pocketknives; gentlemen’s accessories; and designer items from Chanel, Renoir, Dior and others.
Felicia Michalski’s life reads like a novel, particularly during the war years. Born in Gostynin, Poland, in 1919, she is a survivor of the Holocaust – in fact, with her brother, they are the sole survivors of her family. In 1939 when she was 19, Felicia left Poland when the Nazis took control of Gostynin. The following year, Felicia and her brother Kuba were captured by the Russians and sent to Siberia as slave labor. They were released only when the Russians needed room for prisoners of war. In 1946, she, her husband and two sons were sent to a displaced persons camp in Bavaria set up by the Allies. While they were originally planning to go to Palestine, the opportunity arose to go to the United States instead. They settled in San Francisco.
Living in California after the war, Felicia developed a serious collecting passion that lasted over 60 years. Once her family’s needs were taken care of, Felicia went shopping. She began first at rummage sales, church bazaars and estate sales, then progressed over time to major Bay Area antique shows and dealers. Later, when life became easier, she and her husband, Joe, also picked up small items during their frequent international travels. Unlike other collectors, she became interested in antiques after the war; when others wanted mid-century modern, Michalski picked up beautiful old pieces for a song. While Felicia’s connoisseurship was entirely self-taught, experts and museum curators valued and often sought her opinion.
Today, at age 98, Michalski has moved to assisted living, so it is time to pass along many of the beautiful objects from her homes. Others will now have the opportunity to benefit from Mrs. Michalski’s collecting passion and natural eye for beauty.
Here are some highlights of the upcoming sale on Feb. 18:
- Lot 11: Diamond, half pearl, enamel, 14K gold clip brooch, ARK. Retro clip-brooch centering a Victorian jewelry piece set with half-pearls and rose-cut diamonds; gross weight approximately 41.5 grams. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500.
- Lot 16: French bloodstone and 14k gold link bracelet. Gross weight approximately 58.4 g; length: 7 in., width: 1 in. Estimate: $800-$1,200.
- Lot 24: Jade and high karat gold pendant and chain. Gross weight approximately 46.4 g; length: 20 in. Estimate: $1,400-$1,600.
- Lot 30: Three carved coral cameo brooch/pendants set in 14K and 10K gold frames. Estimate: $1,200-$1,500.
- Lot 62: Pair of turquoise, diamond and 18K gold earrings. Two round brilliant-cut diamonds weighing together approximately 0.40 carats. Estimate: $800-$1,200.
- The auction will be Sunday, Feb. 18, 10:30 a.m. Pacific time/1:30 p.m. Eastern.
For more information about the auction, contact: Stephen Turner, president of Turner Auctions + Appraisals
at 415-964-5250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.