GROUNDBREAKING JEWELER PETER LINDEMAN MARKS BIRTHDAY WITH RELEASE OF TREASURES FROM HIS PERSONAL COLLECTION
By Jessica DuBroc
For more than six decades, Peter Lindeman has been consistent with his designs: classic styling that is timeless and unique. “These will never be out of style,” the jeweler likes to say.
Born in Berlin, Lindeman grew up in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, apprenticing there with a European firm. In 1947, at the tender age of 17, he moved to New York, where he found work at several high-end jewelers. In 1955, he started designing his own jewelry, creating his signature hallmark, a teardrop with an “L” placed on the back of every piece. At the time, there were virtually no independent “wholesale designers,” so Lindeman began promoting his creations under his own name. He was among the first to travel with his collections on hand, thus initiating the “trunk show.”
It’s been a distinguished career for the award-winning craftsman beginning with those early days. His workshop has supplied pieces to retailers such as Tiffany & Co., Shreve & Co., and Bailey Banks & Biddle. Other pieces are held by museums, including the permanent collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Art. In the 1970s, De Beers asked Lindeman to create an 18k gold tennis racket pendant-brooch with diamonds, presented to Chris Evert after she won the U.S. Open. Another piece ended up in the collection of music legend Elvis Presley, with whom he shares a birthday.
Accolades have come from the press, as well. In the 1970s, Lindeman was featured in a New York Times story on the trend of uncut stones paired with polished gems for rings, necklaces, bracelets and pins. “It’s fascinating to contrast a piece of nature with brilliant stones next to it,” the New York-based jeweler told The Times. Even today, his more popular designs are inspired by nature, often depicting flowers and animals.
But time moves on. Lindeman this year turned 90 and has decided to release pieces from his personal collection. Upcoming jewelry auctions at Heritage Auctions will include a variety of rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and brooches adorned with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, pearls and more (a “sneak peek” advance auction of select items was held in December 2019). Predominantly from the 1970s and 1980s, treasures from the collection represent a snippet of Lindeman’s contributions to the jewelry world.
“I have a lot of pride in what I have created, like any artist,” Lindeman told JCK magazine. “Instead of liquidating my inventory, which would only bring in the price of the metal and stones, I would rather see people buy my work and enjoy it.”
JESSICA DUBROC is director of Fine Jewelry for Heritage Auctions in New York.
This article appears in the Spring/Summer 2020 edition of The Intelligent Collector magazine. Click here to subscribe to the print edition.