JEWELRY DIRECTOR AND ‘ROADSHOW’ APPRAISER JILL BURGUM EXPLAINS WHY THESE 5 PIECES ARE REMARKABLE
I absolutely love what I do. I meet wonderful people from all walks of life. I’m fortunate to travel to places I never dreamed I’d see. And I’m always fascinated by the jewels presented, whether they have monetary or sentimental value. On top of that, no two days are alike. Sometimes, I’m a detective, a teacher, a problem-solver or a researcher trying to track down hallmarks or designer names – and I thoroughly enjoy it. Another challenge: selecting a mere five favorites from the thousands of pieces I have handled over the years.
Diamond, Cultured Pearl, Enamel, Gold Pendant-Brooch, Masriera
I love the fantasy element of this brooch (top). The metamorphosis of the beautiful winged woman with her elegantly draped gown is truly eye-catching. The designer’s use of plique-à-jour enamel gives this theme a light airiness. It realized $7,500 at a December 2012 Heritage auction.
Art Deco Fancy Blue Diamond, Diamond, Platinum Ring, J.E. Caldwell
This piece hit the trifecta. A phenomenally rare blue diamond on a ring made by a well-respected Philadelphia firm, J.E. Caldwell, during the Art Deco period. An accompanying original September 1927 advertisement showcasing the ring was icing on the cake. This ring realized $1,650,500 at an April 2013 Heritage auction.
Amethyst, Enamel, Gold Necklace, Louis Comfort Tiffany for Tiffany & Co.
What a stunning pop of color. This elegant nature-themed necklace blends rich purple hued amethyst with lush green enamel against a gold backdrop. While the central component has a distinct weightiness to it, the composition is well balanced and light. It has an amazing sculptural quality. It sold for $245,000 at a December 2014 auction.
Black Opal, Montana Sapphire, Gold Necklace, Tiffany & Co.
This necklace was presented during an Antiques Roadshow event in Seattle. It was literally the first piece of the day and I couldn’t believe my eyes. To say it was spectacular doesn’t fully capture the impact it made. It realized $125,000 at a December 2013 Heritage auction.
Sapphire, Diamond, Enamel, Platinum, Gold Brooch, Oscar Heyman Bros.
This piece is pure poetry for me. The delicate beauty of a butterfly is brought to life masterfully by Oscar Heyman Bros. The intricate craftsmanship, the balance between gemstones and metal, and the use of a soft color palette are all elevated by unusual gemstone shapes. The overall effect is absolutely lovely. It realized $8,750 at a December 2012 auction.
JILL BURGUM is Heritage Auctions’ senior director of fine jewelry and a regular appraiser on PBS’ Antiques Roadshow. She can be reached at JillB@HA.com.