One look at the jewellery lots on Monday’s Strauss & Co auction and I’m a goner.
Or rather, suddenly I’m in Monaco – at some over-the-top Grimaldi soirée, bedecked in bling, bowing and scraping to a beautiful Grace Kelly and her Eurotrash family. Next, I’m plotting my own second marriage to Richard Burton – heavily made up in gold and diamonds worthy of only Cleopatra. A flash, and I’m poolside at the Chateau Marmont – it’s 11am, I’m three Bloody Marys and some Quaaludes in and festooned in turquoise and rubies. Frankly, the Valley of the Dolls is shaping up to be a hazy, hot and marvellous place to hang out, darling.
It’s hard not to tumble into some kind of deeply hedonistic delusion of grandeur when you glimpse the goods on Strauss & Co’s next decorative arts sale. The rings, the necklaces, the bracelets teeming with sparkling stones, all speak of different moments of style and decades of glamour. Ages of excess and beauty, I’d like to have been part of. There’s a ruby and diamond bracelet from the 1960s, a turquoise, ruby, blue-sapphire and diamond necklace with strong Egyptian leanings and even, a delicate Victorian moonstone and ruby brooch.
Those, as you can tell, are the lots I’ve got my eyes on but the rest of the auction is impressive too and includes art and objets from China, England and Japan drawn from two notable collections: the Andrew Newall Collection and the Estate late Mrs Sonia Lapin.
The Andrew Newall Collection comprises impeccable Asian artefacts, notably one hundred and fifty pieces from the Orient. The collection includes Chinese and Japanese ceramics, silver, bronze and enamelware, as well as a selection of Burmese, Indian, Mongolian, Thai and Tibetan silverware. The Estate late Mrs Sonia Lapin encompasses jewellery, silverware and furniture, all with good provenance.
And, for the Mid-century design nuts, the sale features four Danish pieces, including a chair by celebrated architect and designer Finn Juhl. Designed in 1956, Juhl’s oak and caned SW 96 easy chair for Søren Willadsens Møbelfabrik is a modern classic. The Danish selection also includes a rosewood and maple-lined sideboard designed in the 1960s by Axel Christiansen Odder for ACO Møbler.
• The live auction takes place at The Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town from 9:30am on Monday the 7th October. For more information, visit Strauss & Co's website.