The first auction to focus on the work of legendary jewelry Andrew Grima, since his death in 2007, will be presented by Bonhams New York on October 19th.
British Royal jewelry, designer and artisan, Grima was the foremost modern jewelry designer in the West End of London in the 1960s and 1970s with clients including Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, The Duke of Edinburgh, Barbara Hepworth and Jacqueline Onassis. Grima gained recognition following the 1961 Exhibition of International Jewelry where his distinctive pieces featuring highly textured materials and abstract shapes led to his appointment as a Crown Jeweler in 1970 commissioned to make items of jewelry for the British and Scandinavian Royal Family.
Consisting of 35 Grima designs, the collection comes from the New York estates of Marvin and Laura Speiser and was amassed over the course of two decades of close friendship between the Speisers and Andrew Grima and his wife Jojo. The Speisers’ and Grimas’ were introduced in London in the early 70s and their friendship evolved through the course of yearly meetings and weekly phone calls. The couples shared a mutual admiration for each others’ aesthetics and artistic gifts, with Grima actually owning works by Mrs. Speiser who was a respected ceramic artist in her own right.
The Speisers’ personal affection for Grima, coupled with their respect for his design genius, is evidenced in the remarkable collection of special, limited edition pieces being presented.
Highlighting the sale is a circa 1988 emerald and diamond ring. Centering a cut-cornered, square-cut 11.35 carat emerald ‘pool’ within a raised surround of round brilliant-cut diamonds, the ring is completed by a textured gold mount. Exemplary of Grima’s work, this striking ring is estimated at $20,000-30,000.
Of great interest is a cultured pearl, gold and diamond necklace with cultured pearl drop. Designed as textured gold abstract shaped gold beads mirrored by fresh water pearls and diamonds, the lot carries an estimate of $12,000-15,000.
Also included in the auction will be a ‘sunburst’ brooch which was designed exclusively for Queen Elizabeth who presented the piece as a gift to Madame Pompidou in 1972 on her State Visit to France. One of only four created, this example is designed as rays of textured gold centering a forest green tourmaline and can be worn as a pendant as well as a brooch. The impressive piece is estimated of $8,000-10,000.
Previews will take place at Bonhams’ London showrooms from September 19th to 21st; the Los Angeles showrooms from October 1st to 3rd; the San Francisco showrooms from October 8th to 10th; and the NewYork showrooms from October 16th to 18th. The sale will take place in New York on October 19th and will be simulcast to the San Francisco and Los Angeles showrooms.
The illustrated auction catalog will be online at www.bonhams.com/newyork in the weeks preceding the preview and auction. For more information about the department, please visit www.bonhams.com/jewelry