|Lauren Bacall wearing two 18k yellow gold ropework bracelets|
on the same wrist, designed by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Photo credit: NBC/NBC via Getty Images
Lauren Bacall is known for her beauty, her distinctive voice, her high-profile marriage to actor Humphrey Bogart and her impeccable taste. She was less known for her jewelry collection.
|Two 18k yellow gold ropework bracelets by Jean Schlumberger with pre-sale estimates of $5,000 - $7,000 and $6,000 - $9,000. The actress was frequently pictured wearing the bracelets together (see top photo), layered on the same wrist.|
However, more than 30 items of the late actress’s jewelry will be part of the extensive 700-lot auction of the “Lauren Bacall Collection,” being offered by Bonhams New York on March 31 and April 1. It will include pieces by Chanel, Cartier, Tiffany, as well as her personal favorite, French jewelry designer Jean Schlumberger (1907-1987).
“Her jewelry was unique in that it reflected her personal taste and the fact she was very sentimental,” Susan Abeles, Bonhams’ head of Jewelry in the United States, said in a recent interview. “The pieces offered are timeless, understated and classic in design and represent the sophistication and glamour of a true Hollywood legend.”
|Lauren Bacall wears Elizabeth Gage Camel Brooch while attending the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Promise Ball Benefit Gala on |
November 10, 1990, at Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. Photo credit: Ron Galella, Ltd.
Abeles, who has been spending a great deal of time researching the life of Lauren Bacall to prepare for the auction, said the actress “didn’t have a tremendous amount of jewelry.” But the collection of rings, bracelets, brooches and earrings had personal significance.
|The Elizabeth Gage Mogul-inspired Camel Brooch is made of 18k yellow gold enamel, cultured pearl, and rose diamond. It has a pre-sale estimate of $5,000 - $7,000.|
For example, Abeles showed me a Tiffany & Co. gold necklace with dangling gold hearts. Each heart has a letter that spells out the phrase, “To my own beautiful star from my proud director Ron.” Abeles said that she believes the necklace was a gift from Ron Field, who directed Bacall in the Broadway play, “Applause.” Both Bacall and Field won Tony awards for their parts in the play.
Although it isn’t documented Abeles is certain that Bacall and Schlumberger were friends. Bacall purchased many of her most prized Schlumberger pieces in Paris, where the designer lived and worked.
“I do like that she had a relationship with the designer,” Abeles said. “She had a great thirst for knowledge.”
|A sampling of the Schlumberger pieces that are up for auction at Bonhams.|
Standout Schlumberger pieces from the collection (all pictured above) include an 18k yellow gold and blue enamel bangle bracelet (estimate $20,000 - $30,000); an 18k yellow gold, diamond, amethyst and turquoise ring designed by Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., (estimate $8,000 - $12,000); and a pair of amethyst, sapphire and emerald ear clips, mounted by Schlumberger (estimate $6,700 - $8,500).
Perhaps Bacall's most icon jewelry pieces are two 18k yellow gold ropework bracelets, (estimate $5,000 - $7,000 and $6,000 - $9,000). The actress was frequently pictured wearing the bracelets together, layered on the same wrist (top two photos).
Bacall also had personal relationships with other jewelers. One auction highlight is a Mogul-inspired, 18k yellow gold, enamel, cultured pearl, and rose diamond camel brooch by the British jeweler, Elizabeth Gage, (estimate $5,000 - $7,000). The brooch is accompanied by the original drawing and correspondence from the jeweler, which reveals collaboration and friendship between the two.
“Bacall’s style was unmistakably her own,” Abeles said. “Her jewelry collection represents a woman who knew her own style—one who wore the jewelry rather than the jewelry wearing her. Pieces that might have overshadowed another woman perfectly complemented her beauty.”
Another highlights of the sale is a pair of diamond and grey South Sea cultured pearl ear pendants by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co (estimate $4,600 - $6,700).