Christie’s recently announced Twelve Jewels by JAR from the Estate of Ann Getty to be offered as a leading highlight of the Magnificent Jewels live auction on 8 June at Christie’s New York. Ann Getty’s striking group of jewels by JAR is one of the largest and most important private collections of works by the visionary designer, Joel Arthur Rosenthal to appear at auction.
The group is expected to achieve in the region of $1.5 million. Prior to the sale, select objects will travel to Geneva and Hong Kong, followed by an exhibit at Christie’s New York in June.
Daphne Lingon, Head of Jewelry, Christie’s Americas, commented: “Ann Getty was a trained scientist whose personal collection of JAR reflected her innate curiosity and impeccable taste for jewelry that was both beautifully-crafted and evoked memories of her family and research trips abroad. Her jewels tell the story of a woman pursuing ideal beauty and a lifelong appreciation of craftspeople. Only works by JAR achieve the balance of nature, color, and form that she loved so much.”
Joel Arthur Rosenthal, JAR, remarked: “From the very beginning, this lady, you, dear Ann, imagined the future of my imagination, seeing and picking the cherries that became your collection…”
JAR’s masterfully crafted jewels are beloved by collectors as sculptural works of art. Evocative of 18th and 19th-century design, they draw inspiration from historic architecture, intricate textiles, art, and nature, and are often defined by their exquisite palette of signature pavé stones.
From the diamond and gem-set fleur-de-lys brooch reminiscent of a sublime medieval stained-glass window to the carved agate Zebra brooch adorned with a royal headdress, Ann Getty’s collection of JAR jewelry perfectly captures the artist’s early years of design and exploration and includes stunning examples of his most important creative themes.
Mrs. Getty loaned several jewels from her collection to major museums worldwide, including JAR’s blockbuster exhibition at London’s Somerset House in 2002, the Masterpieces of French Jewelry exhibit at the San Francisco Legion of Honor Museum in 2007, and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s historic JAR retrospective in 2013, the first time a living jeweler was granted the honor of a retrospective at the Museum.
Highlights from Twelve Jewels by JAR from the Estate of Ann Getty include the ‘Shell’ and ‘Tulip’ brooches, purchased from JAR in 1990 and 1991 respectively, and later loaned by Mrs. Getty for all three exhibitions. The seashell combines variously-sized rubies and spinels that evoke the smooth yet diverse landscape of the ocean’s floor. The parrot tulip brooch features smaller faceted rubies, diamonds, and green garnets which together create a lifelike brilliance, as though the blossom were newly plucked from the earth.
About Ann Getty
Ann Getty was born in 1941, the daughter of farmers in Northern California. She studied Biology and Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, which led to a lifelong passion for scientific and cultural exploration around the world that shaped her exquisite jewelry collection in subtle and personal ways:
- The Tulip brooch is a nod to Mrs. Getty’s Dutch heritage
- The Zebra brooch evokes her numerous anthropological digs across Africa
- The Fleur-de-Lys brooch is a testament to her respect for craftsmen and artisans
- There are many flora-inspired pieces, including brooches, earrings, and necklaces that allude to her love of botany and her mother’s gardens.
Mrs. Getty recognized and shared Mr. Rosenthal’s appreciation for historic design, nature, textiles, and art, becoming an early patron of his work. Her jewelry collection is a reflection of her intellectual curiosity and her journey as a learned, imaginative designer.