Jewels from the collection of Victoria, Lady de Rothschild will go on sale next week at Dreweatts, a British auctioneer based in Newbury, a market town about 60 miles west of London. Modernist design lovers, it’s time to dust off your paddles (sort of).
Known for her impeccable taste, philanthropy and connections to high society, the famous American socialite was born Victoria Schott in 1949. She grew up in Florida, the daughter of an American real estate developer, Lewis Schott, and his wife, Marcia Lou Whitney Schott. , descendant of the Daughters of the American Revolution. After earning a degree in economics from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Victoria married British banker Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and together they returned to England, where they established homes in London and the house of the Rothschild family in Buckinghamshire.
Victoria passed away in January 2021, leaving behind an extensive collection of furniture, art and decor. Part of her personal collection was auctioned online at Christie’s in November and December, while a selection of her silverware and jewelry will go on sale on March 8 and 9 during the jewelry sale, silverware, watches and luxury accessories from Dreweatts.
“Dreweatts was asked to sell part of its estate which was centered around its collection of mostly modern silverware and a small selection of antique silverware,” said James Nicholson, Vice President of Jewelry, Silver and Watches at Dreweatts. . Robb Report. “At the same time, we were presented with a group of jewellery, which we thought complimented modern silver enormously, as both jewelery and silver were collected by Victoria from the early 2000s when she developed a very keen interest in modern jewelry and silver designers, and she built a fascinating, yet highly curated and disciplined collection.
The sale includes 550 lots, including 120 jewels, and 56 of these lots come from the Victoria, Lady de Rothschild collection.
For all her wealth and easy access to the finest luxury homes, Victoria embraced a more art-centric style of jewelry that stands out for its design, as opposed to its intrinsic value.
“Victoria certainly wasn’t drawn to high jewelry, brands, or large, significant stones,” Nicholson says. “Her taste was very much for a simple but disciplined look. She was very attracted to emerging designers who made very individual, yet extremely chic, modernist jewelry.
“It was linked to his interest in modern goldsmiths, potters and ceramists, whose works are also part of the Dreweatts sale, and who were at the forefront of 21st century design and craftsmanship,” adds Nicholson.
Highlights of the sale include pieces made in Italy by British workshop jeweler Jacqueline Ryan, such as an 18-karat gold and lapis lazuli necklace (lot 375) that illustrates recurring themes of repetition and signature. of movement in her work, as well as five of the pieces by IBU (Irena Borzena Ustjanowski), a Polish/Ukrainian American modernist designer, including a dramatic gold disc pendant on a chunky link necklace (lot 386).
“There are quite a few lots of Elsa Peretti silverware and tablewear for Tiffany & Co, up for sale,” Nicholson says. “Elsa Peretti’s love of natural forms and groundbreaking style appealed to Victoria very much, as did their shared love of traditional Bali and Japanese craftsmanship, especially wickerwork and basketry .”
This interest is best represented by lot 367, a woven gold bamboo bag with a black silk lining designed by Peretti in 1980.
Victoria was, by all accounts, a master of stagecraft, especially when it came to creating tablescapes. “The drink trays of all his houses will be etched in my memory for many years to come,” wrote his longtime friend, Virginia Fraser, in a tribute on the Dreweatts website.
“Victoria’s iconic Baccarat decanters would be proud; around them, a cluster of delicate early 20th century glasses engraved with the Rothschild crest. Highly polished Elsa Peretti silver condiments and mother-of-pearl spoons would be ready for the preparation of cocktails and various delicacies like caviar and creme fraiche spread over grilled blinis.
“That same inimitable style inspired the way Victoria dressed,” Fraser added. “Her simple and elegant way of presenting herself, almost Japanese in its restraint, allowed her to wear Philip Treacy hats and trademark modernist necklaces; Angela Pintaldi and Jacqueline Ryan with her lapis lazuli stick theme were among her favorites.