Auctions

Hemmerle Jewels Fetch $1.4M at Sotheby’s Auction

AuctionsApr 26, 2021

Hemmerle Jewels Fetch $1.4M at Sotheby’s Auction

It marked the largest single-owner collection of jewels from the storied German jeweler.

Sotheby’s New York brought 19 Hemmerle jewels to the auction block last week, courtesy of the late philanthropist Michelle Smith.
New York—The largest single-owner collection of Hemmerle jewels hit the auction block at Sotheby’s New York Thursday afternoon.

“A Vision: Property from the Collection of Michelle Smith,” garnered $1.4 million for the Hemmerle collection, far exceeding its pre-sale estimate of $823,000, with 90 percent of lots selling above their high estimates.

The 19-piece collection belonged to the late philanthropist and art patron Michelle Smith.

She was the daughter of the renowned businessman, real estate developer, and philanthropist Robert Smith and artist Clarice Smith.

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A businesswoman in her own right, Smith served as the vice president of product design and development for Charles E. Smith Residential Realty and its successor, Archstone-Smith.

“Michelle Smith’s vision is epitomized in her jewelry collection, telling the story of a woman who, when she decided she liked a certain style or maker, explored and collected in depth,” said Sotheby’s.

A pair of Hemmerle copper and diamond ear studs sold above estimate for $201,600.
A pair of Hemmerle copper and diamond ear studs sold above estimate for $201,600.


The standout was a pair of copper and diamond ear studs, featuring two old European-cut diamonds weighing 8.81 and 8.80 carats. The pair sold for $201,600, surpassing its $100,000 to $150,000 estimate.

This bronze and colored diamond ring was among the top lots, selling for $176,400.
This bronze and colored diamond ring was among the top lots, selling for $176,400.


A bronze and colored diamond ring, set with an 8.05-carat, cushion-cut, light yellowish brown diamond sold for $176,400, more than double its pre-sale estimate

Hemmerle has been known to craft jewelry from out-of-the-ordinary materials, including iron and antique artifacts.

This aluminum and diamond ring showcases Hemmerle’s use of unusual metals. It sold for $151,200.
This aluminum and diamond ring showcases Hemmerle’s use of unusual metals. It sold for $151,200.


One such piece, an aluminum and fancy deep brownish greenish yellow diamond ring, sold for $151,200, soaring past the $35,000 to $45,000 estimate.

This necklace, featuring fossilized sea urchin, sold for $32,760.
This necklace, featuring fossilized sea urchin, sold for $32,760.


A bronze and fossilized sea urchin necklace sold for $32,760, more than double the low-end of its $15,000 to $25,000 estimate.

This cuff bracelet, set with peridot and tourmaline, sold for $60,4800.
This cuff bracelet, set with peridot and tourmaline, sold for $60,4800.


A brass, wood, peridot, and tourmaline cuff bracelet sold for $60,480, just above the high-end of its $40,000 to $60,000 estimate.

It’s the largest private collection of jewels from the German jeweler seen at auction since a 2019 Sotheby’s auction.

Hemmerle was founded in 1893 in Munich by brothers Joseph and Anton Hemmerle.

Alongside Hemmerle, “A Vision: Property from the Collection of Michelle Smith” also featured lots from Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Bulgari, Suzanne Belperron, René Boivin, and Graff.

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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