By Brecken Branstrator
This bib necklace from Andrew Grima features triangular-cut citrines and smaller similarly cut diamonds set in yellow gold. It could sell for as much as $26,100 in September.
London--This fall, Bonhams is putting what it says is the largest private collection of jewelry from renowned designer Andrew Grima up on the auction block.

The auction house will offer 55 pieces of Grima jewelry as part of its Fine Jewellery sale on Sept. 20 in London. The current owner of the collection has chosen to remain anonymous.

Anglo-Italian jeweler Andrew Grima was regarded as one of the 20th century’s most daring and imaginative designers.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Grima didn’t learn his trade at art school; he was entirely self-taught and never trained at the jeweler’s bench. He created bold and unusual jewels that focused on aesthetic rather than just the carat weight of diamonds and gems.

By the late 1960s, Grima had become a favorite with the British royal family and the society jeweler of the time, winning many famous clients as well as awards and honors. He is the only jeweler to have been awarded the Duke of Edinburgh Prize for Elegant Design, and his service to industry was recognized with The Queen’s Award for Export.

He also won the De Beers Diamonds International Award a record 12 times and, in 1970, was granted a Royal Warrant from HM The Queen.

Since his death in 2007, his wife, Jojo, and daughter Francesca have continued to operate the family business.

The sale will include some of Grima’s earliest pieces made in the 1960s in London, a selection from his heyday in the 1970s, some from the ‘90s, and an assortment made just before his death a decade ago.

Highlights include pieces from his “About Time” watch collection for Omega--an innovative collections of watches that used gemstones as the watch “glass”--as well as works from the “Rock Revival” collection that incorporated large, uncut and unusual gemstone crystals.

A number of the lots featured in the upcoming sale were on display at Grima’s retrospective exhibition held on his 70th birthday in 1991 at Goldsmiths’ Hall in London.

“Andrew Grima’s work is distinct in terms of its design, quality and originality,” said Emily Barber, department director of the jewelry division at Bonhams. “He was essentially an artist whose medium happened to be jewelry. His designs capture the spirit of each era in which he worked yet are still immensely wearable and contemporary today. Each lot in this sale reveals the diversity and creativity of his work.”

Full details of the lots featured in the September Fine Jewellery sale will be available at the end of August.

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