A Noble Jewel by Sterle at Sotheby's Geneva Auction

 

Diamond Bracelet by Sterle Diamond Bracelet by Sterle, a noble jewel available at Sotheby's Geneva Noble Jewels Auction in November. Photo courtesy Sotheby's.

 

Sotheby's Geneva brings to auction an astonishing array of gorgeous jewels at their Magnificent & Noble Jewels auction. Scheduled for November 15th, the sale promises a carefully curated selection of jewels designed by the most prestigious names in jewelry. One such jewel, as shown above, is a gorgeous diamond and platinum bracelet by Sterle.

 

Sterle Bracelet

This scrumptious jewel consists of four strands of diamond-encrusted platinum scrunched in the center by a diamond and platinum X. Another platinum X, also inlaid with diamonds, serves as a decoration over the clasp.

The four lines of diamonds run parallel to each other, crossing at the center X. Two of them are channel set with baguette diamonds. The other two feature round brilliant diamond in prong settings. In similar fashion, the two X decorations echo the design in smaller round diamonds and smaller baguettes.

Sterle designed this stunning diamond in the 1960s. Listed as Lot 310, curators expect the bracelet to realize $70-90,000. Of course, I believe the inherent value of the name Sterle outweighs the material value of the diamonds.

 

Sterle Style

Perhaps the name Pierre Sterle sounds novel to you. In fact, I must confess this bracelet is the first creation by the designer that I've ever seen. For this reason, Fred Leighton calls him "one of the most important jewelry designers you've never heard of."

Pierre opened an upper story atelier in 1943, just off the Place Vendome in Paris. He chose to serve only the elite of the elite, royals and jet-setting socialites who found their way to his shop by word of mouth.

The elusive designer specialized in the manipulation of gold to the point that his jewels brimmed with life. Flower rings and brooches the neighbor could have picked from his garden. Birds that took flight. Golden shells enameled in white and inset with diamonds that might have washed up on shore, a home for barnacles.

Sinuous braids of granulated gold, studded with leafy pendants studded in diamonds. Ribbons and tassels tied in gold, diamonds, and pearls. Gold, diamonds, and pearls fashioned into dragon talons, dragon eggs, and other fantastical creations.

Of course, he also created a host of jewels set with baguette and brilliant cut white diamonds like this bracelet. Exquisite retro designs crafted in white diamonds. Turban rings, ribbon necklaces, diamond fringe rings, diamond leaf necklaces. The beauty emerges endlessly, yet his name is not on the tip of our tongues.

 

Who is Pierre Sterle?

Born at the turn of the 20th century, Pierre came from a family of bankers. The tragic loss of his father to war prompted a change of residence. Now in the charge of his uncle, Pierre learned his uncle's trade - jewelry, of course.

In 1934, he began designing jewelry for the big names of that time, such as Ostertag, Boucheron, and Chaumet. In 1939, he started crafting select pieces for individuals. His first personal client was the French writer, Colette, author of Gigi and Claudine.

In 1943, he moved his operations to avenue de l'Opera, a stone's throw from Place Vendome. He remained exclusive in his approach, which only seemed to heighten his appeal. Of course, his exquisite works practically sold themselves.

Eventually, he received commissions from kings, including King Farouk of Egypt who asked him to fashion a crown for his queen. He also received commissions from the maharani of Baroda.

Though forced to sell his business in 1976, Pierre came full circle. Chaumet bought his company and hired him as a technical consultant. Evidently, he maintained this connection to nearly the end.

 

I hope you have enjoyed learning about one of jewelry history's best kept secrets. I surely enjoyed writing about the life and style of Pierre Sterle.

In addition to the prestigious jewels Pierre made, Sotheby's offers diamonds of impeccable quality and prestigious gems from important and royal provenance. For more information, please visit Sotheby's website.