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Jewellery and precious stones

Set in rings, earrings, bracelets, neck laces, brooches or pins, all the sparkle of these gems is revealed in jewellery and precious stones auctions.
"tiffany’s! Cartier ! Harry winston ! … diamonds are a girl’s best friend," sang marilyn monroe.
And so are emerald, saphirs and rubies. While diamonds are forever, pearl necklaces and strings are also available today in these online sales of jewellery and precious stones, particularly fine pearls, now increasingly rare.
These nacreous balls with their creamy, pinkish iridescence rival with fine stones: purple amethysts, lagoon-blue aquamarines, blood-red garnets, azure tinted moonstones and shimmering opals.
But on drouot, jewellery auctions do not only aim to delight the ladies. Style and finery also come in masculine form, particularly as elegant cufflinks. These male jewellery items transform them (equality dictates!) Into trophy men…


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ÉCOLE DE QUITO DU XVIIIe SIÈCLE - The marriage proposal Canvas 77.7 x 96.5 cm - 30 9/16 x 38 in. The Wedding Proposal, oil on canvas PROVENANCE Collection Louis Hermann (1877 - 1959), presumed obtained by his sister Amélie (1883 - 1954) and brother-in-law Enrique Freymann (1888 - 1954), cultural attaché in Mexico, then by descent. We would like to thank Carlos Duarte Gaillard † director of the Caracas Museum of Colonial Art, and Gérard Priet for their invaluable help in drafting this notice, based on the information provided. Against an extremely sober background of cloudy sky and uneven ground, three figures stand out: a young white woman accompanied on either side by two Indians. Pale-skinned, richly dressed and holding a Castilian rose in her hand, the woman, who can be identified as a noblewoman by her luxurious appearance, seems to be gesturing to receive the requests of the man who has come to introduce himself to her. The llama accompanying the man identifies him as a muleteer, while the lace-trimmed garments beneath his black suit suggest that he has taken particular care with his attire. This attention to detail echoes the choice of clothing made by the other woman on the left, who, despite a more sober ensemble than her companion, is wearing a variety of jewels, including a brooch - a tupu (Inca jewel) - and ornaments in her hair and around her wrists, as well as lace. This almost theatrical performance must surely be seen as a marriage proposal scene. The man, accompanied by his fellow laborer, comes to ask the rich mistress of the young servant on the left for her hand in marriage. Interestingly, this is probably not a caste painting. Indeed, in pinturas de castas - mainly Mexican - a relationship of dominance is established between the particularly light-skinned character(s) and the particularly dark-skinned character(s) (Fig. 1). In addition to skin color, height also differs, and on the same level, Europeans appear taller than natives; similarly, white people are much more lavishly adorned, reinforcing the contrast with the modesty and sobriety of local dress. This can be seen in the work of Vicente Albán, a painter active in Quito at the end of the 18th century (Fig. 1-2). Nor is there any question in our painting of depicting local flora and fauna to satisfy a certain scientific curiosity on the other side of the Atlantic. Here, if there is a relationship of domination, it has more to do with the social position between master and servant, than with a hierarchy established on the basis of ethnic origins. Here, the white woman becomes the recipient of the muleteer's request, the intercessor of the desired union. Moreover, at the end of the 18th century, it was extremely rare to see Indians represented in Ecuador. A few examples can be found in the collections of the San Francisco Museum in Quito (Fig. 3), depicting a Franciscan baptizing Indians identifiable by their feathered headdresses, as well as in the works cited by Albán, but these examples are extremely rare and outnumbered by works with a Marian theme. Very early on, it was the cult of the Virgin Mary that took deep and lasting root during the evangelization of the South American populations by the Spanish conquistadors. It is also interesting to note that a school of sculpture developed in Ecuador at this time, whose works are among the most highly prized in the corpus of South American colonial art. The singularity of the scene depicted, the extreme attention paid to the various elements of representation of the characters, fabrics and ornaments, contribute to the exceptional character of the work. Unquestionably unique among the other known works of 18th-century Ecuadorian art, it is a marvellous example whose full historical and symbolic significance remains to be explored.

Estim. 40,000 - 50,000 EUR