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Lot 292: DESC-A RUBY AND DIAMOND CLIP BY TRABERT & HOEFFER, MAUBOUSSIN,
Fine Jewels and Jewels for the Collector, Sale 93692 Nicoletta
December 14, 1993
New York, NY, USA
Description: REFLECTION, CIRCA 1945 of ribbon and scroll design, decorated with cabochon rubies and eight-and brilliant-cut diamonds inscribed: designed & executed for OLIVE LEEDS; signed: Trabert & Hoeffer, Mauboussin, Reflexion Olive Leeds, born Olive Hamilton, was married to Commander William B. Leeds, jr., son of the inventor of tin plate. They were well known for their lavish entertaining and grand lifestyle. During the many years of their marriage, they spent two months a year on Beekman Place in New York and the remaining ten months on their 300 foot yacht, Mona, served by a staff of fifty-eight. Olive Leeds was famous for her fabulous jewellery and received many pieces as gifts on special occasions from her husband. Most notable in her collection was the historic Nassak diamond, a 43 carat emerald-cut stone set in a ring, which was a sixth anniversary present. Several years after the death of Commander Leeds, Olive Leeds married James Brick II and the couple lived in the U.S. Virgin Islands until her death in January 1988. On June 14th 1988 Sotheby's New York sold jewels from the Estate of Olive Leeds and it was accompanied by a photograph of her in which she is seen wearing this clip as a Bracelet centre. The French Jewellery house of Mauboussin has been directed by the same family for more than 100 years. The firm was founded in 1827 by Monsieur Rocher. Jean Baptiste Noury, his assistant, assumed control of the business in 1869. In turn his nephew, George Mauboussin, joined the firm in 1876. It was a very successful combination of talents and at the end of 1922 it took the name of "Mauboussin, Successeur de Noury". This flourishing business was responsible for some of the most exciting and innovative creations of the Art Deco period. In 1936 they entered into a commercial partnership with Trabert & Hoeffer in America. The latter became Maubbousin's exclusive representatives in the U.S.A. They then introduced a unique line of jewellery for the American market. A revived interest in jewellery after the Great Depression popularised "Reflection -Your Personality in a Jewel". The new collection was a marriage of recent production innovations and old-school custom-made techniques. Casting allowed clients to mix and match pre-assembled modern motifs according to their particular tastes. Large colourful semi-precious stones, gold settings and smooth-sided curves characterised most pieces. For a similar lot see the catalogue of The Jewels from the Estate of Lydia Morrison Sotheby's New York, Thursday April 13, 1989, lot 534. Also see: Marguerite De Cerval Mauboussin Editions du Regard 1992 and Penny Proddow and Debra Healy, American Jewelry: Glamour and Tradition Rizzoli, 1987.