An antique diamond necklace,
Lot 6
An antique diamond necklace,
Sold for US$ 19,520 inc. premium
Auction Details
Fine Jewellery New York
19 Oct 2010 13:00 EDT

Auction 18382
Lot Details
Property from the estate of Blanche Thebom. Charities benefiting from the Blanche Thebom Trust are the Santa Fe Opera, the Merola Opera Program, and the Nature Conservancy, among others
An antique diamond necklace, circa 1880
designed as elaborate graduated openwork sections of rose-cut diamonds in a floral motif, completed by a (later) gold backchain; sections can be converted to brooches and earrings with fittings provided; accompanied by an associated pair of earclips; with (later) fitted box; mounted in fourteen karat gold; length: 17 1/4in. (tiara and some brooch fittings deficient)


  • Ms. Blanche Thebom was one of the great operatic mezzos of the postwar
    era. Making her concert debut in 1941, she became the leading dramatic
    mezzo-soprano of the Metropolitan Opera for 22 years and created the
    American premiere performances of Baba the Turk in Igor Stravinsky's
    The Rake's Progress, the Mother in Strauss' Arabella, and Mére Marie in
    Francisc Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites.

    In her impressive 22 seasons with the Met she appeared in 356
    performances, 28 roles and 27 works. She performed in various opera
    houses in America and Europe with great success. Ms. Thebom was the
    first American artist to sing at the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow, and had two
    command performances before the Queen of England.

    Blanche Thebom is also remembered for her Dorabella in the historic
    production directed by Alfred Lunt of Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte, and for her Brangäne on Flagstad/Wilhelm Furtwängler recording of Tristan und Isolde.

    In 1967, Ms. Thebom was appointed head of the Southern Regional Opera
    Company in Atlanta; then in 1968, she was appointed director of the opera
    workshop of San Francisco State University. She had an elegant presence
    that impressed everyone who met her.

    Blanche Thebom was admired during her illustrious career for the rich
    maturity of her voice, her face and figure, her profound acting ability
    and innate musical intelligence, and even her beautiful tresses (which
    reached a length of 6 ½ ft.!). She left an indelible memory as one of
    the last great Divas.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note this necklace has been modified extensively with solder and can no longer be converted to earclips and earrings. The fittings are present, but the piece does not come apart anymore due to the solder.
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