A peridot and gold ring, by Mitzi Cunliffe for Cartier, 1991
The step-cut peridot collet-set within a gold frame to an independent gold horseshoe-shaped band, signed Mitzi Cunliffe and Cartier mtg, New York City 1991, numbered, ring size O
The American sculptor, Mitzi Cunliffe (1918-2006), is perhaps best known for designing the iconic BAFTA mask. However, she was also a talented designer in a wide variety of media including the decoration of large buildings which she called "sculpture by the yard".
She trained in New York and Paris and in 1949 she met and married the English historian and academic Marcus Cunliffe and moved permanently to the UK. The next two decades proved to be both busy and creative and brought her widespread recognition. Many of her commissions were conceived in the garage of the family home near Manchester.
In 1955 the Guild of Television Producers asked her to create an award trophy. The result was a distinctive theatrical mask, which she referred to as the Jason Award after her son who was also born in 1955. The golden mask is now one of the most coveted awards in film and television. The Guild merged with the British Film Academy in 1958, eventually becoming BAFTA in 1976. The Academy presented Cunliffe with a lifetime achievement award in 1992.
Cunliffe went on to design for ceramics, textiles and jewellery. Several of her jewellery designs were included in the International Exhibition of Modern Jewellery in London in 1961. In the late 1980s and early 1990s she designed a series of rings that were executed by Cartier. The ring offered here is from this series and has never been offered at auction before.