Bonhams New York appointed by the Danziger family, former owners of Cartier Paris, to auction collection of fine jewelry in its September sale

Fine Jewellery
19 Sep 2017
New York

New York- Fine jewelry from the personal collection of Gigi Guggenheim Danziger, wife of the former owner of Cartier Paris, will go under the hammer at Bonhams New York on September 19. The collection features 32 pieces of fine jewelry, with the earliest piece dating back to 1957. It includes a number of signed Cartier pieces from the 1960s and 1970s when the Danziger family owned Cartier Paris. This is the first time the jewelry has ever appeared at auction and is expected to capture interest given its fascinating provenance.

Gloria (Gigi) Guggenheim Danziger, is the wife of native New Yorker Edward J. Danziger. Edward, and his brother Harry Lee Danziger, were prolific film producers and created more than 140 feature films during the 1950s and 1960s. They also produced hundreds of hours of television from London's Elstree Studios which they founded in 1956. In 1958, at the peak of their productivity, the Danzigers acquired London's Mayfair hotel, Grosvenor hotel and the Metropole hotel in Monte Carlo. Ten years later, in 1968, the brothers negotiated a secret deal and became the new owners of Cartier Paris. As part of the deal, they also acquired Cartier shops in Monte Carlo, Cannes and Switzerland. The Danziger family intentionally kept their ownership quiet to continue to capitalize and maintain the Cartier name which, until then had been a family business. This decision was a business decision that proved prudent.

During their four-year ownership of Cartier Paris, the Danzigers opened Cartier stores in Hong Kong, Geneva and Munich, and Gigi amassed an enviable collection of jewelry which was further added to in the 1960s and 1970s.

Highlights in the collection include:

- A diamond necklace by Cartier (pictured above). This centers on three rectangular-shaped diamonds, weighing 1.92, 1.66 and 1.33 carats, set throughout with round brilliant-cut diamonds. This has a pre-sale estimate of US$30,000-50,000.

- A ruby and diamond brooch by Cartier. This centers a rectangular-shaped step-cut diamond, weighing 4.24 carats, within a cluster of pear-shaped rubies, accented by marquise-shaped diamonds. This was given to Gigi Guggenheim Danziger as an anniversary present and Gigi wore it to the London premiere of The Godfather. It has a pre-sale estimate of US$30,000-50,000.

- A sapphire and diamond brooch by Cartier. This centers a cushion-shaped modified step-cut, weighing approximately 7.10 carats, within a cluster of marquise and pear-shaped diamonds. Gigi was given this brooch by her husband in the South of France during a family vacation. It has a pre-sale estimate of US$30,000-40,000.

- A diamond three-stone ring. This features a round brilliant-cut diamond, weighing 3.17 carats, between two pear-shaped brilliant-cut diamonds, weighing 1.02 and 1.00 carats and is estimated at US$30,000-50,000.

- A diamond necklace by Cartier. This centers a round brilliant-cut diamond, weighing 3.17 carats, between two pear-shaped brilliant-cut diamonds, weighing 1.02 and 1.00 carats. This was one of Gigi Guggenheim Danziger's favorite diamond neckalces to wear and was given to her by her husband for a special birthday It has a pre-sale estimate of US$30,000-50,000.

- An 18k gold cuff bracelet by Cartier. Designed with openwork ovals and attributed to Dinh Van, the cuff has a pre-sale estimate US $4,000-6,000. Given Gigi Guggenheim Danziger's love of art and jewelry as soon as she saw the piece she was attracted to it and her husband bought it for her as a surprise and gave it to her over dinner that same night in the Monte Carlo Metropole.

James Danziger, son of Gigi Guggenheim Danziger, said: "My mother adores jewelry and always appreciated exceptional craftsmanship. She particularly loves diamonds, pearls, rubies, and sapphires and jewelry that makes a real artistic statement. All the jewelry in this collection was given to her by my father who had impeccable taste and always loved to see her wearing the jewels from Cartier Paris, the business he owned. As a result, the Cartier pieces in her collection have a special significance and have literally travelled the world, being worn by my mother at many of the glamorous events she and my father attended in Paris, Monte Carlo, Gstaad, and Hong Kong."

Susan Abeles, Head of Jewelry, Bonhams US, said: "We are honored to be appointed by the Danziger family to sell this important collection which has a wonderful provenance given the family's ownership of Cartier. Gigi Guggenheim Danziger's collection of jewels really reflect her signature style, elegance and sophistication. These jewels, just like its owner, have lived a very glamorous life and are charming and hold a special place in her history and also Cartier's. The late 1960 and early 1970s was a time of change in fashion and jewelry. Fashion was short and maxi long, colorful and patterned, and flowing, the colorless diamond classic jewelry of the early 1960s was replaced by gold jewelry towards the end of the decade. Colorful gemstones were used in contrast, and the overall size of creations increased. Several examples of this period are found in this collection."

Fine jewelry from the personal collection of Gigi Guggenheim Danziger, wife of the former owner of Cartier Paris will be sold at Bonhams New York as part of its Fine Jewelry sale on September 19th.

Full details of the lots to be auctioned will go online at the end of August and can be found here:

Bonhams sells more jewelry lots each year than any other international house and has more dedicated jewelry auctions annually.

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