Erte's "Sophistication necklace/brooch has to be seen with your own eyes to be appreciated. Not in any book, not on any website, and though I hate to say it, not even in our photos can one ever see the true magnificence of this piece.
When it arrived, my heart raced in anticipation of opening the simple jewelry case in which it had been kept after the original owners took it down from the glass wall mounting in which it had been on display in their home. After all, it is a work of art. And when I took it outside into the brilliant sunlight, the glitter from the hundreds of tiny diamonds amidst the sterling silver and gold was blinding. I knew I'd never wear it. I don't go to events where this kind of magnificence is worn. But every so often, I took it out of the safe, gazed at it longingly and lovingly and pictured myself wearing it as the only adornment to a strapless black velvet gown. Aah.
"Like a jagged sheet of ice flecked with accents of gold and precious stones, the necklace 'Sophistication' evokes the cold beauty of the Arctic" writes the author of the book, " Erte, Art to Wear". This is true. Further, writes the author, "Erte based this design on a 1925 costume for George White's 'Scandals', which was later recreated as the serigraph, "Arctic Sea". Without a doubt, there is something chilling about "Sophistication" but it's more like the spine-tingling of beholding something of rare beauty. And that's what this Necklace/brooch is.
The necklace section measures 9" each side and varies in width from 1/4" to 1/2" as it graduates toward the brooch. The brooch is 3.5" long by 1" wide at its widest point. The entire piece weighs 89.3 grams. Not only is this necklace/brooch a piece of art: it's a masterpiece of construction. To separate the brooch from the necklace is no easy task, with safety clips on both sides of the pin in groove clasps, but even worn alone, the brooch is fabulous.
The underside of the necklace bears all the markings a collector is looking for: ©CFA, 14k, Sterling Silver, and Erte's scripted name appears on the Mother-of-Pearl face. But, here's the truly collectible part of this particular Erte "Sophistication": it's an ARTIST PROOF! It's stamped AP 9.
You may have noticed several "Sophistication" necklace/brooch pieces being sold on the net. The last time I checked, prices ranged from $5000 - $13,000. But none of these were artist proofs. So why am I not charging more for this one? Because it appears the owners have had to replace a couple of the onyx beads, and it looks like one is missing. Apart from that, this Artist Proof #9 Erte "Sophistication", State 1, is in superb condition and comes to you from an Erte lover and collector.
Antique, Estate Diamond and Gemstone Jewelry: Rings, Necklaces, Bracelets. Cartier, Erte, Tiffany
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