As I was going through my pile of unread magazines this weekend, I saw a picture of this gorgeous brooch heralding an auction at Sotheby’s featuring a record 37 pieces of jewelry by the famed sculptor, Alexander Calder.
I first fell in love with Alexander Calder’s jewelry at a retrospective of his work at the National Gallery of Art in 1998. So, off I went!
Most people are more familiar with Calder’s mobiles
(which are often larger than their delicate-looking structure would suggest),
or his stabiles, many of which were designed to go outside.
These large pieces are so perfectly balanced that I was able to make them bobble & turn just by blowing on them.
(That is, until a museum guard asked me to stop blowing on the art. Did I mentioned they were designed to go outside?)
The jewelry at auction today comes from the estate of Hope Makler, a Philadelphia gallerist who was a good friend to and patron of Alexander Calder.
The whimsy of Calder’s sculptures carries over into his jewelry in pieces like this loopy, spikey piece worn by Angelica Houston titled… wait for it…
The Jealous Husband.
or these dramatic pieces.
While almost all the pieces of Alexander Calder’s jewelry at this morning’s Sotheby’s auction went for at least $100k more than their pre-sale estimates,
and many pieces went for at least 10 times their estimated values, the big winner of the day was this pair of earrings:
Estimated at $60,000-$80,000, they ended up selling for
$1.2 million dollars. (I can only imagine how happy the members of the Makler family must have been when they saw those numbers!)
In addition to jewelry, Sotheby’s was also selling several Alexander Calder paintings, mobiles and stabiles.
For more images visit Sotheby’s
If you’d like to make your own mobile, check out this great post by Molly Corrine, featuring mobile making instructions from a 1954 issue of Popular Science “How to Make a Mobile”