The sautoir from 1969 bought back by the Italian jewelry maison at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction Geneva for just over $1-million.
Supporting a gold pendant set with an emerald carved in the shape of a fruit and weighing 127.35 carats, the links are set with cabochon rubies, amethyst, citrines, topazes, turquoise and emeralds, enhanced with brilliant-cut diamonds. The 860mm piece can also be worn as two bracelets and a shorter necklace.
The angular geometry dominating this sautoir is common to Bvlgari's designs of the 1970s. During these years, the Italian maison was heavily inspired by Indian and Egyptian art. In this case, the emerald cabochon has a carved element in the shape of an Indian boteh motif or a paisley in the upper left corner. The choice of cabochons rather than faceted stones for the sautoir was a tribute to Indian influences too.
The sautoir has been known through an original picture published in Vogue magazine in March, 1970, and shot by one of the most famous fashion duos of the period, photographer Franco Rubartelli and his muse Veruschka. Later the jewel was acquired by an unknown collector and disappeared from public view.
For years Bvlgari has been eager to add this unique jewel for it’s Heritage Collection, which nowadays consists of around 800 pieces dating back to the second half of XIX – beginning of XXI centuries. And Sotheby’s Geneva auction finally turned victorious for the brand: the sautoir is coming back home, much to connoisseurs delight.