A belle époque natural pearl and diamond necklace, Theodore B. Starr, 1912. Photo Bonhams.
comprising eighty-one graduated round pearls, measuring approximately 7.2 to 4.3mm., completed by a marquise-shaped diamond clasp; signed T.B. Starr Inc., with signed case; diamond weighing approximately: 3.50 carats; mounted in platinum; length: 18 1/2in. Sold for US$ 110,500 (€98,678)
Property sold on behalf of the Hermitage Foundations
Accompanied by GIA report #5141525165, dated March 21, 2012, stating: predominantly natural saltwater pearls, no indications of treatment.
Accompanied by a copy of the original receipt from Theodore B. Starr from November 1912.
In 1908 William and Florence Knapp Sloane began the construction on their Arts & Crafts summer retreat on the Lafayette River in Norfolk, Virginia. Interestingly, Florence Sloane was a descendant of William Sloane Coffin, Sr. (former president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art). Over the next thirty years, under the artistic supervision of Florence, Hermitage was transformed into their permanent forty-two room residence with twelve acres of beautiful gardens. In 1936 their home became the Hermitage Museum and Gardens, and a year later the Hermitage Foundation was created. Florence remained in the house until her death in 1953. The Museum holds a rich eclectic collection of art, which spans over 5000 years and includes objects ranging from a Neolithic jade cong to Spanish icons and hand painted glass windows from German and American paintings. Additionally the Museum houses a Visual Arts School and working artist studios. The collection, home, and gardens reflect Florence Sloane’s genuine capacity to love, understand and appreciate the arts from all disciplines, and her ability to acquire and incorporate these works into her life.
William Sloane purchased this necklace in November 1912, presumably as a Christmas gift for his wife Florence, from the New York City store of Theodore B. Starr, manufacturer and retailer of fine jewelry, silver, and stationary. Six years later, Starr sold its inventory to Reed & Barton, but continued their business, finally closing their doors in 1923. The jewelry that Starr offered their patrons was consistently beautifully designed and crafted. This necklace on offer is a classical example of their business tenet to offer superior quality well matched, high luster, blemish free strand of natural pearls, accented with a millegrain set diamond clasp.