An American Art Deco Sapphire

An American Art Deco Sapphire

A Treasure from the Roaring Twenties

Head of Jewellery in London, Charlotte Peel, GG, takes a closer look at the impressive Art Deco Sapphire Pendant that led our July 2021 auction of Select Jewellery & Watches, exploring the history of the piece - from its origins in Sri Lanka to the home it found in 1920s Chicago before ending up in the UK.

 An American Art Deco pink sapphire, seed pearl and diamond pendant, 1920s | Sold for £195,000*

 An American Art Deco pink sapphire, seed pearl and diamond pendant, 1920s | Sold for £195,000*


The first thing to notice about this impressive Sri Lankan pink sapphire, seed pearl and diamond pendant is the size, with the sapphire weighing in at 25.39 carats. With no indications of heat treatment, the cushion-shaped sapphire has a lovely violet pink tone. The sapphire is set within a surround of seed pearls with a scalloped openwork frame and pendant loop millegrain-set with old single and rose-cut diamonds.

The pendant was formerly the property of Marija Barachutė. Marija who was born in Lithuania in 1911 before moving to Scotland with her family as a small child where her name was changed to Mary Barclay upon starting her schooling.

At the age of 16, Mary, as she was now known, left Glasgow on her own on a liner to America. She settled in Chicago and lived there for about five years as a flapper girl, leading a very interesting life and dressing very fashionably before returning to Scotland.


Marija Barachutė


The 1920s saw a change in how jewellery was designed and worn to previous decades. This piece could have been worn on a long chain or layered with long strands of pearl as was the style at the time. From the American design of the pendant, it can be assumed that Mary was given this pendant during her time in Chicago.

Originally thought to be a kunzite before it arrived at Lyon & Turnbull, the impressive gem was identified as an untreated sapphire by our specialist team. It went on to lead our London Select Jewellery & Watches auction after achieving £195,000*.



Auction Information



Thursday, 1st July 2021 | Live Online


See the full auction results ⇒



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