Important Art Deco Oscar Heyman Earrings

We just got in a super tasty pair of earrings! They are just perfect (to me).  They have the elements of fine vintage jewelry, with lovely stones, and are wearable in every situation.  Comfy enough for everyday—some lucky lady will be able to wear them and make them her “signature”.

This pair of earrings was made by Oscar Heyman Brothers. Oscar Heyman is one of the very, very best jewelry designers/manufacturers in existence. Literally known as the “jeweler’s jeweler” they made jewelry for everyone including Tiffany, Cartier, Van Cleef etc etc. and the founders were trained in Faberge’s workshops in the late 19th century. Oscar Heyman was even the first non-French jewelers hired by Cartier!

The diamonds are square cut—specifically it is the carré cut. This is a vintage square that is cut similar to what we call calibré in colored stones—this means the stone is “cut to fit” the channel. In diamonds it was used to maximize the rough—asscher (square verging on an octagon) cuts were cut in the same period but asschers waste a ton of the rough. On smaller diamonds they often cut this way in the Edwardian and Art Deco period.

The calibré-cut sapphires frame the diamonds.

The point of these details is what??? Well, it emphasizes the intentionality of the design. It is meant to be elegant and classic—not flashy. The earrings have almost 8 carats of diamonds, but they are not rounds in a pavé setting… instead they are very streamlined and elegant. The pads on the earrings are tilted so you have a “left” and a “right” which is another detail that gives that extra “oomph” to the quality.

Oscar Heyman did not always sign their jewelry because so much of it was made for other jewelers… Tiffany etc. These are identifiable as Oscar Heyman not only because of the design but because of the details in the metalwork. The side of the hoops has a distinctive engraving with a line followed by a tiny circle that repeats along the edge.

When I bought them the dealer thought they were made in the 50’s… and if the diamonds hadn’t been cut this way I would have concurred… Lindsay also pointed out that the 1950’s featured more of the “spray” design (think of the iconic Harry Winston cluster) and all of this adds up to us thinking they are more late Art Deco. Pre-WWII, but close.

Princess Grace of Monaco, 1956

These are rare on multiple levels and once they sell they are gone… dang I love estate jewelry!

- Cristina

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