Imperial and Precious: the Exceptional Private Collection of Mrs B


For once, it is not about precious stones, but about jewellery-making expertise. Tajan offers a unique collection of 138 precious objects… All are in exceptional condition.


« It was one of the selection criteria used by the collectors,” explains expert Jean-Norbert Salit.
They only bought what was in perfect condition. »





The oldest jewellery is a mother-of-pearl drageoir studded with gold dots. It dates from the 1730s, and is followed by jewellery with virtuoso chasing that marked the various stylistic periods of the 19th century. A set in granulated gold and intaglios includes two bracelets, a necklace, a brooch, a comb and earrings. It evokes the antique inspirations of the goldsmiths of the First Empire. It is by Jean-Baptiste Leblond, who at the same time worked on the creation of the crown for the Queens of Bavaria. The set was a gift from the young Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria, who made a stopover in Strasbourg in March 1810 on her way to France to marry Napoleon I. Twenty years later, a Parisian goldsmith created a fan frame in blond horn. In the troubadour style, it is a perfect illustration of the neo-Gothic fashion favoured by the Duchess of Berry, among others. A necklace of fine pearls, emeralds and enamel, with a rectangular tourmaline as the central pendant, is by Carlo Giuliano, one of the masters of the neo-Renaissance movement of the late 19th century. Several pieces, including a bracelet, a sautoir and a brooch, all very “Notre-Dame de Paris”, bear the hallmarks of Jules Wièse or his son Louis. Jules, who had worked as a Tatelier for Froment-Meurice, enjoyed a certain success at the 1855 Universal Exhibition. His son Louis succeeded him, but as the two men worked together and the latter took over some of the former’s designs, it is sometimes difficult to attribute creations to one or the other. Much closer to home, the collection includes several pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels, Black Starr and Frost, Chaumet, Cartier and Langlois. This collection and the catalogue compiled by the two Tajan experts. Victoire Winckler and Jean-Norbert Salit, are a magnificent masterclass in French jewellery from 1730 to 1920. The following day, Tajan included another rare item in its fine jewellery auction: a snuffbox given by Tsar Nicholas II to Dimitri Stancioff, a Bulgarian diplomat who represented his country at the International Hague Conference in 1899. A highly refined, purely decorative object, it is in blue-enamelled gold set with emerald cabochons and the double-faced eagle of the Romanovs in diamonds.


By Vincent Meylan, Point de Vue / Image du Monde, No. 82, September/October/November 2023, Auctions section, “Les incontournables de la rentrée”, p42-43.


Enamelled gold snuffbox with a double-headed diamond eagle presented by Tsar Nicholas II to Dimitri Stancioff, a Bulgarian diplomat.




CARTIER – 1927 rare gold beauty set enamelled in the imitation of lapis lazuli




1. Mother-of-pearl and gold drageoir dating from the 1730s | 2. Romantic bracelet with portrait of Princess Thérèse de Tour et Taxis | 3. Necessaire in gold, diamonds and enamel imitating lapis lazuli, dated 1925, signed Van Cleef & Arpels.




4. Three-lobed gold gargoyle brooch by Jules Wièse | 5. This set of intaglios mounted in gold was created by Jean-Baptiste Leblond. It was presented by Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria to the wife of the mayor of Strasbourg on her arrival in France | 6. Gold bracelet set with a cat’s eye dating from 1860.









Tuesday 5 December 2023 at 7pm
Tajan, 37 rue des Mathurins, 75008 Paris


Victoire Winckler | Director of the Jewellery & Watchmaking Department
+33 1 53 30 30 66 | [email protected]


Jean-Norbert Salit | Jewellery Expert
+33 1 53 30 30 77 | [email protected]


Alix Ricard | Jewellery Specialist
+33 1 53 30 30 29 | [email protected]