September 15, 2021 10:00 EST

Art and Design

 
  Lot 64
 

64

African and Oceanic Jewelry Owned by Louise Nevelson
Group of Seven Necklaces, 20th century

Comprising four African necklaces, the first composed of glass beads, carved stone, bronze pendant, and natural fibers, the other three composed of glass and/or carved coral and shell beads and natural fibers; and three necklaces from Oceania (possibly Papua New Guinea), composed of worked shells, boar tusks, and natural fibers.

L: 18 in. (longest necklace, extended)

Provenance

African necklace with bronze pendant and three Oceanic necklaces: Louise Nevelson (1899-1988), to the Estate of Louise Nevelson, to Maria Nevelson
Three African necklaces: Louise Nevelson (1899-1988), to Maria Nevelson.

Sold for $1,512
Estimated at $2,000 - $3,000


 

Comprising four African necklaces, the first composed of glass beads, carved stone, bronze pendant, and natural fibers, the other three composed of glass and/or carved coral and shell beads and natural fibers; and three necklaces from Oceania (possibly Papua New Guinea), composed of worked shells, boar tusks, and natural fibers.

L: 18 in. (longest necklace, extended)

Provenance

African necklace with bronze pendant and three Oceanic necklaces: Louise Nevelson (1899-1988), to the Estate of Louise Nevelson, to Maria Nevelson
Three African necklaces: Louise Nevelson (1899-1988), to Maria Nevelson.

Note

Louise Nevelson, born in 1899 in Pereiaslav, Russia, emigrated to the United States as a child, and later established herself as an artist in New York. Known for her large-scale wall and outdoor sculptures, she also was known for her skilled mixing of ethnic and couture clothing in layers, collaging herself much like her sculptures. According to her gallery dealer Arne Glimcher, Louise once said, “I’m an atmospheric dresser.” Her love for things imperfect is reflected in the ethnographic and modernist jewelry offered in this sale. The necklaces and pendants provide a snapshot of the kinds of things Nevelson collected and wore in daily life.

In 1977, Nevelson made Eleanor Lambert’s “Best Dressed International Women” list. Her style and freedom to dress as an individual continue to influence women today in their own fashion choices. The following quote perhaps best sums up her outlook on dressing:

“When the sculptor (Louise Nevelson) came to his salon, Scaasi showed her a series of black suits and other conservative clothes. After a while, she stopped him abruptly. ‘I’m not a Scarsdale matron,’ she told him. He was taken aback, but recovered. ‘Of course you’re not,’ he told her. ‘You’re the Empress of Art and we will dress you as an Empress.’ He swiftly switched to brocade dresses and other more flamboyant designs.’” (Arnold Scaasi, Scaasi, A Cut Above, p. 79)

A photograph of Louise Nevelson wearing one of the Oceanic necklaces was sold at RR Auction, Boston and Amherst, Massachusetts, August 10, 2011, Lot 576.

Images *

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