Mackay Emerald Jewels | Berühmte Smaragde| Famous Gems Emeralds |
Ellin Mackay (1902-1988), journalist and novelist, married the famous American composer Irving Berlin in 1926. She was the daughter of Clarence Mackay, president of the American Post and Telegraph Company, and granddaughter of John Mackay, one of the discoverers of the famous Comstock Lode of silver in Nevada. Her Irish Catholic father was completely opposed to his daughter marrying the Orthodox Jewish Irving Berlin on religious grounds. Consequently, the couple married quietly in New York's Municipal Court. Ellin was barred from her family home by her father for her decision, which marked the start of the Berlins' 62-year marriage. Five years after her marriage, she was reconciled with her father.
After their first year of marriage, Irving Berlin gave this sautoir necklace mounted with emerald and diamonds to his wife Ellin. She is pictured above wearing this famous Cartier necklace, which was one of several commissions to Cartier from Berlin to mount emeralds from his wife's family's famous collection.
This necklace, with cluster motifs reminiscent of historical pieces, is composed of seven graduated square-cut and two pear-shaped emeralds set in circular and cushion-cut diamonds suspending a 60-carat rectangular-cut emerald with four shield-shaped diamonds accents, mounted in platinum.
The intensity of the emeralds yellow-green hue marks them as perfect examples of gems from the Muzo mine in Colombia, which produced the finest emeralds in the world.
Another Mackay emerald of 1168 carats was donated to the Smithsonian Institution in 1931 by Anna Case Mackay, the step-mother of Ellin Mackay.
Ellin also owned also this emerald brooch-clip from Cartier New York, ordered in 1937 in platinum with diamonds and emeralds, 5.46 x 4.9 cm. Now in the Cartier Collection Geneva.
On 8 October 2007, an important diamond and emerald sautoir was sold in Hong Kong by Sotheby's. It was described as an "IMPORTANT EMERALD AND DIAMOND SAUTOIR suspending a square antique step-cut emerald weighing approximately 47.60 carats, on an articulated chain set with brilliant- and step-cut diamonds together weighing approximately 19.15 carats, mounted in platinum, length approximately 450mm." Its provenance was given as Property formerly from the Estate of Irving Berlin and Ellin Mackay Berlin, and was previously sold by Sotheby's New York in April 1991.
It sold for $2,640,634 USD which included the buyer's premium.
Thank you to my dear Volker!
Sources: New York Times, Sotheby's, Smithsonian
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