In the 1953 film Calamity Jane, she sang about her love for the mystic mountains of the Black Hills of Dakota. Lot 61 in The Jewellery Auction on 13 January is a product of those beautiful Black Hills.
French goldsmith Henri LeBeau travelled to America during the Gold Rush to try and make his fortune. Legend has it that his wagon was attacked when he reached the mystic mountains of the Black Hills and he became lost in the wilderness. One night he had a dream about grape leaves floating along a mountain stream which then turned into reality when he stumbled across this very sight the following day. Due to this mystical mirage, the iconic grape clusters and leaves known as Black Hills jewellery was born.
Lot 61 is a necklace and earring set which features grape cluster motifs with pink and green gold leaves. Pure gold is alloyed with copper and silver to produce these striking colours. The law states that any jewellery described as Black Hills Gold must be manufactured there and initially the pieces were created with gold mined in South Dakota. Due to the recent closure of the Homestake Mine, the gold can now be sourced elsewhere.
Calamity Jane certainly wouldn’t think that this necklace and earring set, estimated at only £40 - £70, was a ‘nickel in the goldmine’ so ‘whip, crack, away’ to the jewellery sale on the 13th of January!
McTear’s sells more jewellery than any other traditional auction house in the dedicated jewellery auctions that take place twice monthly, run concurrently live online on a platform that attracts six million visitors annually from over 120 countries worldwide.