Jewellery, Watches and Objects of Vertu (26 March 2019)

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Date of Auction: 26th March 2019

Sold for £6,500

Estimate: £3,000 - £4,000

An 18ct gold and diamond set shell ring and matching earclips, by Andrew Grima, the ring bezel realistically modelled as a clam shell, with two claw set brilliant-cut diamond accents, to a tapered textured angular band, signed ‘GRIMA’ and stamped with maker’s mark ‘A G Ltd’, hallmarked for London, 1972, the matching earclips hallmarked for London, 1973, signed ‘GRIMA’ and with maker’s mark ‘A G Ltd’, with signed Grima cases, ring size M, earclip length 28mm. £3,000-£4,000

Footnote

Andrew Grima (31 May 1921-26 December 2007) was born in Rome to Italian-Maltese parents. Raised in London, he studied mechanical engineering at the University of Nottingham. He joined the Royal Engineers, serving in Burma during World War II. After the war, he started working in his father-in-law’s jewellery firm in London. In 1951 when his father-in-law died, Grima took over the business and sold it to a stone dealer in Knightsbridge, on condition that he stayed on as a designer.

Entirely self taught, his limitless imagination led him to create bold and striking designs - each piece being hand wrought, and typically only creating one of each design. In 1960 Grima’s talent was spotted by the art director at Goldsmiths’ Hall, Graham Hughes, who introduced his protégé to many of the rich and famous people who were to become his clients. In 1966 his success was sealed when Prince Philip chose one of his pieces, a stunning ruby brooch, as a present for the Queen, 1966 also being the year that Grima received his royal warrant. In the late 1960s he opened his exclusive gallery in Jermyn Street, Mayfair - the opening event being hosted by Lord Snowdon, then married to Princess Margaret, and his career continued to escalate, attracting a clientele of royalty and society jet-setters of the day.

Winner of numerous awards for his contribution to the jewellery industry, including the Duke of Edinburgh Prize for Elegant Design in 1966, and the De Beers Diamonds International Awards - awarded 13 times, (more than any other jeweller), today, Grima is recognised as being one of the great modernist jewellery designers of the 20th century.