A selling exhibition dedicated to men’s jewelry at Sotheby’s is coming at the end of the month, Town & Country can exclusively reveal. It is the first of its nature for the auction house, but, according to Frank Everett, Sotheby’s Vice Chairman of Jewelry and brooch advocate, it’s been a long time coming.
“The best way to look at its history is through art portraits throughout the ages, Everett tells T&C. “You’ll notice that men wore more or just as much jewelry as women, such as the nobility in Europe or India. The popularity of men’s jewelry ebbs and flows, and we’re at this point where every guy in the city is wearing pearls and every star on the red carpet is wearing a brooch.”
To Everett’s point, men’s jewelry has signaled class and status throughout history. The ancient Egyptians, for example, used rings, bracelets, and headpieces made of gold and rare stones as a talisman of power, protection, and good luck. Today, jewelry for men is the trend du jour with celebrities like Timothee Chalamet and Harry Styles leading the way. This past Oscars, Ke Huy Quan, Paul Mescal, and Michael B. Jordan donned brooches to complete their black-tie looks. And at the Met Gala, Cai Xukun wore layered chains over his tie, while Jeremy Pope donned a diamond necklace.
For the Boys: A Jewelry Exhibition is essentially a walkthrough of this history lesson made up of 100 jewelry pieces with price tags ranging from $3,000 to $300,000. There is a nod to the past with vintage aquamarine brooches and rings from the 20th century Art Deco movement, but a zest for the contemporary is also clear with gold chains and bracelets from brands like Chrome Hearts. A selection of David Yurman accessories will be available, one of which mimics the seals in Ancient Roman times named Intaglio Signet Ring that will be on sale for $75,000. Shaun Leane’s diamond Serpent Trace Couture Necklace echoes the spine corset made for Alexander McQueen and will be on sale for $56,000.
“This curation of jewelry is so personal. I was first thinking of ‘what is men’s jewelry? All jewelry is for everyone.’ I got in a headspin,” Everett says. “But, I decided to curate 100 pieces that I would want to own and wear. I have a strong relationship with David Yurman because it was the place where I learned to embrace wearing jewelry, and Shaun Leane’s who is a dear friend of mine whose personal collection we sold alongside Alexander Mcqueen’s collection. I wouldn’t think of doing something about men’s jewelry without them.”
The selling exhibition comes shortly after a momentous sale in men’s jewelry for the auction house. Earlier this month, Freddie Mercury’s silver snake coil bangle, which he wore in the music video for Bohemian Rhapsody in 1975, sold for about $881,717. It became the highest price ever paid for a piece of jewelry owned by a rockstar, passing John Lennon’s leather and bead talisman sold for $368,000 in 2008.
The selling exhibition will take place at Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries from September 23 to October 5 along with the auction house’s Contemporary Curated sale. “My goal is to make Sotheby’s a source of jewelry for men so they eventually do buy at auction for themselves. We don’t see a lot of self-purchasing going on, but this is a time to explore and embrace jewelry for men,” Everett says.
For more information, please visit sothebys.com.