Sotheby’s latest auction is a glimpse into legendary celebrity jeweller Fred Leighton’s private collection
The dedicated auction offers pieces from the jeweller's private collection
To say that Fred Leighton had an eye for aesthetics would be an understatement. He may have been born Murray Mondschein, the son of a taxi driver in the Bronx, but his acute eye for fine and unusual objects established him as a trusted celebrity jeweller. Leighton transformed heirloom and period jewels into coveted pieces, earning his the title “King of Estate Jewellery”. But it was Nicole Kidman who was the first to work with him in 1996, when she sported an opal choker on the red carpet. After that, celebrities were flocking to work with Fred Leighton.
But his obsession with fine objects wasn’t limited to Indian Mughal, Art Deco and Victorian inspirations. Leighton’s search for exquisite pieces was reflected in his Manhattan apartment. Accents of Chinese, North African, Sicilian Baroque, French Art Deco designs and south-east Asian Art were displayed throughout his home.
Sotheby’s latest auction, The Jeweler’s Eye: The Personal Collection of Fred Leighton, is his last sale of curated goods as his Madison Avenue store was sold in 2006. The catalogue consists of antique jewellery, inlaid furniture and south-east Asian art. The range estimates from $300–$120,000 (₹ 19,500-78,000 approx.) and is a testament to Fred Leighton’s good taste and shrewd buying sense.
The auction takes place on April 18 in New York. Public exhibition opens on April 13.