Jewelry should never be a candidate for redesign but should transcend time like a fine painting, never losing its appeal.

— Oscar Heyman

Oscar Heyman was one of the brothers who founded the eponymous Oscar Heyman & Bros workshop in New York in 1912, equipped with impeccable skills acquired from the Fabergé workshop in Europe. Fabergé was a pioneer in developing skillful craftsmanship with platinum, a relatively new metal that promised breakthroughs in fine jewellery designs at that time.

The standards represented by Oscar Heyman and their recognition within the industry preceded their more general fame within the public eye, which explains their well-deserved mantra "The Jewellers' Jeweller." The House was indeed the first non-French bench jeweller hired by Cartier, and this includes a necklace commissioned in 1969 by Cartier for Elizabeth Taylor that suspended a 69.42-carat pear-shaped diamond. Oscar Heyman & Bros was also responsible for countless creations for many other elite jewellers including Van Cleef & Arpels, for which Oscar Heyman & Bros was reputedly the first American
firm to have mastered the invisible-setting.

With their own tool-and-die shop, lapidaries and workshop to alloy their own metal, Oscar Heyman assures the best quality possible from begin to end. Their technical excellence allowed the House to demonstrate innovation and style at an equally high standard. Their floral brooches depicting orchids — as seen with our stand-out lot 569, a yellow diamond, diamond an green enamel 'orchid' brooch —, roses and pansies were awarded highest honours at the New York Wold Fair in 1939. These designs would go on to become the most iconic of the House.

With a history spanning more than one hundred years, Oscar Heyman is currently run by the third generation and continues to pledge nothing less than perfection. Acknowledgement from the industry giants serves as the best guarantee of their craftsmanship and savoir-faire.

We take a closer look at exceptional pieces by this House from our upcoming Jewels and Jadeite sale in Hong Kong, 29 May.

Oscar Heyman & Bros. A Yellow Diamond, Diamond and Green Enamel 'Orchid' Brooch

  • Colourless and yellow diamonds, totalling approximately 8.90 carats
  • Petals applied with green enamel
  • Iridium platinum and 18 karat yellow gold
  • With maker's mark for Oscar Heyman & Bros, numbered 200268
  • With original sketch

Oscar Heyman & Bros. A Diamond, Yellow Diamond and Green Enamel 'Rosebud' Brooch

  • Colourless and yellow diamonds, totalling approximately 4.50 carats
  • Leaves applied with green enamel
  • Platinum and 18 karat yellow gold
  • Unsigned, numbered 21276
  • With signed box

Oscar Heyman & Bros. A Diamond, Yellow Diamond and Green Enamel 'Rosebud' Brooch

  • Colourless diamonds and yellow diamonds, totalling approximately 3.40 carats
  • Leaves applied with green enamel
  • Platinum and 18 karat yellow gold
  • With maker's mark for Oscar Heyman & Bros.

Oscar Heyman & Bros. A Pair of Gem-set and Diamond 'Pansy' Brooches, 1940s

  • Amethysts and citrines, totalling approximately 11.00 carats
  • Circular-cut sapphires Round diamonds, totalling approximately 2.60 carats
  • Platinum and 18 karat yellow gold
  • With maker's mark for Oscar Heyman & Bros, numbered 200881 and 200968 respectively

 

Marked by two vibrant contrasting colours, the above two brooches rom the 1940s boast extraordinary craftsmanship. Every single calibré-cut citrine and amethyst were meticulously fashioned and mounted with precision, so the fluid outline perfectly depicts the delicacy of a flower petal.

This called not only for extreme patience, but thorough understanding of gemstones and tremendous skills typical of Oscar Heyman's creations.