A charm bracelet is like a portrait of a life, as personal as a family photo. When the charm bracelet of a well-known person comes to auction, the question is always, “Why was this very personal item allowed to leave the hands of the family?” Sometimes the answer is simply that the object has outlived all the family members. Presumably, that was the case of the unique Art Deco all-diamond charm bracelet seen here. Each of the nineteen charms is set with single-cut diamonds, with an estimated total weight of 9.50 carats. The charms depict nearly all the years between 1922 and 1940, with elements such as a palm tree providing clues as to the likely venue of the owner.
The bracelet came anonymously to the sale but was said to have been the gift of a producer to an actress, with a charm given after the wrap of each Hollywood film production. Each charm has a different geometric shape, with the year depicted in a variety of styles. Even without a known provenance, other than the Art Deco period, the bracelet was sold for three times the pre-sale estimate. A fascinating parlor game could be played in trying to discern the name of the actress and of the producer, who must have been part of the studio system of the time. This charming memento serves as a token of their long collaboration.