This September Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will conduct three Important Jewelry and Fine Timepieces sales on September 16, 17 and 18. The three-day event presents an impressive single-owner auction, Important Jewelry from the Estate of Rita Dee Hassenfeld, which will feature approximately 250 lots and will be offered in an evening session on the 16th. The collection is at once expansive and carefully curated: a showcase for Mrs. Hassenfeld’s unerring taste characterized by elegance, color and a sense of whimsy.
Mrs. Hassenfeld was an accomplished ballerina in her youth and later a dedicated philanthropist and humanitarian. She married the late Harold Irwin Hassenfeld, a member of the founding family of Hassenfeld Brothers, now known as Hasbro Inc. (manufacturer of Monopoly, Mr. Potato Head, Nerf, Play-Doh and Trivial Pursuit). The couple divided their time between two homes in Nashville and Palm Beach.
Mrs. Hassenfeld, renowned for her irreproachable taste, was often named one of Palm Beach’s 100 best-dressed women. The couple traveled extensively, and Mr. Hassenfeld adored buying jewelry for his wife. Their children fondly recall family trips to New York, which always included a visit to Van Cleef & Arpels or Harry Winston. A relative held a position in the diamond division at Harry Winston, and the family members would often dine together at the Diamond Dealers Club for lunch. The couple also traveled to the Far East and Europe in search of both established and new designers, always returning with a sought-after addition to their collection.
The Hassenfeld’s drive for collecting was a personal passion that never competed with the couple’s devotion to numerous local, national and international religious, civic and fine arts organizations. Mrs. Hassenfeld participated in numerous charity events for organizations such as the American Cancer Society, American Jewish Committee, Jewish Theological Seminary and Brandeis University. Mr. and Mrs. Hassenfeld were one of the first couples to be honored as respective fellows in the same year by Brandeis University. Their legacy is memorialized by several buildings on the University’s campus that bare the name Hassenfeld.
Mrs. Hassenfeld was also a founding member of the Swan Ball, one of the premier charity events in the United States attended by hundreds of prestigious supporters. The event continues to benefit Cheekwood Estate in Nashville, Tennessee, a privately supported nonprofit educational institute for the study and appreciation of the arts and botanics.
Mrs. Hassenfeld’s jewelry collection encompasses everything from significant signed pieces and important diamonds to playful uses of colored stones. The sale will consist of numerous sessions showcasing important signed jewelry from leading designers including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Belperron, David Webb, Harry Winston and Seaman Schepps. One such highlight is a superb Art Deco platinum, emerald, diamond, onyx and enamel lapel watch / necklace by Cartier. Another is an impressive platinum and diamond ring by Harry Winston, containing a pear shape brilliant cut diamond weighing approximately 9.12 carats of D color and VS2 clarity.
This single owner sale will be followed on September 17 by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ regularly scheduled fall jewelry sale, which will offer over 1,000 lots. Continuing the theme, the key elements of this sale include a strong assortment of signed pieces by houses such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co., Hermes and Oscar Heyman Brothers, to name a few. Completing the sessions, the Important Timepieces sale will feature a well-rounded assortment of antique to contemporary examples, including a solid lineup of mid-century Patek Philippe wristwatches as well as more recent works by Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger LeCoultre, Cartier, Audemars Piguet and many others.
The fall Important Jewelry sales at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will be a hallmark event for jewelry collectors. The collection will travel to New York for a preview at the Waldorf Astoria from August 31 – September 3. A full preview will also be held in Chicago prior to the sale, which is expected to bring strong interest internationally, especially from buyers in Asia. The auctions will be available on live bidding platforms: LHLive and Bidsquare.
Fine Timepieces (418)
Wednesday, September 16 | 2 PM CT
Important Jewelry from the
Estate of Rita Dee Hassenfeld (421)
Wednesday, September 16 | 5:30 PM CT
Important Jewelry (394)
Thursday, September 17 | 12 PM CT
Friday, September 18 | 10 PM CT
Chicago Preview Schedule
Friday, September 11 – Wednesday, September 16
New York Preview Schedule
New York Waldorf Astoria
Monday, August 31 – Thursday, September 3
Alexander Eblen, Director of Fine Jewelry and Timepieces
312-334-4233 | firstname.lastname@example.org