Most girls in elite social circles who accumulate expensive jewellery put on them as instructed: brooches under the collar bone, one earring per lobe, necklaces cascading down cleavage. And then there was Ann Getty, the red-haired society swan who handed away at 79 in 2020. Married to grease inheritor Gordon Getty, she was aunt to trans mannequin Nats Getty, grandmother (virtually mom) to Ivy Getty, and daughter-in-law to tycoon J. Paul Getty, whose oil empire funded the household’s large fortune. She was additionally a style trendsetter.
Ann had a famously cavalier method together with her gems, carrying earrings as brooches and brooches throughout her physique, together with at her hip. Now her assortment of prized gems — created by jeweler Joel Arthur Rosenthal, aka JAR — are headed for public sale at Christie’s New York on June 8.
Famously elusive and unique, Rosenthal insisted on personally vetting and approving every shopper earlier than agreeing to promote to them. “The privilege of being able to buy Rosenthal’s pieces is about having a bank account and discernment,” mentioned a supply near the Getty household. “If he didn’t want you to have his piece, he would refuse to sell to you. He wanted to sell to clients who understood what he was doing.”
Back within the Eighties, Ann Getty was on the middle of the social scene, from her residence base in San Francisco to New York. Here, the fiery-haired doyenne is seen sporting the JAR Vitrail Fleur-de-Lys brooch on the Literacy Benefit at Lincoln Center in 1985.Rose Hartman/Getty ImagesAnn Getty, clad in a purple robe and JAR’s Fleur Pompons brooches, at her husband’s annual celebration of their San Francisco residence. Drew Altizer Photography
Money and standing helped with this “understanding,” however didn’t assure entry. Ann — who sat on the boards of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library — proved her price by giving her JAR items the starring function in a lot of her outfits.
To her husband’s 76th birthday gala, she donned a purple robe with three JAR Fleur Pompons brooches clipped to her breast. To the 2017 San Francisco Symphony, she rocked an infinite pink tulip brooch at her sternum, and to Gordon’s eightieth birthday bash at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, she fixed her circa 1989 leaf brooch to the shoulder of her shirt.
“Ann’s style was bold, unapologetic, sophisticated, creative, and daring,” Anna Getty, Ann’s great-niece, informed The Post. “[Her style] was utterly her own.”
A carved agate zebra brooch with diamonds and sapphires is predicted to promote for between $50,000-70,000.
A coloured sapphire and spinel shell-shaped brooch from 1990 is price as much as $120,000.
The Vitrail Fleur-de-Lys brooch is made with polished amethysts, pink tourmalines, garnets and spherical diamonds, and is predicted to promote for wherever between $80,000-$120,000.
The leaf brooch is embellished with 11.96 carats of emeralds, beryls, peridots, garnets, tourmalines and diamonds, and will go for as a lot as $700,000.
Throughout a lot of the late Eighties and early Nineteen Nineties, Ann bought 12 items from JAR, a set which is predicted to fetch greater than $1.5 million at public sale, with proceeds going to the Ann Getty Trust.
Ann’s granddaughter Ivy, 27, who married her photographer boyfriend in an over-the-top three day extravaganza final 12 months, has sported a number of of the items herself just lately. She wore a zebra brooch for a May 2022 Vogue picture shoot and earrings as brooches to the 2022 Met Gala. In truth, Ivy’s total Met Ball look was a tribute to her grandmother: Her Oscar de la Renta robe was constructed utilizing one in all Ann’s tablecloths.
“[Ann] didn’t keep these [pieces] locked up in a vault. She wore them all the time…she wanted me to just appreciate her things as art,” Ivy informed Vogue earlier this month.
In 2005, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles joined Ann Getty, who wore JAR’s Fleur Pompons, for a efficiency of Beach Blanket Babylon at San Francisco’s Club Fugazi.ZUMAPRESS.comIvy Getty, Ann’s granddaughter, wears the identical pansy earrings within the model of her grandmother — as brooches at her breast and hipbone — to the 2022 Met Gala. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Ann wore her JAR jewels each boldly and casually: On the material of a robe to Patron’s Dinner for the 1991 Black and White Ball, on the collar of a black cashmere tee shirt for Gordon’s eighty fifth celebration at their San Francisco residence.
She was a hostess who might effortlessly set up a black-tie feast for 60, but additionally spent a lot of the Nineteen Nineties on her arms and knees digging for artifacts on expeditions in Ethiopia and Turkey as a fellow with the Leaky Foundation. In between digs, Getty would throw on her couture — and one in all her JAR treasures — with minimal prompting.
The oak leaf earrings boast spherical pink and inexperienced tourmalines, garnets, amethysts, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds. Rosenthal designed them in 1988, they usually’re anticipated to promote for $100,000-150,000.
The bouquet brooch could promote for as a lot as $250,000.
A multi-gem and lacquer parrot tulip brooch will not promote for lower than $200,000, Christie’s mentioned.
The pansy earrings that Ivy Getty wore to the Met Gala are price $100,000-$150,000.
A pair of sapphire, diamond, tourmaline and inexperienced garnet orchid brooches could promote for as a lot as $150,000 at public sale.
One of the much less expensive items within the assortment embrace a pair of pink topaz and diamond earrings which might be price between $60,000-$80,000.
These sapphire, diamond and inexperienced garnet earrings are anticipated to promote for wherever between $200,000-$300,000.
Three diamond, ruby and coloured sapphire Fleur Pompons brooches are price as much as $300,000.
“With San Francisco society women, like author Danielle Steele, you noticed the jewelry collection because it was always on display,” mentioned a household pal who lives 4 blocks from the well-known Getty mansion in Pacific Heights. “With Ann, though, she would put a brooch on her shoulder or on the bustle of her skirt, which made the whole look seem less flashy.”
In the previous, Rosenthal, who’s now 79 and dwelling in Venice, hasn’t regarded favorably on shoppers who’ve bought off his creations. He hasn’t spoken to Ellen Barkin since she famously disbursed together with her assortment of JAR items throughout her divorce from industrialist Ron Perelman in 2006.
But Ann, who by no means publicly spoke about her JAR assortment, nonetheless appears to have his assist. Though Rosenthal declined to remark for The Post, he paid tribute to his previous shopper within the Christie’s brochure:
Ann and Gordon Getty at his eighty fifth celebration, which the couple hosted at their Pacific Heights residence. Ann wears the agate zebra brooch from JAR on her collar. Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer PhotographyAnn and Gordon Getty descend the steps on the Patron’s Dinner for the 1991 Black and White Ball. Ann is carrying one of many pansy earrings as a brooch on her black robe. Jerry Telfer/Getty ImagesIn 1998, Ann Getty wore the bouquet brooch on the hem of her dazzling jacket on the San Francisco Opera opening of its seventy fifth season within the newly renovated opera home. Liz Hafalia/Getty Images
“From the very beginning, this lady, you, dear Ann, imagined the future of my imagination, seeing and picking the cherries that became your collection.”