These Are Some of the Rare and Valuable Jewels at Siegelson's New Show

From Town & Country

I had heard whispers of Lee Siegelson's name dozens of times. "The foremost collector of Suzanne Belperron," one renowned jewelry editor confided in me. "New York's King of Jewelry" exclaimed another publication. But it wasn't until a visit to his paneled atelier high above Fifth Avenue, surrounded by dazzling Deco-era mystery-set clocks, that I got to experience the magic man myself.

Over the course of an hour, the third-generation jeweler and I discussed the Middle Eastern fairs and the merits of Instagram on the world of high jewelry while a nearly endless stream of important pieces by Fouquet, Cartier and yes, Belperron, all of which would be the envy of most museum curators (though that's not the point, as I discovered later), streamed across his oversized leather desk. During one lovely moment, I tried on the largest Golconda diamond solitaire I had ever seen. It hardly got past the tip of my finger, but it was still painful coming off.

Now, mere shopping mortals at lower altitudes will be able to experience Siegelson's masterful eye. From May 2-27, he is bringing part of his exceptional collection to a temporary exhibition ("pop-up" doesn't really do it justice) on Bergdorf Goodman's sparkling new jewelry floor. An expert from Siegelson's personal team will be available to answer questions about the iconic pieces, which include a "Many V's" Necklace by Alexander Calder, a 1926 Art Deco aquamarine, diamond, and enamel cuff by Jean Fouquet (accompanied by the original drawing), a rock crystal and diamond ring by Suzanne Belperron, and a pair of Art Deco lapis lazuli and diamond earrings by Boucheron from 1925.

"Siegelson's expertise and reputation aligns perfectly with our focus on curated, rare and exceptional jewelry design," says Linda Fargo, Bergdorf Goodman's fashion director, whose personal favorite is a tapered Onyx bangle by Cartier from 1925 set with two natural pearls, 184 round diamonds, and 58 buff-top emeralds. "Lee is a true connoisseur. With a Siegleson piece you also get his years of expertise and a highly discriminating eye. You can trust that what you're touching is authentic and superlative."

While Siegelson admits that each piece is unquestionably beautiful and without compromise the best example from a given period, be it Egyptian revival or Deco, he doesn't want people to think these are museum-quality pieces that are not to be bought. Rather, they are meant to be worn.

"You only have one moment with somebody, " Siegelson says of his relationship with jewelry collectors at the top end of the market of which he reigns. "Bergdorf's is a store about taste and fashion and 57th Street is the American equivalent of the Place Vendôme. There is no better place to be," he says.