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A rare and devastatingly beautiful selection of costume jewellery designed by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel will be auctioned at Christie’s in January for the first time. From the iconic pieces to their legendary owner, here's everything you need to know. 

The collection

Entitled “Susan and Karl: Important Chanel Fashion Jewelry from the Collection of Mrs. John H. Gutfreund”, the auction will feature 106 unique and one-of-a-kind vintage jewels that Lagerfeld designed for Chanel in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Think classics, such as baroque earrings, camellia brooches, faux pearl chain necklaces, and leather cuffs with gilt “CC” motifs. Classified as costume jewellery, these pieces do not include any precious stones or metals. Still, they have a very important symbolic value, as they are emblematic of Lagerfeld's vision at the helm of the famed French couture house. Mostly prototypes, these hand-made jewels are extremely rare, and have never been offered for sale or seen by the public. As Christie’s experts say, they will always remain an important part of fashion history and jewellery design.

Who is Mrs. Gutfreund?

Susan Gutfreund is renowned New York decorator and a fashion icon, was known for her love of the decorative arts. She was also the second wife of a notorious American banker John Gutfreund, an executive at the investment firm Salomon Brothers, who was once dubbed as “the King of Wall Street''. Mrs. Gutfreund spent her time between New York and Paris, where she became close friends with Karl Lagerfeld. The designer loved to hang out with American beauty (as the legend goes, Mrs.Gutfreund even baked cookies for him and his team during Paris Fashion Week), and, of course, spoiled her with generous presents from Chanel show collections, mainly dresses and costume jewellery. Oh to be so lucky. This private collection of Chanel costume jewellery is a part of a larger auction of antique furniture, rare books and decorative arts objects from the couple’s Upper East Side apartment.

When can I buy them?

You can place your bets online starting from January 14th, with prices ranging from $200 to $6000. Not too bad, actually. Have a browse here

Images | christiesinc

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