Hindman: The Sparkle of Important Jewelry




By Judy Carmack Bross



Before a dose of the dazzle of Chicago’s holiday lights, head to Hindman for more sparkle from an array of serious diamonds, rare colored stones and fine jewelry with particular collectability and value from estates across the country. One splendid sapphire, incredible for its size and lack of heating or other treatments, speaks of the discerning eye of a Chicago philanthropist and a legendary Chicago jewelry house.  Auction previews are open to the public and start December l.



 Marguerite Hark, a member of the Service Club of Chicago for 67 years, purchased the Kashmir at Spaulding & Co., the non pareil  jewelry store at State and Jackson established in 1888. The auction proves she was a very loyal patron. The ring is one of the rare gemstones estimated to reach six figures at the December 6th sale. Rare as well for its weight—approximately 8.90 carats–it was mounted at Spaulding’s. Each Spaulding piece comes in its original evocative Spaulding boxes, The auction includes several of Hark’s parures, the beautiful sets of jewelry intended to be worn together.   


One of Marguerite Hark’s multigem, colorful parures, in the Auction


We spoke with April Matteini, Hindman’s Associate Director and Senior Specialist of Jewelry & Watches, who detailed the dazzle:


“This auction showcases an array of important jewelry, spanning centuries of jewelry history with a little something for everyone. Each of the three single owner sections demonstrates thoughtful collecting across very different periods and preferences, giving the sale a delightful variety of exceptional pieces.”


Included in the auction is a single-owner section from the historically significant collection of Ernest and Ella Brummer of the famed Brummer Galleries. Also featured are marvelous diamonds and other pieces from the estate of Linda O’Neil Porteous from Thousand Oaks, California, with proceeds going to charity. These collections are featured alongside pieces from various private collections.


In 2019 the Service Club of Chicago honored Marguerite Hark, left, at its Day on the Terrace, here with Myra Reilly.  From Classic Chicago Magazine          Photo:Robert F. Carl


Matteini told us more about Hark’s impressive devotion to our non-profits:


“Marguerite Hark was a giving woman in every sense of the word. She was a patron of many organizations throughout Chicago and beyond. She supported cultural institutions, hospitals, social service organizations, and non-profits dedicated to the furry and feathered friends in the natural world which she so cherished. In addition to her amazing tenure with the Service Club of Chicago, she was a proud member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, and a generous supporter of Rush University Medical Center where her late husband, Dr. William A. Hark, practiced orthopedic medicine.


 “Hark also had an extraordinary passion for life. Nothing put a smile on her face more than making new friends or sharing a meal with old ones in beautiful new locations. She loved travelling, going on thrilling adventures to exotic locations around the globe even into her eighties. The jewelry offered in the auction represents the pieces she collected throughout her world travels and that caught her eye in her beloved Chicago,” Matteini said.



Austro-Hungarian pendant from the Brummer collection


“Hindman is privileged to offer thirteen Renaissance through revival-style jewels and objects from the storied Ernest and Ella Brummer Collection. Ernest Brummer was a renowned art dealer who, along with his brother Joseph, founded the historically significant Brummer Galleries, which held a paramount importance in both New York and Paris during the early to mid-20th century. The galleries played a pivotal role in shaping the tastes and collections of art enthusiasts and museums alike. With locations in two of the world’s artistic hubs, the Brummer Galleries became vital conduits for introducing European art to American audiences and vice versa,” Matteini told us.


We asked Matteini what are current trends in jewelry today? “Definitely yellow gold, and chunky gold jewelry from the 1960s to 1980s.”


“The auction really is a wondrous tribute to the personal expression of individual collectors,” Matteini said. “Jewelry often speaks of love and power.  In this Auction you will see a number of colored stones, historically coveted, from mines that are now closed.  Stones that are large, internally clean and untreated are rarer and rarer.”


Featured below are some of the Auction’s other offerings.




Fanciful French owl pin with ruby eyes


David Webb Tiger Bracelet


Another multi-stone parure


Important Jewelry will be offered on Wednesday, December 6 at Hindman’s Chicago saleroom. Bidding will be available in-person, via absentee and telephone bid, and online via Hindman’s Digital Bid Room.