Elegance Personified

Jewelry from the Estate of Carol Prisant

Carol Prisant wearing her pink sapphire ring and Angela Cummings earrings. Photo courtesy of Annie Watt.

Rago presents jewelry from the estate of antique dealer, writer, and editor Carol Prisant (1938–2021).

Ms. Prisant had an eye for art and antiques from a very young age and was entirely self-taught. After marrying and moving to New York with her husband, she worked as a decorative arts vendor in the 26th Street Antiques Market and participated yearly in the Manhattan Antique Show in addition to owning Locust Valley Antiques in Long Island for 10 years. In 1989, she became the New York editor of the British magazine The World of Interiors, a position she would hold until 2020. Actively involved in the world of antiques and interior design, she sat on the board of the Raynham Hall Museum on Long Island and the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. She was also a member of the Manhattan-based Appraisers Association of America. Her writing became a staple in these circles. Prisant wrote articles for Martha Stewart Living, House Beautiful, and New York magazine and was the author of several books including Antiques Roadshow Primer and Antiques Roadshow Collectibles. Her antiquing column “Good, Better, Best” for House Beautiful would go on to be adapted into a book of its own.

A longtime friend of Ms. Prisant, Christine Pittel, remarked about Prisant’s interior design skills that she “curated her own environment like a work of art.” The same can be said for her impeccable taste in fine jewels. From a stunning sapphire ring in her favorite hue, pink, to elegant brooches and refined earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, her sense of style and eye for quality is evident in every piece from her collection.

I met Carol Prisant during my early days as an appraiser on Antiques Roadshow. I initially knew her as an inquisitive and factually concise reporter for The Antiques Roadshow Primer, but a friendship soon blossomed from that connection. You could talk to Carol, and understand that her sense of propriety and connection to the truth of a story was nothing short of reliable. We eventually became friends, bonding over personal loss, and Carol was ultimately someone with whom I came to share a treasured relationship. It is with deep regret that I heard about her death, and with gratitude and humility that we’ve been entrusted with her collection of fine jewelry.  

—David Rago

Breguet

There are not that many watch manufactures that can boast having clientele such as Marie Antoinette and Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples. Breguet can. In 1775, Abraham Louis Breguet, left his home in Neufchâtel and headed towards Versailles to open up a workshop where he gets an introduction to the French Court, and the French aristocracy become his top clients. Brugeut left France during the revolution, only to return and rebuild his business in 1795.

A.L. Breguet boasts several world’s firsts including the creation of the Tourbillon, the first self-winding watch, and the creation of the first wristwatch among his many achievements. His eponymous brand, has since become so influential in the watchmaking sphere that they have their very own set of hands and numerals that are called “Breguet Hands” and “Breguet Numerals”. Breguet is also known for making guilloché mainstream and numerous other industry “firsts” including the Breguet overcoil and the Breguet hairspring. Watchmaking in its current form would not be where it is today had it not been for the history of this great manufacture. Today, Breguet is under Swatch Group is among the very most high value propositions on the market.

Auction Results Breguet