Between the late 1930s to 1960s, Ostier, Inc. competed amongst the greatest jewellery houses in Manhattan and produced some of the finest examples of fashionable mid-century jewellery that have become classic references for today's designs. The firm was founded by a husband and wife team - design virtuoso, Marianne Ostier (1902-1976) and Oliver Ostier, a third-generation court jeweller from Austria.
The artist-turned-jeweller received her education at the Vienna Academy of Arts and Crafts. A painter and sculptor, she began to work in the field of jewellery after marrying her husband, Otto Oesterreicher. Following the Nazi annexation of Austria, Marianne and Oliver moved to the United States and started a firm under their new name, Ostier. Marianne displayed an extraordinary talent for jewellery design, and her creations, known for their organic textures and intricate random mountings, bore the influence of her artistic training.
For her work, Marianne Ostier has been presented with many prestigious diamond design awards. She was the first life-time member elected to the Diamonds-International Academy, as well as the winner of the Diamond U.S.A Award for three consecutive years, and also received the Diamond International Award for design excellence. She represented the United States at the Art in Precious Jewellery Exhibition at the Finch College Museum of Art in 1966, which featured the work of the foremost designers of ten countries and included Georges Braques and Salvador Dali. The famed skin pin, pincushion clip, abstract and free-form jewellery have all been attributed to her.
After the death of Oliver in 1969, Marianne Ostier felt the increased burden of running the business and chose to close the company. "With the passing of my husband, I have had to devote more and more of my efforts to administrative duties. These demands of my time can no longer be met without artistic compromise which to me is unacceptable." The entire inventory of the firm was auctioned by the Park-Bernet Galleries in 1969.
Depicting the Albanian royal crest of the 'Ram of Skanderberg' atop a graduated floral vine, set with old European and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 28.05 carats, accented by baguette diamonds weighing approximately 4.80 carats; circa 1938. With signed and fitted royal presentation box.
Sold for $225,000 USD (estimate $30,000 - 50,000) at Sotheby's NY April 19th, 2016.
The swirled, celestial design centering one round diamond weighing 5.26 carats, accented by additional round diamonds weighing approximately 35.00 carats, with marker's mark, circa 1955. With signed box.
Sold for $250,000 (estimate $45,000 - 55,000) at Sotheby's NY April 19th, 2016.
The angular openwork stars set with 90 baguette, whistle-cut, square-cut and triangular-cut diamonds weighing approximately 8.00 carats, centering clusters of round diamonds and cultured pearls measuring 7.2 to 6.0 mm., or a pair of diamond clusters set with 38 round diamonds weighing approximately 5.35 carats, mounted in platinum, signed MO for Marianne Ostier.
Designed as stylised flowers accented by 157 circular-cut pave diamonds and mounted in platinum, circa 1960.
Designed as a textured chased fringe highlighted by seventeen cabochon emeralds and diamond-melee-set branches, approx. total diamond wt. 6.22 cts., lg. 15 1/4 in., signed Marianne Ostier.
Centering an elegant platinum and 18K white gold domed clasp featuring six parallel rows of circular-cut and straight baguette-cut diamonds within flared diamond borders (approximately 8 carats total weight), strung with 11 strands of 3-4mm black cultured pearls, hallmarked for Marianne Ostier, measuring 8 1/2 inches flat, twisting down to 7 1/2 inches on the wrist, recently restrung, American, circa 1955. The domed center segment hinges up and down to attach and release the domed center segment on one side.
Signature of Marianne Ostier (M. Ostier) stamped on a bracelet. Sometimes, they are also marked MO.