A stunning selection of diamonds, sapphires, rare pieces with unusual settings and items of royal provenance will be offered in the Fine Jewellery sale taking place at Bonhams on April 25th in London, New Bond Street.
A 1987 sapphire and diamond 'Fuschia' brooch by Van Cleef and Arpels is one of the highlights of the sale, estimated to sell for £120,000 – 150,000. The petals consist of mystery-set sapphires, with pear-shaped diamonds as the stamen. Jean Ghika, Director of the Jewellery Department for the UK and Europe comments, "Van Cleef and Arpels were pioneers of the mystery-setting, and the brooch offered by Bonhams is a fantastic example of the ground-breaking technique in which the setting or claws are concealed beneath the gemstones. Pieces of this calibre are currently in very high demand from collectors."
A sapphire and diamond three-stone ring is estimated to sell for £80,000 – 100,000. The central, oval-cut sapphire weighing 7.28 carats is from Kashmir, where the highest quality and most valuable sapphires originate. Although Kashmir was once renowned as the top origin for sapphires, the mines largely produced the most gems in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Other top lots of the sale include an unusual and rare marquise-cut, natural light pink diamond ring weighing 3.18 carats, surrounded by brilliant-cut diamonds, estimated to sell for £150,000 – 180,000. Of the same cut, a marquise-cut diamond weighing 13.41 and H colour VS1 clarity is estimated to sell for £250,000 – 300,000.
A very rare art nouveau enamel, peridot and diamond brooch/ pendant with an opal drop, by the famous Belgian jeweller Philippe Wolfers circa 1902 is estimated at £12,000 – 18,000. The piece is one of a series of unique jewels created by Wolfers as part of his Ex (exemplaire) Unique range, in which each jewel was given a name and was seen as the ultra modern pinnacle of art nouveau jewellery. The jewel offered by Bonhams entitled "Huppe" is number 134 from the series.
A laque burgauté and coral box by Cartier, circa 1925 is a rare and exciting example of an art deco piece. Owned by the Romanian Princess Marthe Bibesco and inherited by the present owner, the box has never been seen in public before and is estimated to sell for £6,000 – 8,000. Each side is set with a black lacquer panel with an inlaid design of shaped iridescent mother-of-pearl and engraved silver sections. It is very rare to see such high quality and intricate mother of pearl inlay, using a technique that originated as early as the 14th century Ming Dynasty.
Estimated to sell for £6,000 – 8,000 is a late 18th/ early 19th century hardstone cameo brooch designed by Nicolo Morelli. The brooch was given to a relative of the vendor by Caroline Bonaparte, younger sister of Napoleon I who was married to the King of Naples. Morelli was a renowned Roman gem-engraver and was patronised by the Bonaparte family.
Jean Ghika comments, "Bonhams is delighted to offer such rare and unusual pieces of craftsmanship and design that have already received much interest from collectors. The jewellery offered by Bonhams exemplifies the very reason why jewellery houses such as Van Cleef and Arpels and Cartier were renowned as pioneers in their field".
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com