A stunning selection of diamonds, sapphires and rare pieces with unusual settings were in high demand at the Fine Jewellery sale that took place on April 25th at Bonhams, New Bond Street with a total of £3.8 million realised and 90% sold by value.
A 1987 sapphire and diamond 'Fuschia' brooch by Van Cleef and Arpels was one of the highlights, realising £181,250. The petals consisted of mystery-set sapphires, with pear-shaped diamonds as the stamen. Jean Ghika, Director of the Jewellery Department for the UK and Europe commented, "Van Cleef and Arpels were pioneers of the mystery-setting, where the setting or claws are concealed beneath the gemstones, and the brooch was fiercely competed for. After enthusiastic bidding, the brooch was eventually sold to a client in Europe."
A marquise-cut diamond weighing 13.41 and H colour VS1 clarity was the top lot of the sale, realising £265,250, and a sapphire and diamond three-stone ring sold for £151,250 against a pre-sale estimate of £80,000100,000. The central, oval-cut sapphire weighing 7.28 carats was from Kashmir, where the highest quality and most valuable sapphires originate. A stunning diamond rivière necklace with forty-one old brilliant-cut diamonds sold for £145, 250, exceeding the presale estimate of £60,00080,000.
A very rare art nouveau enamel, peridot and diamond brooch/ pendant with an opal drop, by the famous Belgian jeweller Philippe Wolfers circa 1902 sold for £23,750. The piece was one of a series of unique jewels created by Wolfers as part of his Ex (exemplaire) Unique range and seen as the ultra modern pinnacle of art nouveau jewellery.
Selling for over double its presale estimate of £6,000-8,000, a laque burgauté and coral box by Cartier, circa 1925 was a rare and exciting example of an art deco piece, realising £23,750. Owned by the Romanian Princess Marthe Bibesco and inherited by the present owner, the box has never been seen in public before.
The interest in natural pearls is still strong, with international collectors fiercely competing for quality pieces. A natural pearl and diamond single-row necklace, circa 1915 sold for £82,250 (est. £30,000-40,000).
A late 18th/ early 19th century hardstone cameo brooch designed by Nicolo Morelli estimated to sell for £6,0008,000 realised £51,650. 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.