Pearls add lustre to £3 million fine jewellery sale at Bonhams

Fine Jewellery
19 Sep 2012
London, New Bond Street

A magnificent selection of jewellery including top quality diamonds, Burmese rubies and natural pearls offered in Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale on 19th September in New Bond Street, London made a total of £3m with pearls adding lustre to the result.

Top lot in the sale was a fabulous natural pearl and diamond lavallière necklace, circa 1910 estimated at £60,000 - 80,000 which sold for an above estimate price of £199,250. The two pearl drops were of a large size and beautifully matched as well.

Stunning examples of art deco and belle époque designs were among the highlights of the sale, with exquisite early pieces by Cartier and Tiffany & Co. A seed pearl, sapphire and diamond sautoir by Cartier estimated to sell for £50,000 to £70,000 went for £127,250. This necklace was purchased from Cartier by the vendor's father and has never been seen on the open market before.

This necklace was one of the rarest pieces in the sale. It is formed of two parts, made in different years, the tassel pendent was made in 1910, during the belle époque and the seed pearl necklace was made in 1917. Cartier often made pieces that were closely similar but not identical, and a nearly identical pendant was included in the Cartier Exhibition at the British Museum exhibition in 1997.

Jean Ghika, Director of the Jewellery Department for the UK and Europe, said: "Early 20th century period pieces by famous jewellers such as Cartier and Tiffany are exquisitely made and greatly sought-after. It was a great pleasure to offer so many of these beautiful items of superb quality and to see them do so very well in the sale, exceeding expectations. And patently pearls are, as ever, in fashion."


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

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