NEW YORK — Bonhams realized nearly $5.3 million in the June 19 Fine Jewelry and Salon Jewelry auctions, with both auctions selling an exceptional 90% by value. The Madison Avenue gallery was standing-room only when auctioneer and Bonhams CEO UK & Europe and Group Jewelry Director, Matthew Girling, led the Fine Jewelry auction in the morning. Global bidders engaged dozens of telephone lines throughout the day while scores participated live online. US bidders were the slight majority, but the UK, Europe, East Asia, South Asia and the Middle East were all well represented. The telephones took home almost all of the top lots, with notable exceptions going to those in the room.
"This was an extraordinary day and we're very pleased with the results. We are witnessing a renewed strength in the market in all categories," said Susan Abeles, Bonhams Head of US Jewelry. Virginia Salem, the Director of the Jewelry Department in New York added, "The auctions saw both colored and colorless diamonds exceeding their high estimates, with excellent prices realized for signature jewelry, as well as fine quality colored stones."
The auctions' top lot was also the Fine Jewelry catalog's cover lot, a brilliant rectangular diamond ring weighing 12.13 carats. Achieving $482,500, the ring more than doubled its pre-auction estimate after a fierce telephone bidding war. The ring came from the Beverly Hills collection of Mrs. Daniel J Eget, wife of the late steel tycoon.
Colored diamonds proved very popular, reinforcing current market trends. Coming from the private collection of a Florida gentleman, a fancy colored diamond and diamond ring featuring a 16.03 carat square fancy deep yellow diamond realized $290,500. An 8.5 carat pear-shaped fancy intense yellow diamond ring more than doubled its pre-auction estimate to sell for $266,500.
The trend for art deco jewelry continued, with a 1923 Oscar Heyman & Brothers diamond and sapphire bracelet more than tripling its pre-auction estimate to sell for $92,500. Featuring French-cut sapphires and a total diamond weight of 24.60 carats, the striking geometric design embodied 1920s chic.
Harry Winston signature jewels achieved some of the day's highest prices. Another highlight from the Florida gentleman's collection was an emerald and diamond necklace by the esteemed jeweler which realized $230,500. The classic Winston design featured a 13.45 rectangular-cut Columbian emerald surrounded by an additional 32 carats of diamonds. A 1968 pair of Harry Winston diamond ear clips featuring two round brilliant cut diamonds of approximately 2 carats each sold for $74,500, an indication that the market for fine jewelry from the 1960s and 1970s is indeed growing.
Bonhams next Fine Jewelry auction in New York will take place October 17th. For more information, visit www.bonhams.com
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