Bonhams West Coast Salon Jewelry auction brings $1.45 Million

30 Sep 2013, Salon Jewelry
Salon Jewelry

Bonhams West Coast Salon Jewelry auction brings $1.45 Million

30 Sep 2013, Salon Jewelry

San Francisco – The $1.45 million Salon Jewelry auction, September 30 at Bonhams in San Francisco and simulcast in Los Angeles, was a great success, with rings, bracelets and necklaces achieving prices well above their estimates.

The leading highlight of the auction was a fire opal and colored diamond ring that brought $18,750, exceeding an estimate of $5,000-7,000. Additional rings of note in the sale included a yellow sapphire and diamond ring that sold for $11,875 (est. $2,500-3,500); a diamond solitaire ring that took in $11,250 (est. $8,000-10,000); and an opal and diamond ring that brought $10,625 (est. $6,000-8,000).

Bracelets generated quite a bit of excitement in the sale; the leading of which was an antique ruby, diamond and enamel bracelet, circa 1880, composed of oval and circular-shaped star and cat's eye ruby cabochons, accented by single-cut diamonds and rubies, that achieved $12,500, past an estimate of $4,000-6,000. Strong-selling bracelets also included a multicolor sapphire and diamond bracelet, pavé-set with various-shaped multicolor sapphires, and interspersed with rose-cut diamonds, that sold for $12,500 (est. $6,500-8,500) and a diamond and enamel star motif bangle bracelet, circa 1890, that took in $11,875 (est. $1,800-2,500).

Bracelet highlights also included examples from the estate of Margaret Nielsen Stiegele (1922-2013). Ms. Stiegele was the daughter of Arthur C. Nielsen, the creator of the television ratings system that became the industry standard. She was a noted jewelry collector whose passion for stylish pieces with beautiful craftsmanship was informed by her extensive world travels. Among the sale's highlights from her estate was a turquoise, lapis lazuli, sapphire and diamond bracelet that brought $10,625 (est. $4,000-6,000); a pink tourmaline, pink and blue sapphire and diamond multi-strand bracelet, featuring nine strands of faceted pink tourmaline beads and oval-shaped blue sapphire cabochon, that sold for $9,375 (est. $2,500-3,500); and a diamond and 18 karat gold wide bangle bracelet of openwork design; signed Esha, that achieved $9,375 (est. $5,000-7,000).

Necklaces also sold well in the sale, with the top three including an 18 karat gold 14 strand bib necklace that took in $12,500 (est. $5,000-7,000); a fancy yellow diamond and diamond necklace that sold for $11,250 (est. $5,500-7,500); and a colored cultured pearl, cultured pearl, opal, paste and diamond necklace, from the estate of Margaret Nielsen Stiegele, that achieved $11,250 (est. $10,000-15,000).

Also notable in the sale was an 18 karat gold rose petal necklace together with a pair of matching ear clips by Angela Cummings at Tiffany & Co., 1979, signed Tiffany & Co., that realized $10,625 (est. $3,000-4,000) and a pair of retro jadeite jade and diamond ear clips, circa 1945, that sold for $9,375 (est. $1,000-1,500).

Lynne Arkin, Fine Jewelry Specialist at Bonhams in San Francisco, says of the auction: "This was a very interesting and rich collection, and buyers responded enthusiastically to the quality and variety of the jewelry items for sale."


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

Related auctions