Los Angeles - Bonhams auctions of glittering Gems, Minerals & Lapidary Works of Art and The World of Opals took place on December 10, offering over 400 lots of unmounted gemstones, exotic gemstone jewellery, mineral specimens and fine gemstone carvings with a particular emphasis on top quality works produced by German Masters as well as 175 top quality opals gathered from an international client base around the world.
In the spirit of holiday shopping, highlights of the sale included a rough diamond, enamel and gold egg creation with snowman pendant known as the "Winter Egg," which ended with the highest bidder at $52,500 from an original estimate of $40,000-50,000. An exquisitely made agate and multi-gemstone music box "Hamster with Mice with Harvest Cart" also sold for $50,000. Lastly, "The Moon and Stars Suite": including a blue enamel egg creation, an enamelled box, a pair of moonstone earclips, a pendant and two diamond and gemset brooches fetched a robust $100,000.
The dedicated niche auction exclusively featuring opals of the highest quality experienced suites of coloured opals snapped up by bidders, showing increasing demand in this growing collector's market. Highlights such as a Magnificent Suite of Thirteen Black Opals fetched $72,500, as well as a Suite of Fire Opals, which sold for $37,500.
"The Road to Lightning Ridge" opal, its origin from Lightning Ridge, Australia, the epicentre for mining black opals and opal gemstones, reached a final sale of $56,250. Bidders noticed its exceptional quality of distinctive multi-color fire predominating in sheets of red from one angle with orange, yellow, green and blue from other angles. The unique gem's colours suggest a landscape or dirt road in the Outback when the stone is viewed horizontally, hence its given name.
Claudia Florian, Co-consulting Director of Bonhams Natural History Department comments, "The market continues to be robust for unique gemstone carvings by the top Masters as well as the finest quality Lightning Ridge black opals. We are delighted with the interest shown by the international clientele which participated and look forward to holding our next sale in May 2014."
Complete details on the sale's results are available at www.bonhams.com/21347 and www.bonhams.com/21348.
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