Outstanding coloured and colourless diamonds highlighted the Fine Jewellery sale on December 13 at the New York headquarters of Bonhams. Due to tri-mulcasting to San Francisco and Los Angeles, large in-house participation, active international online and phone bidding, this holiday jewellery auction realised $7.88 million with 81% sold by lot.
Matthew Girling, the Group Jewellery Director at Bonhams, states about the sale, "The sale showed the underlying strength in the jewellery market. We exhibited the sale in Hong Kong, London and California prior to the sale in New York and we had participation in the sale across the globe."
A true attraction for diamond connoisseurs were four lots from a single owner, titled Exceptional Jewels: Property from a Private Collection. Each lot from this outstanding collection performed exceptionally well, bringing in a total acceding $4.39 million. Leading the group and becoming the second top lot for Bonhams in 2011, was a 22.87 carat magnificent diamond solitaire ring (D, Flawless) selling for an outstanding $3,000,000. Possessing the purity and transparency of water only found in 2% of the world's diamonds, this diamond was truly extraordinary. Also from this exceptional collection was a fancy coloured diamond and colourless diamond bracelet and necklace selling respectively for $686,500 and $638,500 (pre-sale est. $400,000-500,000 and $550,000-750,000), as well as, pendant earrings selling for $67,500 (pre-sale est. $50,000-70,000).
Another highlight to the auction was a Cartier art deco emerald bead, onyx and diamond necklace. These 32 graduated fluted emerald beads, with onyx and single cut diamond rondell spacers sold for $266,500 (pre-sale est. $80,000-120,000).
Elsewhere in the auction was property from the Private Collection of Suzanne Crowell. The proceeds made in the sale of their six lots will benefit the mission of Huntington Memorial Hospital, a non-profit medical centre that has served the greater Los Angeles community since 1892. Leading this private collection in the sale was a Van Cleef & Arpels 11.59 carat rectangular-cut diamond ring which more than doubled its pre-sale estimate, hammering at $194,500 (pre-sale est. $60,000-80,000), which added greatly to the total of $277,00 made for the medical center.
Diamond solitaire rings continue to prove popular at auction. The top diamond solitaire lots included a 5.06 carat marquise shaped diamond, selling for $146,500 (pre-sale est. $90,000-150,000); a 3.22 carat rectangular-cut diamond, selling for $128,500 (pre-sale est. $75,000-95,000); and a Harry Winston 3.00 carat oval-shaped diamond, selling for $92,500 (pre-sale est. $75,000-80,000).
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