Top lots by jeweller to Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor create pre-Christmas excitement
A stunning pearl, diamond and emerald art deco brooch by the renowned jewellers Van Cleef & Arpels topped Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale, making £1,138,850, yesterday, 6th December 2012. The brooch, which was estimated at £250,000 – 350,000 was among several lots which far exceeded their estimates, in a sale which realised over £6 million and sold 93 per cent by value.
In a packed saleroom, bidders entered a series of fierce battles for the striking designs and rare pieces. Among the most highly anticipated lots were several museum-quality pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels, the jeweller favoured by stars such as Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor.
In addition to the exquisite brooch, designed as a geometric labyrinth of diamonds with two main pendants of emerald and pearl, two further Van Cleef & Arpels pieces made prices well over their estimates. A ruby and diamond bracelet from 1923 sold for £361,250 against a pre-sale estimate of £40,000 – 60,000 and a 3.26 carat Burmese ruby and diamond ring sold for £277,250, equivalent to an outstanding £85,000 (US$136,000) per carat.
Other exceptional prices were achieved for diamonds, with an elegant asscher-cut single-stone ring of 19.56 carats (I colour, VVS2 clarity) realising £858,850 against a pre-sale estimate of £315,000 – 440,000 or £43,900 (US$70,200) per carat.
A sapphire and diamond ring from circa 1915 was also among the top lots, selling for £337,250 against a pre-sale estimate of £20,000 – 30,000. Featuring a cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire weighing 6.78 carats, the price per carat was £49,700 (US$79,500).
Jean Ghika, Director of the Jewellery Department for the UK and Europe said "The jewellery was extremely well received at our pre-sale viewings in London, New York, Hong Kong and Geneva. There was intense international competition to secure the top lots with over 40 telephone lines and further bidding from the internet. The quality of the items offered clearly demonstrates that for rare and exceptional jewels the market has never been stronger."
The top ten results for the sale, including buyer's premium are as follows:
- Lot 183, A magnificent and rare art deco natural pearl, emerald and diamond brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels: £1,138,850
- Lot 184, An elegant diamond single-stone ring: £858,850
- Lot 178, A ruby and diamond bracelet by Van Cleef & Arpels: £361,250
- Lot 179, A sapphire and diamond ring: £337,250
- Lot 177, A ruby and diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels: £277,250
- Lot 182, A pair of diamond pendent earrings/rings (3): £217,250
- Lot 181, A pair of natural pearl and diamond earrings: £163, 250
- Lot 144, A diamond necklace: £157, 250
- Lot 35, A ruby single-stone ring: £115,250
- Lot 174, A single-row necklace: £115,250
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