NEW YORK - Bonhams Madison Avenue salesroom was buzzing on April 15 with two highly anticipated auctions, A Prominent Collection of Fine Jewellery consisting of eighty-two exquisite pieces from a private collector, and a subsequent auction of Fine Jewellery consisting of 182 fashionable pieces sourced from various owners. A record number of international telephone bidders as well as eager attendees and internet bidders spurred on the bidding action. The day realised over $5.3 million in sales.
The auction of A Prominent Private Collection of Fine Jewellery, was positively exceptional. Featuring the jewels of a noted philanthropist and socialite who had personal relationships with many of this century's most storied jewellers, many pieces sold well over estimate with over 96% going to eager bidders.
Susan Abeles, Bonhams US Head of Jewellery said, "Bonhams New York is clearly establishing itself as a premier venue for high-profile private collections of fine jewellery. We're thrilled with the results and expect more opportunities to offer exceptional collections to the public in the near future."
Bidders were clearly impressed with the bold and colourful pieces on offer in this collection, particularly those from Bulgari. A fancy coloured diamond and diamond ring weighing 21.07 carats from Bulgari was the afternoon's top lot, achieving $590,500. Other Bulgari pieces of note from the private collection included a coloured diamond bracelet that realised $278,500 and an emerald and diamond necklace that sold for $182,500. An eighteen karat gold and ancient coin necklace from Bulgari, said to be a favourite of the consigner and a wardrobe staple, soared past its pre-sale estimate of $15,000-20,000 to sell for $67,300.
The Private Collection was followed immediately by an auction of Fine Jewellery sourced from various owners, which realised strong results for diamonds in particular. A rectangular-cut fancy yellow diamond weighing 15.45 carats and diamond solitaire ring achieved $302,500, while a pear-shaped diamond solitaire ring weighing 4.35 carats by Harry Winston surpassed its estimate to sell for $158,500. A natural fancy yellow colour old European-cut diamond ring weighing 5.61 carats nearly tripled its pre-sale high estimate of $50,000 to sell for $146,500. The sale's cover lot, an Art Deco jadeite jade and diamond brooch from Mauboussin also sold over its estimate, realising $122,500.
"We are seeing a heightened interest in white and coloured diamonds and signed jewellery- this interest is compounded by significant increased international interest," said Virginia Salem, Director of the Jewellery Department at Bonhams New York. "Both auctions featured rare and unusual pieces that potential buyers covet."
Bonhams next Fine Jewellery auction in New York will take place on June 19.
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