Lalique Brooch sells for £58,000
03 Oct, 2008
A rare Lalique brooch has sold for £58,000 at Salisbury auction
house, Woolley and Wallis Salerooms, despite almost being thrown
away by its owner.
The lady vendor, local to the salerooms, was selling items to
finance a knee operation when she came across the brooch in a box
of bric-a-brac tucked away in her loft. Believing it to be of
little value, she brought it to jewellery specialist Jonathan
Edwards and was amazed by his conservative pre-sale estimate of
£5,000 - 7,000. On being told of its hammer price, a record for a
piece of jewellery at Woolley and Wallis, she said she was
"staggered but delighted".
Her sentiments were shared by specialist Jonathan Edwards, who
feels that the result reflects the currently buoyant jewellery
market. The price is the second record for Jonathan's department
this year, after a large diamond cluster ring sold for £52,000 in
the January Jewellery sale. However, this piece is closer to the
specialist's heart: "It's not so difficult to get a high price for
substantial diamonds," says Jonathan, "but here we're talking about
something which has an intrinsic value of only a few hundred
pounds. For this brooch to make the price that it did shows how
much collectors value its rarity, collectability and, above all,
There were several collectors and dealers standing by to contest
the piece, many of whom were quickly disappointed as the price rose
well above the £20,000 which many had expected it to make. It was
all hands on deck for saleroom staff who were manning fifteen
telephone lines, as well as fielding early bids from the internet.
In the end the piece sold on the telephone to West End dealer
Wartski, having been underbid in the room by disappointed Lalique
dealer, Raoul Arantes.
The popularity of the brooch appears to rest, at least partly, in
its construction. "Lalique was not only a spectacular jewellery
designer," opines Jonathan Edwards, "he is also famous for his
glass ware. The pate-de-verre body of this brooch, and its
plique-a-jour wings, means that it combines both areas, increasing
its appeal to collectors."
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