While the current financial climate may mean some areas of the art market are down, the jewellery sector is certainly not out, as evidenced by Woolley and Wallis's recent successful sale. Just under 400 lots netted £300,000 (exclusive of buyer's premium), in a sale which included several private collections from local families.
Buyers were particularly strong for items of a high intrinsic value, suggesting that investment in precious metals and gem stones is currently a viable alternative to the stock market. Highlights in this area included a three stone diamond ring, containing a 5.12 carat cushion-shaped diamond, which sold for £15,000, a 2.2 carat diamond solitaire ring at £6,000, and a garnet parure of necklace, earrings and a ring, which doubled its bottom estimate to £2,300.
The sale was boosted by a substantial collection of pre-war jewellery, being sold by a titled Irish family, most of which doubled the pre-sale estimates to total over £62,000. One of the more interesting lots included in the collection was a very rare padparadscha ring, which sold for £8,200. Padparadscha sapphires are highly valued for their unusual pinkish-orange hues. Another strongly contested lot was a three-row natural pearl necklace, chased to £13,000 with interest from three different sources in India.
The next jewellery sale at Woolley and Wallis is on 29th January, and entries are already being accepted. For more information contact Jonathan Edwards on 01722 424504.