A string of statement pieces and historical gems have led the results in the first Jewellery sale of 2020.
A rare and colourful Georgian demi-parure set (Lot 1529) with ruby, pink and yellow topaz and amethyst quadrupled its top estimate to sell for £20,000 (including premium). Enclosed in its original 18th century case, the necklace, earring and stick pin set was hotly contested but eventually fell to a private UK collector bidding on the telephone.
The sale’s top lot was a diamond bracelet (Lot 1532) totalling 44 carats in weight, with a central pear-shaped diamond encircled by twelve round diamonds and a further 41 marquise-cut diamonds. Bidding against the £25,000 starting price began in the room and was chased up between two determined telephone bidders, with the last dropping out at £38,500. The eventual UK buyer paid a total of £48,000 with buyer’s premium.
Elsewhere, a selection of early historic and 19th century cameo and intaglio gems drew strong interest, with collectors competing particularly keenly for a Hellenistic garnet cameo ring depicting the head of Omphale (Lot 1418). Dating from the 1st century BC it exceeded estimate to sell for a premium-inclusive £6,000. While a Roman agate intaglio ring carved with a scene of Faustulus, Romulus and Remus (Lot 1416) reached £5,000.
At the other end of the spectrum, pieces with an Art Deco flavour proved themselves popular with a large navette-shaped emerald and diamond ring (Lot 1495) reaching £4,400, and a diamond pendant of a classic Deco fan-motif (Lot 1528) just exceeding its top estimate at £8,000.
“Broadly speaking the top prices are following current fashions,” said head of Jewellery, Marielle Whiting. “Diamonds remain popular, especially of good cut and colour and arranged in statement pieces such as the bracelet mentioned above. As we enter the new Roaring ‘20s I suppose it is inevitable that we see a revival in Art Deco fashions, and we hope that will continue over the course of the year.”
The department are now accepting entries for their Fine Jewellery sale on 30th April.