Bonhams were celebrating another success last week, as Friday's 'Art of Jewels: Fine Jewellery and Iconic Gems' auction in London on December 9 realised an impressive £2.7m.
As expected it was a pair of important Cartier pieces that drew the highest bids of the sale, with both items exceeding expectations by doubling their low-end estimates.
Top spot went to a rare diamond and natural pearl bow brooch, circa 1960, which featured two exceptional large natural saltwater pearls suspended by diamond ribbons. After fierce bidding it sold for £300,000 to a private buyer, far beyond its estimate of £150,000 - £200,000.
The second Cartier piece was an exquisite Art-Deco diamond necklace, made in 1936, which demonstrated the pioneering nature of the French jewellery house during the inter-war period. Made up of numerous cuts of diamond set in pierced geometric plaques, the necklace exceeded its pre-sale estimate of £100,000 - 150,000 to sell for £264,000, also to a private buyer.
Diamond single-stone rings also proved extremely popular with collectors, and notable sales included a 5.01 carat, E colour, VVS2 clarity, brilliant-cut Garrard diamond ring that sold for £180,000 and a two-stone ring, set with a 5.03ct, J colour, VVS2 clarity pear-shaped diamond and a 5.02ct, fancy light yellow, VS2 clarity, pear-shaped diamond that sold for £117,600, almost three times its pre-sale estimate.
Further highlights included a selection of fine antique jewellery and a mid 19th century bracelet set with a 5.08ct carat Colombian emerald sold for £74,400.
The sale drew the attention of jewellery collectors and investors worldwide, with bids coming from the UK, the US, Hong Kong and the Middle East. It showed once more the strength of diamonds in the current jewellery market, with the competition for the rarest and best items becoming stronger with every sale.
Jean Ghika, Director of Bonhams Jewellery Department comments "we are delighted to announce these results. Our international buyers fought to secure the top two pieces by Cartier. We were also honoured to be chosen to handle the sale of a private collection of jewels, never before seen on the open market, that realised a total of £500,000".
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