After the success of its jewellery auction in New York on Tuesday (June 12), just 24 hours later Christie's was at it again - this time on the other side of the Atlantic, with the Cowdray Pearls necklace headlining.
The Important Jewels sale in London on Wednesday (June 13) realised a total of £9.8m, with numerous lots exceeding their estimates. But whereas the New York auction was headlined by a sparkling array of diamonds, London collectors and investors were presented with a collection of superb natural pearls.
Topping the sale in some style were the Cowdray Pearls, a necklace featuring 38 graduated natural grey pearls formerly owned by the Viscountess Cowdray, Lady Pearson (1860-1932). Estimated at £280,000-350,000, the necklace rapidly surpassed this valuation on its way to a stunning new world record price for natural grey pearls of £2.2m - 519% above its high estimate.
The impressive results continued, with many lots smashing their pre-sale valuations. A natural pearl necklace priced at £180,000-220,000 sold for £802,850, and was quickly followed by another which sold for £385,250 - 381% above its high estimate of £80,000.
In addition to fine pearls, diamonds proved as popular as ever. A Cartier Art Deco diamond bracelet brought £481,250, more than three times its top estimate of £150,000, and a similar Cartier Art Deco tiara achieved £277,250 against the same high valuation.
Keith Penton, head of Christie's London jewellery department, remarked: "This London sale concludes an extremely successful spring season for jewels at Christie's."
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