A spectacular Art Deco Aquamarine and Diamond Necklace by Cartier, dated circa 1940, tripled its pre-sale estimate, selling for £459,000 at Bonhams sale of London Jewels on the 4 December 2019.
The highly articulated geometric necklace, set with nearly 170 carats of beautifully matched aquamarines, was an impeccable example of Cartier’s late Art Deco style and sparked an international bidding war.
Emily Barber, Bonhams UK Jewellery Director, says: “From the 1930s Cartier used aquamarines in their designs. This necklace is a magnificent example of how the Maison elevated the transparent pale-blue gem to the forefront of contemporary high jewellery design.”
Rare private collections of Art Deco clocks sells for £1,154,930.
This important collection of 23 clocks, of which 22 were by Cartier mainly from the Art Deco era, were the subject of fierce competitive bidding during the sale.
20 out of the 23 clocks sold dated from 1908 until the end of the Art Deco period. These impressive timepieces represent the pinnacle of luxury, elegance and craftsmanship that Cartier, and a select few major Parisian jewellery houses, were associated with at this time.
The star performer was A ‘Model A’ Art Deco Rock Crystal, Gold, Agate, Enamel and Diamond-Set ‘Mystery Clock’, by Cartier, made in 1919. This extremely rare and early example of the first type of mystery clock, known as ‘Model A’, features the ‘mystery’ illusion of the hands appearing to float in space without any connection to the movement. It sold for £603,062, exceeding its pre-sale estimate of £150,000 – 250,000.
The 23 clocks sold for a total of £1,154,930.
‘Lost jewel’ by Cartier from the collection of Vita Sackville-West exceeds pre-sale estimate
An historic Emerald, Rock Crystal and Diamond Necklace by Cartier, from The Collection of Vita Sackville-West, the gifted poet, novelist, writer and renowned gardener, captivated Bonhams’ clients from all over the world and sold for £102,562, surpassing its pre-sale estimate of £50,000-70,000.
The large 99-carat Mughal emerald tablet, carved on both sides, is set in a surround of engraved frosted rock crystal decorated with diamonds. Made in 1912, it is a very rare and a very early example of Cartier’s glamorous jewels in the “Maharajah” style. It was sold to Lady Sackville who gave it to her daughter, Vita Sackville-West, on her engagement to Harold Nicholson in 1913.
The jewel has been in the Sackville family for more than 100 years and has not been seen for more than 50 years. Vita Sackville-West’s granddaughter Vanessa Nicholson explains: “My grandmother loved dressing up and going to balls. In the early 1960s shortly before she died, Vita gave my mother some of her jewels. For security reasons we held them in a bank vault so I like to think of this emerald necklace as a lost jewel now coming back into the light.”
Bestselling novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford’s jewels start next chapter in their lives
Ten pieces of jewellery from the private collection of international bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE all sold during the sale. Collected over the period of the novelist’s 55-year marriage to Hollywood movie producer Bob Bradford, the jewels captured global media interest in the run up to the sale. Highlights include:
- A Fancy Yellow Radiant Cut Diamond Ring, weighing 11.30 carats, VS1 clarity with potential to be Internally Flawless, sold for £96,312, double its pre-sale estimate.
- A pair of diamond chandelier earrings by David Morris, sold for £30,062, over five times the auction estimate.
- A White Enamel and Gem Set Cuff Bangle by Verdura, sold for £30,062. This is a limited edition, no 65/70 and featured in The Power of Style: Verdura at 75 exhibition in New York in 2014.
- A Diamond Wristwatch by David Morris exceeded its pre-sale estimate and sold for £42,562.
- A Multi Gem Set Cross Pendant/Necklace by Verdura, which matches the White Enamel and Gem Set Cuff by Verdura, sold for £10,062.
- A Citrine and Diamond ‘Bird on a Rock’ Brooch by Schlumberger for Tiffany sold for £10,687.
Novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE comments: “These wonderful pieces of jewellery really deserve to be worn and enjoyed as much as I have over the years. I hope they make the new owners as happy as they made myself and Bob.”
Exceptional diamonds achieve strong prices at Bonhams
- An Ashoka-cut Diamond Single-Stone Ring by Boodles weighing 6.42 carats, D colour and Internally Flawless, sold for £325,062.
- A Diamond Single-Stone Ring weighing 7.46 carats, H colour, VVS2 clarity, sold for £131,312.
- A Mid 20th Century Diamond Ring by Bulgari, with a 4.22 carats old-pear shaped-diamond, very light pink, S12 clarity, Type IIa, sold for £125,062.
Bonhams’ sale shines a spotlight on natural pearls
Bonhams has an excellent reputation for selling natural pearls at auction in London, New York and Hong Kong and this sale was no exception. As a result, A Pair of Natural Pearl and Diamond Earclips by Sterlé, circa 1950, attracted serious interest from buyers from 20 countries. The pearls, one measuring 13.7 mm x 18.5 mm and the other 13.5mm x 17.2mm sold for £268,812, exceeding their pre-sale estimate by over four times.