Specialist Picks: Kristian Spofforth's Fine Jewels Highlights

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Launch Slideshow

This Fine Jewels sale offers a wonderful array of jewels and objects. Among the highlights is a Cartier brooch worn by Margaret Thatcher and sold to benefit the Endeavour Fund, which supports the recovery of wounded, sick and injured servicemen and women. Also offered is jewellery from the collection of King Farouk of Egypt. Refreshments and macarons from Pierre Hermé served throughout the exhibition and auction.  

Fine Jewels
London | 7 June 2017

 

 

Specialist Picks: Kristian Spofforth's Fine Jewels Highlights

  • Diamond Ring. Estimate £18,000—22,000.
    A delicately made ring that has real character to it. The diamond is an unusual shape, slightly wider than a normal marquise-shaped diamond. With an attractive grading of H colour and Si1 clarity this makes the diamond a very nice piece to have in one’s collection. A lovely stone in a lovely mount.

  • Diamond Brooch, Early 20th Century. Estimate £4,000—6,000.
     A very pretty little naturalistic brooch of lovely form from the second half of the 19th century. The jeweller has really made the piece come alive with the delicately folded leaves that are out of position making the brooch feel very fragile and the coloured diamonds add an unusual and very pretty burst of colour to an otherwise monochromatic piece.

  • Gold and enamel skull stick pin, in the manner of Gustave Trouvé and Cadet-Picard, 1870s. Estimate £3,000—5,000.
    These are particularly rare and unusual pieces only appearing at auction once every few years. They are Memento Mori; reminders that we are all destined to die and that we should live our lives accordingly. This was a strong Victorian belief that ties in with their fascination with the occult and afterlife. The mechanism is particularly lovely on this adding a novelty macabre element and showing the delicate skill of the jeweller.

  • Agate and enamel jewel, berini and morelli, first quarter of the 19th Century and later. Estimate £3,000—4,000.
    Cameos and intaglios were the essential collectors item of the late 18th/early 19th century. Gentlemen collectors would pay huge sums (sometimes the equivalent of £30,000 today) for a Cameo or intaglio by a famous name to add to their dactyliothecae.  Berini and Morelli were two such artists and were in great demand. To find both on one work is very rare, one working in cameo (positive) and one in intaglio (negative), as competition for commissions was fierce. In the late 18th century glyptic carvers from many nations were found in Rome and as many as 800 were vying for the attention of noble patrons. Forgeries of antique glyptics, fraud, spurious signatures and cloak and dagger dealings were all part of a fascinating period of furious collecting that had all but died out by the mid 19th century.

  • Emerald and diamond ring. Estimate £8,000—10,000.
    Emeralds of Pakistani origin come from the same geological vein as Afghani emeralds. Stones from this source were traditionally prized as some of the finest emeralds in the world. Due to world events of the last 20 or so years these emeralds have become quite scarce and can command high prices. This emerald is an unusual cut and a particularly bright vivid green making it a very pleasing and desirable stone.

  • Sapphire and hardstone box. Estimate £4,500 — 6,500.
    This small hardstone jar is a lovely example of something that just works well. The designer clearly had an idea in their mind and as unusual as the design is, they pursued it to completion and created something that is very tactile and pleasing to hold. The pale pastel green is offset with the bright gold bands and contrasted with the deep blue of the sapphires. It all works together to create a functional compact objet d’art.

  • Enamel and diamond desk timepiece, Cartier, circa 1915. Estimate £12,000—18,000. Mother-of-pearl, rose quartz and sapphire timepiece, Cartier, 1930s. Estimate £12,000—18,000.
    In a period where we have the time on our screens, our phones, our wrists and often the office wall there is something very elegant about having a desk clock. These beautiful timepieces, often very delicately enamelled,  hark back to a time when desk ornaments were works of art and often fashioned by the greatest jewellers and sculptors. There is a very beautiful and simple design to these functional items that make them a very stylish and useful addition to any desk.

  • Bracelet, 1930s. Estimate £4,000—6,000.
    This bracelet is very stylish in silver and gold. It is very evocative of the machinist jewellers of the early part of the 20th century. Jewellers such as Sandoz and Fouquet were influenced by the advancing engineering and architecture of the time. This blend of interlocking sinuous panels feels both industrial and at the same time elegant. The piece has matured with age and the slightly worn tarnished silver contrasts beautifully with the bright gold, and rather than feeling flimsy the bracelet is solid and has a weight that again contrasts with the simple artistic design.

  • Diamond brooch, Cartier, 1937. Estimate £25,000—35,000.
    Provenance often plays an important part in the presentation and success of a piece of jewellery at auction. A Cartier diamond brooch from the late art deco period is in itself a piece from the top echelons of the jewellery world. To then have such strong provenance as being worn by Margaret Thatcher on two landmark occasions elevates this to the circle of jewellery that comprises pieces by the best jewellers and that have historic importance. Our first female Prime Minister and one of the most prominent politicians of the 20th century,  to have images of Baroness Thatcher wearing this brooch on her resignation from the office of Prime minister and from Commons is quite special provenance.

  • Diamond ring. Estimate £250,000—350,000.
    This list would be incomplete without the inclusion of the ‘car boot diamond’, or the ‘£10 diamond’. Not only is the story behind it quite incredible, we all long to make a discovery like this at a car boot sale, but the diamond in itself is thoroughly stunning. Weighing in at a very impressive 26.29 carats, the diamond has been graded by the GIA as I colour, VVS2 clarity. These grades only describe the factual colour and clarity grades. The shape and cut of the stone is very alluring, it is a stone to be held and appreciated, rolling around in the hand like it is meant to be toyed with. The life and vibrancy of the stone make it a very warm and tactile, many diamonds can feel formal and angular, this diamond even at its large size begs to be worn and cared for. Its deep history adds an intriguing air of mystery that longs to be unfolded, if this diamond could talk what stories could it could tell...

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