A stunning selection of diamonds, sapphires and rare pieces with unusual settings was in high demand at the Fine Jewellery sale that took place on 25 April, 2012 at Bonhams, New Bond Street with a total of 3.8 million pounds realised and 90 per cent sold by value.
A 1987 sapphire and diamond "Fuschia" brooch by Van Cleef and Arpels was one of the highlights, realising 181,250 pounds. The petals consisted of mystery-set sapphires, with pear-shaped diamonds as the stamen.
"Van Cleef and Arpels were pioneers of the mystery-setting, where the setting or claws are concealed beneath the gemstones, and the brooch was fiercely competed for. After enthusiastic bidding, the brooch was eventually sold to a client in Europe," stated Jean Ghika, Director of the Jewellery Department for the UK and Europe.
A marquise-cut diamond weighing 13.41 and having high clarity was the top lot of the sale, realising 265,250 pounds, and a sapphire and diamond three-stone ring sold for 151,250 pounds against a pre-sale estimate of 80,000 to 100,000 pounds. The central, oval-cut sapphire weighing 7.28 carats was from Kashmir, where the highest quality and most valuable sapphires originate.
Another top lot of the event was a diamond riviere necklace with forty-one old brilliant-cut diamonds which sold for145, 250 pounds, exceeding the presale estimate of 60,000 to 80,000 pounds.
Other lots included a very rare art nouveau enamel, peridot and diamond brooch/ pendant with an opal drop, by the famous Belgian jeweller Philippe Wolfers which sold for 23,750 pounds.
According to the Bonhams website, the piece was one of a series of unique jewels created by Wolfers as part of his Ex (exemplaire) Unique range and seen as the ultra modern pinnacle of art nouveau jewellery.
Selling for over double its presale estimate of 6,000 to 8,000 pounds, a laque burgauté and coral box by Cartier was another rare example of an art deco piece, realising 23,750 pounds. Owned by the Romanian Princess Marthe Bibesco and inherited by the present owner, the box has never been seen in public before.
Additionally, a strong interest in pearls was also seen among bidders with international collectors fiercely competing for quality pieces.