Antique bird brooch flies in auction

A bejewelled bird brooch winged its way to victory, when it sold for £40,000 – ten times the bottom estimate – in Tennants Auctioneers’ recent Fine Jewellery, Watches & Silver Sale Made in the early 20th century, the emerald and diamond set swooping bird was unusually large for such a brooch, measuring 12.5 centimetres across the wings.

Antique bird brooch

Indeed, prices for fine period and modern jewellery were strong across the sale, with notable prices achieved for the likes of a diamond plaque set with old cut diamonds in a quatrefoil design, sold for £30,000; an impressive diamond ring with emerald cut central stone, sold for £28,000; and a diamond bracelet with the stones set in a scrolling motif, sold for £16,000.

Further highlights of the section included a sapphire and diamond cluster ring, sold for £9,000, and a sapphire and diamond cluster pendant, which sold for £6,000, both of which featured natural, unheated Sri Lankan sapphires.

A diamond three stone ring sold for £7,000, and a Victorian diamond five stone ring sold for £9,800. Also of note, selling well above estimate at £2,500, was an opal, demantoid garnet and diamond brooch/pendant, and a group of pieces of Greek gold jewellery, which achieved good prices.

The silver in the sale sold well, with nearly all lots selling and 45% of lots selling for high estimate or above. The top lots of the section were three Irish 18 carat gold goblets, made by Royal Irish Silver Co. of Dublin, which sold for a total hammer price of £44,000. Made in the Charles II style, the goblets all bear import marks for Sheffield Assay Office.

Among other stand-out lots were a set of four George III silver candlesticks by Ebenezer Coker of London, which sold for £7,000 against an estimate of £3,000-5,000.

Four antique silver candlesticks by Ebenezer Coker

Elsewhere, a late 17th-century Russian silver and enamel charka, which sold above top estimate for £5,500, and an early 19th-century Swiss gold and enamel musical box, which sold for £4,000. Further interesting lots included a 19th-century Indian silver hot-water jug, possibly by Raghavji Mawjee or Oomersee Mawjee from the Kutch District , which sold for £1,700, and a charming pair of silver models of Grouse by C.J. Vander of London, which fetched £1,350.

The market for vintage and luxury watches appears to show no signs of abating, with strong prices seen throughout the sale. The top lot of the section was a fine and rare 2012 Patek Philippe World Time watch, which sold for £32,000.

Further highlights of the modern luxury models in the sale included an unusual 2010 Franck Muller Long Island ‘Crazy Hours’ watch, which sold for £10,000. The Crazy Hours design is based on the principle of jumping hours, when the hour hand jumps directly from one number to another on the hour, and the numbers are not arranged consecutively around the dial.

Amongst the vintage watches in the sale was a fine and rare 1930s Art Deco ‘Tiger Stripe’ Prince Brancard Rolex. Once owned by Hollywood star James Stephenson, and sold alongside his photograph and paperwork, the watch sold for £12,000.

Prince Brancard Rolex wristwatch

Also of note was a 1978 Rolex Sea-Dweller ‘Great White’, which sold for £11,000.