Heritage jewellery sparkles in sale

Sought-after heritage names in jewellery, ranging from Cartier and Petochi to Van Cleef & Arpels, were in demand in a recent sale at Elmwood’s in West London.

Headlining the sale was a collection of seven unheated sapphires from the prized Kashmir region, from an Important Private Collection. Accompanied by certificates from Gubelin and SSEF, this collection smashed its pre-sale estimate of £70,000 to reach £320,000, with fervent bidding over the telephone as well as online. These sapphires saw international reach, with winning bidders in Europe, the UK, Asia and the US.

Samuel Hill, Director of Elmwood’s, said: “The fantastic result for our client, shows the unwavering strength of the market for important and rare coloured stones, even in these uncertain times.”

Kashmir sapphires hold an almost legendary status, due to both their unique colour and velvety texture, and their extreme rarity. Kashmir sapphires were first discovered and mined in the early 1880s, following a landslide in a remote valley in the Kashmir region of India. Hearing that these sapphires were, brighter than any others previously discovered, the Maharaja of Kashmir purchased the mine and work began to uncover these treasures. The mine was active for just five years between 1882 and 1887, when the supply of sapphires was depleted, which makes them exceptionally rare and highly collectible.

Among the stars of the sale was a rare and important natural conch pearl, natural pearl and diamond brooch by Italian jeweller Petochi, set with a conch pearl of approximately 10.00 carats and a natural pearl of 17.00 carats. One of only 3 ever made by the esteemed jeweller, this piece was involved in a fierce bidding war between telephone and online bidders, eventually going to a European collector for a record breaking price of £100,000. The trend for high quality pearls continued, with a pair of fine saltwater pearl and diamond earrings achieving a strong price of £39,000.

“Buying at auction really is the smartest way to shop sustainably” said Elmwood’s co-owner Ben Gosling. “So many vintage and antique jewels offered at auction have a level of craft unmatched by many pieces on offer today”. There is no need to worry about compromising on quality either as “all jewels sold at Elmwood’s are checked and verified by our specialists but also chosen for their condition.”

Among other lots that performed well was an art deco diamond and emerald bracelet which achieved £41,000 against a £30,000 bottom estimate.

Heritage brands saw continued strength throughout the sale. Significant interest was seen in a pair of Hemmerle jade earrings selling to Europe for £18,000.

Cartier saw strong competition, with many pieces exceeding their pre sale estimates, a diamond pendant, selling for £14,000 against an £8,000 – £12,000 estimate as well as a vintage emerald, enamel chick and egg brooch selling for £9,500 against an estimate of £6,000 – £8,000.

Ben Gosling continued: “These diligently curated Important Jewels sales are a wonderful part of our auction calendar, from not just a sustainability standpoint, but also allowing clients the opportunity to obtain rare and scarce, high-quality jewels .While we never advocate buying for investment,  heritage makers and quality gemstones will always resell well.”