BONHAMS JEWELLERY AUCTION
I visited Bonhams fine jewelry auction preview to check out some of the treasures for sale as well as visiting the new Bonhams luxury headquarter on New Bond Street, London. Bonhams is a privately owned British auction house and one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers. The reception happened in a private room where guests can watch the bidding process without being seen. Personally, I prefer to bid online, my recent bid was for 1920 Art Deco diamonds and sapphire brooch at a bargain. The online trend is certainly growing with 54 of the 252 lots for auction were bought by online bidders.
The delicious lunch of jewels was a real feast for the senses! Beginning with a delectable starter of a pair of art deco ruby and diamond clip brooches by Cartier. If that wasn’t enough to whet one’s appetite for gems, the main dish was an outstanding belle époque ruby and diamond necklace by Cartier. All this served with a distinguished wine in the form of a diamond, sapphire, emerald and onyx “Panthère” bracelet by Cartier!
This timeless hinged bangle from Cartier is instantly recognizable from the two opposing panther heads. The detail is flawless, from the pavé-set brilliant-cut diamonds and buff-top sapphire spots right to the emerald eyes and onyx nose. The “Panthère” is one of Cartier‘s most famous and enduring design motifs, it origins reaching back to the drawings of the House’s chief designer Charles Jacqueau from 1914. Since then the ‘Great Cat’ motif was used with increased frequency by Cartier‘s artistic director Jeanne Toussant from 1933.
A pair of art deco ruby and diamond clip brooches, by Cartier, circa 1925. Each shield-shaped clip is covered with a central cluster of cushion and pear-shaped rubies, within an openwork border of old brilliant, single and baguette-cut diamonds. Rich faceted reds of the rubies contrast stunningly against the clear white diamonds- this is Vintage styled jewelry at it’s finest. Pieces that could be passed down from generation to generation as beloved family heirlooms, not to mention being amazingly stylish jewels to wear. These were just the first of the treats that were in store.
The Main Course
A belle époque ruby and diamond necklace, circa 1905. The starter was exciting, but nothing had prepared me for this true treasure! A most elaborate necklace, the front designed as a rose-cut diamond lattice interspersed with old brilliant and single-cut diamond garlands. Cushion-shaped ruby and rose-cut diamond clusters of varying sizes were set among the suspended fringe of set ruby and diamond drops. There’s plenty of attention to detail with a back chain composed of collet-set single-cut diamonds securely set in platinum.
There were so many adorable gems that I could not just settle on three- another favourite piece for auction in December is a diamond and emerald butterfly brooch, circa 1930 (estimate £2,000 – 2,500). A piece that epitomises luxury itself- The thorax was designed as a collet-set old brilliant-cut diamond, the abdomen, wings and antennae pierced and set throughout with old brilliant single and rose-cut diamonds with cabochon emerald eyes. Could this jewel be any more perfect? I just had to add it to my Christmas list!
The above are just a taste of the art deco treasures that one can expect to see go up for auction on the 4th of December at Bonhams New Bond Street Salesrooms. Many of the rare pieces are signed examples by the legendary jewellers themselves, among them will be renowned Cartier pieces. It’s these gems that will be the one’s to watch or indeed to bid on if you are thinking of attending yourself. Signed pieces by well known master craftsman will usually hold more value because of their historical and cultural connections. It’s a good idea to focus on natural pearls too, since more antique pearl jewels are rarely found elsewhere.
The 4th December certainly is a date for your diary, why not head on down to discover the treasures for yourself? Here are the times for the previews. Address: Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, London W1S 1SR.
Saturday 29 November: 9.00am-4.30pm
Monday 1 December 9.00am-4.30pm
Tuesday 2 December: 9.00am-6.00pm
Wednesday 3 December: 9.00am-4.30pm
Thursday 4 December: 9.00am-11.00am
Alternatively, bidders are permitted to bid online. Online bidding is a new trend that’s taking the auction world by storm, it is time for younger generations to participate in jewelry biding and discover a very different world of jewellery. And with Christmas coming up there’s no better time to purchase an extra special gift for a loved one (or yourself!)
I highly recommend checking out insurance and shipping costs in advance to avoid expensive surprises later on. Also, to check the estimate and use that as an accurate guide price when planning on your bids. All in all, auctions are fantastic places to find genuine antiques and gorgeous gems at lower starting prices compared to ‘buy it now’ sales.
I would love to hear what you think by leaving me a comment below. Thank you! You might also love to discover my jewellery curation for Sotheby’s online auction and the largest flawless diamond ever to come to an auction!
SHOP MY FAVOURITE JEWELRY ONLINE:
I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery.
GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring exquisite global discoveries, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews.
GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.
Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.
Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.