AUCTION – Cheffins sees its most successful Jewellery, Silver & Watches Sale to date, grossing over £510,000


The first Cheffins Jewellery, Silver and Watches Sale of 2023, which took place on 6th April at the firm’s salerooms in Cambridge, saw over £510,000-worth of items sold, with over ninety per cent sold across 657 lots.

The star of the show was a single row of natural saltwater pearls with a diamond-set clasp which sold for £58,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £10,000 – £15,000, having seen 11 bidders on the telephone in addition to those online and bidders in the room, and finally selling to a London-based trade buyer.

Among the high value jewellery on offer was also a diamond-set velvet choker necklace, which was consigned from the estate of the late Julie Cecil, and which sold for £12,000 against an estimate of £700 – £900, and a 20th century pink topaz and split pearl pendant, which made £7,000 when it sold to a Hatton Garden-based trade buyer.

AUCTION – Cheffins sees its most successful Jewellery, Silver & Watches Sale to date, grossing over £510,000

The silver and objets de vertu section was dominated by the Barry Lock collection. A prolific collector, Barry Lock was a senior lawyer at Clifford Chance and personal solicitor to Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson, Nobel prize winner for Chemistry.

From his apartment in Westminster came a large selection of silver, with the most noteworthy lot being a George III silver gilt presentation cup by William Burwash, dated 1818, which is inscribed as to William Scholes Withington, who was instrumental in his involvement in what is now known as the infamous ‘Peterloo Massacre’ in 1819.

The cup sold for £12,000, against an estimate of £4,000 – £6,000, to a collector from the Midlands.

From the same collection also came a George III silver water jug which sold for £4,000 against an estimate of £1,000 – £1,500, a William IV silver ewer and basin which sold for £5,500 against an estimate of £1,500 – £2,500, a George III silver two-handled cup and cover, which sold for £2,000 to an American-based buyer, as well as a set of four George IV silver waiters, with the mark of John Bridge, which sold for £3,200 to a private collector based in London.

AUCTION – Cheffins sees its most successful Jewellery, Silver & Watches Sale to date, grossing over £510,000

The watch section saw a number of antique and modern examples, including a large array of pocket watches. Highlights of the section included an Omega steel ‘Seamaster 300’ from 1966 which sold for £5,500 against an estimate of £2,000 – £4,000. Similarly, a Cartier pocket watch sold for £4,000 against an estimate of £1,500 – £2,500.

Of horseracing interest were a number of items from the collection of the late Julie Cecil, the prolific owner and trainer and the daughter of Noel Murless, one of the greatest trainers in horseracing history. These included a number of jewellery lots, as well as prizes, with one of the highlights being a 20th century 9ct gold cup and cover, engraved ‘Noel Murless 1971’ which sold for £4,000, while a pair of 20th century silver topped taxidermy horse’s hooves, engraved ‘Crepello, 1954, winner of the Two Thousand Guineas and Derby Stakes’ sold for £2,800. Amongst the jewellery from the Julie Cecil collection, beyond the diamond set velvet choker which sold for £12,000, an intaglio painted crystal pendant and chain depicting a horse’s head sold for £2,600 and an Art Deco diamond set panel brooch sold for £2,000.

Steven Collins, Head of Jewellery, Silver & Watches at Cheffins says: “This is our most successful Jewellery, Silver and Watches auction we have hosted to date. And with quality collections such as those from Barry Lock and Julie Cecil, we had a plethora of exciting rare antique and modern pieces to offer to the market.

“Prices are on the rise for fresh-to-market jewellery and silver, whilst classic watches from the best makers continue to be sought after. Barry Lock in particular was an extraordinary collector and his items brought some of the best of the trade buyers to our Cambridge salerooms.

“In the meantime, jewellery and silver prizes from Julie Cecil, the leading lady of the Newmarket horseracing scene, ensured plenty of the racing fraternity were bidding on the day. With a sale rate in excess of 90%, we saw very strong prices achieved across all sectors of the sale.”

The next Jewellery, Silver & Watches Sale will take place at Cheffins on 17th August.


The Jewellery, Silver, Watches Sale – 6th April 2023

Location: Cheffins, Clifton House, 1-2 Clifton Road, Cambridge, UK, CB1 7EA