COMMENTARY – Hemmerle, Lacloche outperform at Sotheby’s London Fine Jewels sale
By David Brough
LONDON, November 2019 – Hemmerle and Lacloche, as well as star brands Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier, outperformed at the London Sotheby’s Fine Jewels sale on November 26, underscoring that quality, beauty and rarity reign in the high-value auctions market.
An unprecedented single-owner collection of jewels by Hemmerle, a long-established Munich jewellery house — the largest ever to appear at auction — achieved a total of 562,500 pounds, doubling its pre-sale estimate.
100% of the Hemmerle lots sold, led by a spectacular emerald, hardstone cameo and tsavorite garnet pendant necklace which soared to £112,500, over seven times the estimate.
Several other gem-set Hemmerle pieces, the property of a lady, comfortably outperformed their estimates, such as a coloured sapphire, yellow diamond and diamond “Mickey Mouse” brooch, which fetched a hammer price of 28,000 pounds, above a 12,000-18,000 estimate.
A pair of spinel and pink sapphire earrings, by Hemmerle, garnered a hammer price of 30,000 pounds, soaring above a 10,000-15,000 pounds estimate.
Van Cleef & Arpels are a consistent strong performer at high-value jewellery auctions, and again triumphed at the London Sotheby’s sale, highlighting the exceptional quality of jewellery making by this Parisian brand and their use of extraordinary gemstones.
An onyx and diamond necklace, “Magic Alhambra, Flagship Limited Edition,” by Van Cleef & Arpels, achieved a hammer price of 48,000 pounds, well above its 20,000-30,000 pounds estimate.
Two 1920s Lacloche pieces scored exceptional results, basking in the publicity surrounding the maison from an exhibition now under way in Paris, accompanied by a new book.
An exquisite jadeite, gem set and diamond brooch by Lacloche, designed in the Egyptian revival style, circa 1925, secured a hammer price of 40,000 pounds, double its 18,000-22,000 estimate.
A diamond and emerald bracelet by Lacloche, dated 1920s, garnered a hammer price of 32,000 pounds after a frenzy of bidding, a big multiple of its 5,000-7,000 pounds estimate.
The relentless appeal of Art Deco high jewellery was maintained in this sale, when applause rang out in response to an impressive result for a pair of onyx, rock crystal and diamond earrings, by Cartier, circa 1925, which sold for a hammer price of 175,000 pounds, surging above their 30,000-50,000 pounds estimate.
The provenance of these earrings, which were formerly in the collection of Annie, 1st Viscountess Cowdray, enhanced their appeal to collectors.