Sotheby’s nets record sales at NY Spring auction
NEW YORK, April 14, 2011 – A sale of Magnificent Jewels achieved $39,367,350, exceeding the pre-sale estimate of $35.6 million and selling 84.2 percent by lot, representing the highest-ever total for a spring auction of jewellery at Sotheby’s in New York.
The sale on April 14 was characterized by a series of outstanding prices for unique, top-quality diamonds and designs, which attracted a global audience of both
private collectors and members of the trade.
Competition was especially fierce for Magnificent Jewels from a family collection – a group featuring romantic diamonds and Cartier designs from the firm’s creative peak –that brought $7,885,125, more than double its high estimate.
“Today’s results reflect the continued appetite for well designed jewels, from period pieces by Cartier to contemporary designs by JAR and Taffin,” said Lisa Hubbard,
Chairman, North & South America, International Jewelry Division.
“Nowhere was that more evident that in the spectacular prices achieved by the Distinguished Family Collection, which featured diamonds evocative of the Belle Époque era, as well as signed pieces by two of the best designers of the period: Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier.”
Gary Schuler, Director of Jewelry in New York, said, “Collectors are willing to pay a premium for diamonds with charm, and that was a hallmark of today’s sale. Whether they feature old-world cuts or magnificent and unique colors, the opportunity to compete for these stones is exactly why buyers come to auction.”
Magnificent Jewels from a Distinguished Family Collection
At least 10 bidders fought for an exquisite Diamond Jabot Pin, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., circa 1920, featuring a pear-shaped D color, type IIa diamond of 15.31 carats and VVS2 clarity before it eventually achieved $1,986,500, more than double the pre-sale high estimate of $800,000.
An elegant Platinum and Diamond Pendant, circa 1915 set with a D color, VS2 clarity, type IIa pear-shaped diamond of 20.74 carats brought $2,154,500, well in excess of expectations (est. $800,000/1.2 million).
A Fluted Emerald and Tumbled Ruby Bead Necklace with a Ruby and Diamond Clasp, circa 1740 saw the fiercest and most prolonged competition of the group, eventually selling for $758,500, more than 10 times its high estimate.
White & Fancy Color Diamonds
Strong prices for diamonds in the sale were led by a magnificent Emerald-Cut Diamond, 30.52 carats, D color, VVS1 clarity with Excellent Polish and Excellent Symmetry that brought $3,386,500, as well as a Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond Ring that fetched $3,274,500 (est. $3/4 million).
The piece features an Internally Flawless marquise-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond of 3.18 carats, set within a contemporary openwork diamond mounting.
A Magnificent and Rare Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond Ring set with a cushion-shaped diamond of fancy vivid pink color weighing 3.62 carats, sold for $1,874,500 (est. $1.5/2 million), while a Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond Ring, Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co, 1972 featuring a whimsical “bee” motif mounting, sparked a bidding war in the
morning session, leading to a $1,082,500 result that was more than twice the low estimate.
The ring comes from a private collection, and is set with a spectacular cushion-shaped diamond of fancy vivid yellow color weighing 11.13 carats, VS2 clarity.
Leading the colored stones on offer was an important Emerald and Diamond Ring, Harry Winston, circa 1955 set with a Colombian emerald of 16.93 carats that has
remained in the same family for decades, which soared over its high estimate of $1 million to reach $1,874,500.
A Ruby and Diamond Brooch, Chaumet, France, circa 1920 centering a cushion-shaped Burma ruby of 10 carats set within an Art Deco diamond plaque met expectations when it sold for $986,500 (est. $800/1.2 million).
The Platinum, Sapphire and Diamond Ring featuring a certified “royal blue” cushion-shaped Burma sapphire of 24.60 carats, led the sapphires in the sale, bringing $794,500 (est. $700,000/1 million).
Period and Signed Jewels
The auction featured strong prices for unique period and signed jewels, led by a Pair of 18 Karat Gold, Silver, Diamond, Sapphire and Emerald Earclips, JAR, Paris,
1998, which far exceeded their estimate in selling for $326,500 (est. $100/200,000).
The 18 Karat Gold and Plique-à-Jour Enamel Pendant-Brooch and Chain, Marcus & Co., circa 1900, one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau jewels to be offered at
auction, achieved $302,500, more than five times the high estimate.
Today’s sale follows the 6 April auction of Magnificent Jewels & Jadeite at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, which brought that location’s second-highest total ever for a jewelry auction with $53.5 million.
Sotheby’s spring sales continue in Geneva on 17 May, featuring the Highly Important and Extremely Rare Emerald and Diamond Tiara, the most important emerald and diamond tiara to come to auction in 30 years (est. $5/10 million).