Google+ The Daily Jewel: 12/11/11 - 12/18/11


Friday, December 16, 2011

Skinner Fine Jewelry Auction Brings $4.7 Million

Skinner Fine Jewelry Auction Brings $4.7 Million, $1.3 Million
Over Pre-Auction Estimate

A classic example of Art Deco jewelry leads the way with an outstanding result

Skinner, Inc. today announced the results of its latest Fine Jewelry auction, which was held in Boston on December 6th. The highly successful sale grossed $4.7 million including buyer’s premium, surpassing the pre-auction estimate high by more than a million dollars. Colored stones, Art Deco pieces, diamonds, and natural pearls were especially strong performers.

Colored Stones & Art Deco Jewelry
A rare star Burma ruby and diamond ring (lot 751) smashed the auction presale estimate ($15,000 to $20,000). Featuring an oval cabochon star ruby weighing 28.00 cts., the stone was extraordinary in size and color, and brought an outstanding $242,500. A Kashmir sapphire ring (lot 763) featuring a cushion-cut sapphire weighing 8.40 cts. sold for an impressive $369,000, and an oval-cut, unmounted, yellow sapphire (lot 225A) brought $159,975.

A fine French Art Deco carved emerald, ruby and diamond pendant brooch (lot 750) by Chaumet (originally from the Lillian S. Timken collection) sold for $385,500, and, a fine Art Deco platinum and diamond figural bracelet (lot 764), originally retailed by Thomas Kirkpatrick, sold for $171,825.

Diamonds & Natural Pearls
While colored stones and Art Deco pieces were very popular, diamonds also made an excellent showing, proving the timeless appeal of the diamond solitaire and the strength of the market for high-clarity. A round brilliant diamond weighing 4.98 cts. (lot 747) with melee accents sold for $385,500. Other diamond solitaires included a round, brilliant-cut diamond (lot 648) weighing 3.00 cts. that sold for $84,135, and, a solitaire set with a full-cut diamond (lot 642) weighing 5.16 cts., which brought $74,655.

Several lots featuring natural pearls also sold well. A necklace composed of eighty-seven natural pearls ranging from 4.10 to 7.90 mm and accompanied by a GIA report from 1956 (lot 665) sold for $46,215. A pair of natural pearl and diamond ear pendants (lot 737), also with a GIA report, sold for $26,070.

Artist-Signed and Vintage Jewelry
Well known for bringing important artist-signed and vintage jewelry to auction, Skinner continues to satisfy the demand for unusual and signed works. A pair of antique 18kt gold and reverse-painted crystal fishbowl ear pendants from the 1870s (lot 509) brought $17,775, and an Edwardian diamond sunburst pendant/brooch from Tiffany & Co. (lot 762) brought $74,062.

An 18kt gold and enamel caddis worm pendant/brooch by John Paul Miller (lot 424) demonstrates beautifully the goldsmith’s mastery of enamel and granulation and brought $11,258. A brooch (lot 484) from the 1870s depicting Alcatraz Island from the days before it was a prison sold for $7,703.

According to Victoria Bratberg, director of Fine Jewelry at Skinner, “This auction was uniformly strong across all the categories: colored stones, diamonds, natural pearls, artist-signed jewelry, Art Deco, and antique works.” Bratberg continued, “The sale generated interest from around the world, and demonstrates our ability to consign extraordinary jewelry that brings top prices at auction.”

About Skinner
Skinner, Inc. is one of the world’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art. With expertise in over 20 specialty collecting areas, Skinner draws the interest of buyers from all over the world and its auctions regularly achieve world record prices. Skinner provides a broad range of auction and appraisal services, and it is widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the auction business.  Skinner’s appraisal experts regularly appear on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, and its specialty departments include American Furniture & Decorative Arts, American & European Works of Art, European Furniture & Decorative Arts, 20th Century Design, Fine Ceramics, Fine Jewelry, Couture, Fine Musical Instruments, Asian Works of Art, Fine Wines, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, Fine Judaica, Antique Motor Vehicles, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, Discovery and Science, Technology & Clocks. Skinner galleries are located in Boston and Marlborough, Mass. For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit Skinner’s web site

Designer Jewel: Duncan Stevens, Opulence - Men!

We are all born originals - why is it so many of us die copies? - Edward Young

Duncan has again released a mouth-wateringly significant piece of jewellery. Signet is part of his extravagant one-off rarities and is Duncan’s first men’s ring to join the Opulence Collection, that collection of rings and necklaces which grabbed attention in the media throughout the global financial meltdown for their oversized gemstones, diamonds and weighty solid gold sculptural forms.

Handcrafted in 18k yellow gold, this polished men’s ring has a gently curved top which houses the fifteen specially cut square gemstones. These stones are set into three lines, its grid broken by the solitary Diamond amongst all the Onyx. Along the inside of the band is a single small round diamond used as part of a personalised message and the recipient of this ring absolutely loved it, even commenting on how the piece was even more spectacular than the drawings.
The opulent Signet ring will be but the beginning of his men's range, as well as some other women's sumptuous pieces to join this rarefied collection. Only a handful of these pieces have been created so far, the sheer extravagance of the materials used, keeping them reserved for the most discerning and fortunate few, and with clients including an African and European royal, as well as women of means, it is no surprise that his work continues to grab the attention of loyal clients and collectors abroad.

In 2009, Duncan released what became known as the Opulence Collection. He was not afraid to buck against the prevailing trends of that time to go smaller, more commercial and cheaper. Duncan’s intention with the Opulence Collection is a strong desire to develop a strand of one-off collectors pieces, a body of estate jewellery. Investment pieces of solid precious metals and gems, with his over-arching vision to develop no more than a hundred pieces a year of spectacular jewellery, each piece having it’s own essence, fulfilling it’s own vision, not tied into being part of a set. In a sense, the piece itself should be able to stand alone, the wearer needing no other artifice.
“Duncan Stevens whose pieces are rare objets d’art in their own right…creates pieces of high value that are infused with the energy that is present in this talented man dedicated to high end craftsmanship.” – Luxury News
Duncan has never truly felt comfortable with the idea of making multiples of pieces. He has however developed ranges of jewellery, where perhaps no more than a 100 of his smaller ready-to-wear pieces have been created (in his mind this constitutes mass production). But the pieces that reside in the Opulence collection are some of his most fabulous pieces, not only for their cost, but also for the manner in which they shall never be repeated. And there-in lies the beauty in what Duncan does, part of his design and commissioning process to create these signature pieces are carefully thought out shapes and material or in-depth meetings with his clients to ascertain their needs.
Attention to detail and careful selection of materials ensures that these pieces are special, each one a small part of the designer himself. Duncan never wants to compete in the saturated mass produced market, the hallmark of our industrial age, instead, he continues to produce a small quantity of special pieces and builds a portfolio of some of the most exquisite and bold one-off pieces around.
“Duncan Stevens is not only one of South Africa’s leading jewellery artists in creativity and design, he is also a remarkably clever designer. His love of innovative design can be seen in his pieces and demonstrates his commitment to unique jewellery matched with fine craftsmanship.” – Makia

About Duncan Stevens
The formation of Duncan Stevens is born of a love for jewellery and objets d’art. There is a clear aesthetic to the work designed and produced by him. The intention is to continue to create unique pieces of high value work, small batch pieces of mid-range priced jewellery and a range of affordable jewellery, all the while maintaining quality and design integrity.

The core ethos of Duncan Stevens is simple;quality over quantity. His core values are defined by a highly developed aesthetic, but matched with fine craftsmanship.  Limited editions, one-offs and small runs means every piece is catalogued, and every piece remains special.

Every time a person purchases a piece of jewellery, they know the quantity available, and that should they own a unique piece, that it belongs only to them, and will never be repeated again.

Check out to see images of more stunning works from Duncan Stevens or join the Duncan Stevens Jewellery Facebook page at or get jewellery styling & gift tips @DSJewellery on Twitter

Source:  Press Release from Duncan Stevens

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Elizabeth Taylor's magnificent collection of jewels has captivated the auction world this fall, resulting in world-wide bidding and this first landmark result. Without a doubt the greatest private collection of jewelry ever assembled, this sale marked the powerful start of Christie’s historic week of sales auctioning the Jewelry, Fashion, Accessories and Memorabilia from The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor between the 13 – 16 December, in tandem with the online-only sale (3 – 17 December),” said Marc Porter, Chairman and President of Christie's Americas.
(Pictured above are the Burton Wedding bands which, after a 15 minute bidding battle, realized $1,022,500) 

“The extraordinary results of the first jewelry sale are a tribute to Elizabeth Taylor's expert eye for fine gemstones and jewels, as well as her stature as a legendary star and inspiring philanthropist. During the international pre-sale exhibition tour, which travelled all the way to Hong Kong, via Moscow, London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Dubai, Geneva and Paris, before arriving in New York, thousands of collectors and admirers braved long lines to get a glimpse of one of the greatest collections of all time,” noted François Curiel, International Jewelry Director and President of Christie’s Asia. “For many, there was both the desire to share in the stories behind Elizabeth Taylor’s iconic jewels and to dream of perhaps acquiring one. For others, the sale provided the opportunity to purchase unique jewels, which brought Elizabeth Taylor such joy and reflect her remarkable taste and connoisseurship. I know she would be thrilled that her passion has inspired others through this landmark event. Being the auctioneer for this sale was one of the most memorable auctioneering events of my life.”

About Christies:
Christie’s, the world's leading art business had global auction and private sales in 2010 that totaled £3.3 billion/$5.0 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's conducted the greatest auctions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and today remains a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers over 450 sales annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s has 53 offices in 32 countries and 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, and Hong Kong. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in emerging and new markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christie's First of the Elizabeth Taylor Auctions - $115,932,000

The first of the Elizabeth Taylor auctions took place last night at Christie's...there was a total of 80 items with 100% sell through.  Some of these prices will surprise you!

Estimate:  $2,500,000 - $3,500,000
Set with a cut-cornered rectangular-cut diamond, weighing approximately 33.19 carats, flanked on either side by a tapered baguette-cut diamond, mounted in platinum.
With report 1132411262 dated 9 May 2011 from the Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is D color, VS1 clarity; accompanied by a working diagram indicating that the clarity may be potentially internally flawless

Price Realized - $8,818,500
Estimate:  $2,000,000 - $3,000,000
Suspending a detachable drop-shaped natural pearl pendant, weighing approximately 202.24 grains or 50.56 carats, measuring approximately 17.35 - 17.90 x 25.50 mm, with an old mine-cut and rose-cut diamond and silver foliate bail, suspended from a circular-cut diamond flame motif set with a pear-shaped ruby, spaced by a detachable pear-shaped ruby and natural pearl link, to the two-strand necklace, comprising fifty-six natural pearls and four cultured pearls, intersected by eight circular-cut diamond and cushion-cut ruby flame motif plaques, mounted in platinum and gold, La Peregrina late 16th century; diamond bail early 19th century; natural pearl, diamond, ruby and cultured pearl necklace by Cartier 1972, 13½ ins., pendant may also be worn as a brooch, accompanied by the seed pearl and platinum neckchain from the time of the purchase at auction in 1969, 30¾ ins.
Signed Cartier
Designed by Elizabeth Taylor with Al Durante of Cartier
La Peregrina with report 59574 dated 19 May 2011 from the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute stating that the analysed properties confirm the authenticity of this saltwater natural pearl

Price Realized - $11,842,500

Estimate:  $300,000 - $500,000
Set with an inscribed heart-shaped table-cut diamond, within a red stone and jade mount set with table-cut diamonds, the reverse decorated with an enamel latticework motif, from a gold neckchain set with cabochon rubies and old mine-cut diamonds, mounted in gold, inscribed heart-shaped table-cut diamond bearing the Islamic date 1037 [1627-1628], gold and enamel cage of later addition, neckchain circa 1972, length adjustable, pendant suspends 17½ ins. at longest
Neckchain by Cartier, no. 53559 

Price Realized - $8,818,500

Estimate:  $60,000 - $80,000
Designed as nine old mine-cut diamond scrolls with larger old mine-cut diamond terminals, spaced by old mine-cut diamond latticework motifs, mounted in platinum and gold, circa 1880, 9 5/8 ins. circumference 

Price Realized - $4,226,500

I hope that whoever purchased the individual Emerald pieces by Bulgari picked up enough pieces to make a Suite - in which case it would have run approximately $14,000,000!

For the complete Auction Results see Christie's



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