Bonhams Madison Avenue salesroom was buzzing on April 15 with two highly anticipated auctions, A Prominent Collection of Fine Jewelry consisting of eighty-two exquisite pieces from a private collector, and a subsequent auction of Fine Jewelry consisting of 182 fashionable pieces sourced from various owners. A record number of international telephone bidders as well as eager attendees and internet bidders spurred on the bidding action. The day realized over $5.3 million in sales.
The auction of A Prominent Private Collection of Fine Jewelry, was positively exceptional. Featuring the jewels of a noted philanthropist and socialite who had personal relationships with many of this century’s most storied jewelers, many pieces sold well over estimate with over 96% going to eager bidders.
Susan Abeles, Bonhams US Head of Jewelry said, “Bonhams New York is clearly establishing itself as a premier venue for high-profile private collections of fine jewelry. We’re thrilled with the results and expect more opportunities to offer exceptional collections to the public in the near future.”
Bidders were clearly impressed with the bold and colorful pieces on offer in this collection, particularly those from Bulgari. A fancy colored diamond and diamond ring weighing 21.07 carats from Bulgari was the afternoon’s top lot, achieving $590,500. Other Bulgari pieces of note from the private collection included a colored diamond bracelet that realized $278,500 and an emerald and diamond necklace that sold for $182,500. An eighteen karat gold and ancient coin necklace from Bulgari, said to be a favorite of the consigner and a wardrobe staple, soared past its pre-sale estimate of $15,000-20,000 to sell for $67,300.
The Private Collection was followed immediately by an auction of Fine Jewelry sourced from various owners, which realized strong results for diamonds in particular. A rectangular-cut fancy yellow diamond weighing 15.45 carats and diamond solitaire ring achieved $302,500, while a pear-shaped diamond solitaire ring weighing 4.35 carats by Harry Winston surpassed its estimate to sell for $158,500. A natural fancy yellow color old European-cut diamond ring weighing 5.61 carats nearly tripled its pre-sale high estimate of $50,000 to sell for $146,500. The sale’s cover lot, an Art Deco jadeite jade and diamond brooch from Mauboussin also sold over its estimate, realizing $122,500.
“We are seeing a heightened interest in white and colored diamonds and signed jewelry- this interest is compounded by significant increased international interest,” said Virginia Salem, Director of the Jewelry Department at Bonhams New York. “Both auctions featured rare and unusual pieces that potential buyers covet.”
Bonhams next Fine Jewelry auction in New York will take place on June 19.