Bonhams to auction rare gems from a European Princess


Jewellery from celebrated designers including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Laurence Graff along with a pair of Kashmir sapphires belonging to a European Princess will feature in Bonhams’ London Fine Jewellery sale on Saturday December 5.

Leading the sale will be a fancy greyish-blue, 2.97cts step-cut diamond ring by the society jeweller to the royals and the stars in the sixties and seventies, Andrew Grima, estimated at £500,000-700,000. Of equal merit a pair of late 19th century earrings set with two cushion-cut 7.92cts and 7.96cts sapphires from Kashmir will be on sale. These are the property of a European Princess and estimated at £500,000 to £800,000. Both lots will be presented at auction for the first time by Bonhams and are expected to attract interest from around the globe given their exceptional quality and rarity.

White diamonds are also set to sparkle at the sale with two striking diamond rings.  The first – an Asscher-cut 14.24cts diamond – is estimated at £250,000 to £350,000.

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The second is a cushion-shaped 5.02cts diamond ring signed by Marchak Paris, the jewellery house renowned for its creative design. The D colour, internally flawless, stone sits between similarly-cut diamond shoulders and is estimated at £220,000 to £280,000.

A range of coloured stones will feature strongly in the sale which will take place at Bonhams New Bond Street salesroom. Highlighted lots include two Burmese rubies. The first is a 4.79cts cushion shaped ruby and diamond ring by British jeweller Laurence Graff.  The ruby is from Burma, has no heat treatment and is estimated at £150,000 to £250,000.

The second is a Belle Époque ruby and diamond pendant circa 1915. The 3.83cts Burmese ruby is estimated at £30,000 to £40,000 and also has no heat treatment. The cushion shaped ruby is a vibrant, intense red with good transparency.

Bonhams London will also be offering a pair of bouton-shaped natural pearl earrings estimated at £100,000 to £150,000. The pearls have been in the same family since 1911 when they were purchased for £10,000 (equivalent to £800,000 in today’s money).  Measuring approximately 14.63 by 9.40mm and 14.41 by 9.91mm, the pearls are perfectly matched in terms of colour, lustre and shape.

Signed jewellery from Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier is always sought after and Bonhams London is offering a number of examples of pieces from both jewellery houses.  These include:

  • A coral and chrysoprase brooch/pendant and earclip suite, by Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1975, estimated at £10,000 to £15,000
  • A mid-20th Century sapphire, ruby and diamond “Pelouse Hawaii” ring and earclip suite, by Van Cleef & Arpels estimated at £6,000-£8,000
  • A gem-set charm bracelet, by Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1965 estimated at £15,000-£20,000.

A highly unusual and rare example of Art Deco jewellery by Cartier will start the sale in December.  The property of a European Noble Family, the diamond flexible bar brooch can be worn in a number of ways: on a cuff, as a hairpiece, on the shoulder, on a collar or worn straight.  It is estimated at £15,000-£20,000.

Jean Ghika, director of jewellery for UK and Europe for Bonhams, says: “Bonhams has declared 2015 the year of the coloured stone and in this final sale of the year we are able to showcase an exceptionally rare fancy greyish blue diamond, alongside Kashmir sapphires, and Burmese rubies, widely acknowledged as the finest and most desirable in the world.”

The auction takes place at Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, on Saturday December 5, commencing at 1pm GMT and bids can be placed online on Bonhams website, via telephone, in writing, and also in person on the day of the sale.


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