Results of Christies 20 March Fine Jewellery Sale in London

Jewellery expert and author Joanna Hardy remarks on the results of Christie's Jewellery auction on 20 March 2013, including the unique Cartier suite.


The results are in for Christie's South Kensington jewellery sale on 20 March and, while there were several lots that surprisingly didn't sell, there were some that considerably exceeded their estimates, with sales totalling £379,375.

One of the highlights of the auction was a coral, onyx and diamond brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels, which had an estimate of £1,500-£2,000. When it went under the hammer on the day, however, it realised an impressive £13,750, nearly seven times its highest estimate.

Lot 123, the contemporary suite of multi-gem and diamond 'Meli Melo' jewellery by Cartier, was one of my top picks. Fun and unique, the design of the necklace and earrings is not typical of the famous French jeweller, incorporating pink tourmaline, aquamarine, iolite, garnet, chalcedony and moonstone with brilliant-cut diamond detail. It sold for £18,750, at the high end of its estimate.

Lot 34, a pretty cultured pearl and diamond necklace by Schoeffel, also exceeded its estimate. The single row of golden cultured pearls sold for £10,625, more than twice its low estimate.

I noted that vanity cases are often overlooked by collectors, and in the case of the beautiful 1940s Boucheron vanity case, I was right. So typical of the Boucheron style of that era, with a mirrored and pierced foliate gold-plated cover, engraved with birds and foliage and set with a cabochon ruby, it, sadly, failed to sell.