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Elegant Tiara Heads a Sale of Gorgeous Gems...

21st January 2019

Lawrences' auction of jewellery and watches on January 17th recorded some outstanding results, showing that demand for the luxuries of fine stones continues apace.

The sale began encouragingly with only a few of the 150 lots of mixed jewellery failing to sell at strong prices. Some highlights included two mottled green jade discs, 2.2cm in diameter, making £4200. They had been in the vendor's family for over a century and had reputedly come from the Summer Palace in Beijing (formerly Peking). An exceptional Arts & Crafts brooch, ascribed to George Edward Hunt, was set with moonstones, sapphires and enamels. This made £7900, doubling expectations. Diamond stud earrings showed dependable popularity when a pair, each set with a 1.5ct stone, made just over £9000; and a Victorian diamond star brooch pendant from Asprey went just over top estimate to make £13,400. An exotic Victorian gold, enamel and diamond snake necklace from Garrards, still in its fitted case, slithered effortlessly to £5120, double its mid-estimate but some of the sale's top prices were saved until the very end when two lots of exceptional elegance yielded good results. An Edwardian diamond and pearl necklace of elegant foliate scrolling design made £8780 whilst a Victorian diamond necklace, neatly converting to a sophisticated tiara, was set with a profusion of diamonds in silver and gold. A touchingly sentimental connection was shown in a photograph of the vendor's grandmother, Alice Tall, wearing the item: this possibly helped it to ease beyond its £10-15,000 guide to take £16,470.

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