Friday - 26 December 2014

The £11,500 amber beads

09 May 2013Written by Roland Arkell

Pearls and coloured stones remain strong – but, fuelled by interest from China (and, to a lesser, extent, the Middle East), so does amber.

Continuing a run of eye-popping results recorded by Lawrences of Crewkerne in recent sales, the Somerset firm sold a 40-bead necklace for £11,500 on April 25.

Double the estimate, it was an extraordinary price but was an exceptional geological specimen: each of the beads (from the La Toca mine in the Dominican Republic) contained a different insect, each identified by a chart included with the lot.

Specialist Miranda Bingham said it generated some institutional interest but the serious bidding all came from China.

Victorian Necklace

Leading the jewellery section of this three-day sale was a pretty Victorian necklace mounted with graduated diamond clusters and graduated diamond foliate drops.

Housed in its original case, it came by descent from Gladys Maud Lascelles (1886-1961), granddaughter of the Hon George Lascelles, who was the brother of the 5th Earl of Harewood.

Deemed a very wearable piece, it tipped the top estimate to bring £34,000 from a trade buyer.

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