Jewellery

In the art and antiques market, the jewellery category spans the millennia from ancient artefacts fit for Cleopatra herself to modern branded wares by famous French and American ateliers. This may include objects of significant intrinsic worth – valued for the gemstones and precious metals from which they were made – but also objects fashioned from more humble materials that are appreciated simply for the excellence of their design.


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Plea for trade and auction houses to spot stolen bassoons and Cartier ring

04 January 2020

A musician is calling on antiques dealers and auction houses to be alert to two stolen bassoons and a Cartier ring that were taken on November 21 from a home in north London.

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Second ‘lost’ Marlborough gem sparkles in Cambridge

23 December 2019

An intaglio ring became the second of the ‘lost’ Marlborough jewels to surface at auction in 2019 when it sold for £36,000 (plus 22.5% premium) in Cambridge.

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Ring sheds light on Jewish soldiers in Roman army

23 December 2019

A Roman bronze ring offered for sale by Pax Romana (15% buyer’s premium) in London on November 24 appears to shed light on a little known aspect of the imperial army: the contribution of Jewish soldiers.

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Thieves steal precious baroque treasures from German museum

25 November 2019

Dresden’s Royal Palace has been targeted by thieves who cut the electricity supply to enter exhibition rooms at its museum containing thousands of valuable antiques.

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Pendant is a cut above the rest on paper

25 November 2019

This rare late-17th century 4in (9.5cm) devotional pendant displays the craft of 'scherenschnitte' (scissor cuts).

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Cartier cigarette case and presentation trowels give echoes of the First World War at Cirencester auction

25 November 2019

Differing echoes of the First World War attracted bidders at Dominic Winter’s (20% buyer’s premium) Cirencester auction in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday.

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Jewels come in from the cold at £68,000

18 November 2019

Thirty pieces of antiquarian jewellery discovered next to a joint of meat in an old freezer were sold for £68,000 (plus 24% buyer's premum) at Kidson-Trigg near Highworth, Swindon.

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A little box of Sunshine

16 November 2019

For more than 25 years a regular contributor to BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, John Benjamin recalls his early days in the trade – while reviewing a recent jewellery auction. Additional reporting by Roland Arkell.

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Oved’s animal magic

11 November 2019

It was not catalogued as such, but this silver ring modelled as a standing lion with a gold-coloured mane is designed by Moshe Oved (1885-1958), the owner of celebrated Bloomsbury antique shop Cameo Corner where jewellery expert John Benjamin first learnt his trade.

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The sign of the Knights Templar

11 November 2019

This early medieval gold ring dates to the time of the Crusades – its decoration of a five-fold ‘Jerusalem’ cross suggesting a link with the Knights Templar.

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Sprinkling a little stardust

11 November 2019

The 1961 International Exhibition of Modern Jewellery, organised jointly by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and the Victoria and Albert Museum, was the world’s first international display of contemporary jewellery.

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When two into one does go

11 November 2019

Of the more than 200 jewellery lots for sale at Dawson’s (23% buyer’s premium) in Maidenhead on October 26, a 15ct gold double bracelet (below) displaying Victorian engineering ingenuity was among the most contested.

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The cutting edge of fashion

11 November 2019

Out of favour for a generation, grand tour and ancient intaglios and cameos are enjoying a return to form.

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A double helping of imperial jewels

11 November 2019

Jewellery owned by Marie Valerie Hapsburg, the favourite daughter of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, will be auctioned by Dorotheum in Vienna on November 27.

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Mappin’s entry to Modern Jewellery

11 November 2019

A letter accompanying this gold, diamond and fire opal brooch, formed as a columbine, below, confirms it was part of the International Exhibition of Modern Jewellery held at The Goldsmiths Hall, London, in 1961.

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Brooch the topic with Supreme Court approval

11 November 2019

A welcome trend in the jewellery market has been the resurgence of the brooch. In October, when Baroness Brenda Hales gave her verdict on Boris Johnson’s ‘illegal’ prorogation of Parliament, what many social media users really wanted to know was ‘where did she get that spider brooch?’

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Shedding daylight on Art Nouveau

11 November 2019

The November 18 sale titled California Jewelry held by Doyle New York on the West Coast includes a group of French Art Nouveau pieces described as ‘Property from an Important Jewel Collector’. Several display the plique-à-jour (‘letting in daylight’) enamelling technique revived in the late 19th century.

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A very Victorian scandal

11 November 2019

This early-Victorian bracelet comprising eight portrait miniatures and four unusual eye miniatures set in gold is inscribed on the back with a series of identifying names, including that of Josias Nottidge, the children’s father, and his wife Emily. It tells the story of a Victorian scandal.

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John Benjamin on his long career

11 November 2019

John Benjamin began his career as a 17-year-old assistant working at Cameo Corner, the Bloomsbury antique jewellery shop founded by Moshe Oved in 1914. “In those far-off days of the early 1970s goods were abundant and prices infinitely affordable. Museum Street was the ideal location for a keen young man to learn all about the antique jewellery business and I absorbed it like a sponge.”

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Look to design sales for jewellery delights

11 November 2019

Some of the most striking 19th-20th century jewellery can often be found in design sales.

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