With a selling rate of 93% and a sale total of £191,000 it added to the suite of sales in the past three months that have dispelled any lingering anxieties regarding the outcome of ‘sight unseen’ auctions.
The section of jewellery and watches at the sale on June 10 comprised exactly 200 lots, of which the stand-out item was a late Victorian diamond fringe necklace convertible into a tiara.
This had all the necessary ingredients to perform well above expectations; a wearable design in excellent condition, original fitted case with tiara frame and extra links tucked away beneath the blocking, and above all, a realistic estimate – which was tripled to fetch a highly satisfactory £10,500 from a bidder on thesaleroom.com.
Tiaras have enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years, particularly in Russia and the Baltic States where jeans and a diamond fascinator are de rigueur at informal high society events. The most desirable are the more wearable and delicate versions and particularly those that convert well to necklaces. It has given a lease of life to a much-admired but somewhat redundant form.
A successful online sale is strongly reliant on the quality and clarity of its images and this was a particularly well put together catalogue, nicely laid out and attractively presented.
A mid-Victorian sky blue enamel, pink coral, rose diamond and gold parure comprising necklace, bangle, brooch and earrings fetched £5500 against an estimate of £2000-3000 while a turn of the century diamond bar brooch mounted with twin saltwater pearl finials surged past its cautious guide price of £600-800 to make £4000.
Next stop for this piece may well be the workshop as it is crying out to be converted back into its original construction of a pair of drop earrings.