Chaumet diamond necklace, £240,000 at Bonhams.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

It hammered for £240,000 against an estimate of £120,000-150,000. Made around 1900 the striking design is one conceived in 1896 when the firm was commissioned to make a tiara for the Archduchess Maria Dorothea of Austria (1867-1932) for her wedding to Philippe, Duke of Orleans.

The first version, noted for having 'inverted arches interspersed with laurel-leaf elements supporting large diamonds in tapered openwork mounts' was convertible to a necklace. Such was the design's popularity that several slightly different versions were made. This is one of them and a rare survivor.

Mounted in silver and gold, signed Chaumet Paris, it includes old brilliant and table-cut, cushion and pear-shaped diamonds with a total weight of approximately 32ct.

Other jewels were made by Chaumet incorporating similar 'floating laurel leaves'. At the 1900 Paris Exposition, the jury noted M. Chaumet's technical mastery and how his elegant jewels were carefully designed to enhance important gemstones.