Leonard Joel

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The sale of a superbly, no precisely crafted lady’s Art Deco diamond wristwatch with cover typified the night. Put simply buyers were out in force for period pieces and branded jewellery. The watch in question, lot 67, realised $5,124 (IBP) against a low estimate of $2,000. The theme of quality in demand continued with the appetite for signature pieces when lot 121, a diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels, realised $8,540 (IBP). The ring was intricately pierced with an open construction that gave the impression of floating diamonds in a dome formation. The focus on workmanship extended to utilitarian items also when lot 116, an expertly crafted 9 carat gold cigarette case by Asprey of London with concealed hinges and opening, sold for $2,440 (IBP). The case was precisely decorated with all over engine-turned decoration and an elegant pave set button with square sapphires. But the highest prices for the evening were reserved for some very fine single diamonds – surprise, surprise! The top lot for the evening went to lot 184, an impressive single stone diamond ring of almost 6 carats, which realised $43,920 (IBP).

The Unusual
Cages are a motif uncommon to the jewellery world but when they do appear they always attract interest. In this case, lot 39, a most elegant emerald and diamond pendant enjoyed spirited phone-bidding and sold for $4,148 (IBP). The pendant was designed as an ovoid cage holding a loose emerald – a design feat in itself and a fascinating piece to observe when worn.

The Rare
A small but carefully curated section of pocket watches revealed a star lot in 202; the rare Gubelin world time zone pocket watch, lot 202 with the names of the major cities of the world decorating its case, more than quadrupled its estimate to sell for a staggering $9,150 (IBP). The result made all the more extraordinary by the fact that it was gold plate.

A touch of Cannes comes to Melbourne
The collectability and attraction of big name jewellery houses continued throughout the auction with lot 277, a rare “Red Carpet Collection” necklace by Chopard, released as part of its 2010 Cannes Film Festival range, selling for $14,640 (IBP). The interlocking open heart shape design was intermittently set with Chopard’s trademark “floating diamonds” design.

An Unexpected Trend
For the best part of two decades the jewellery world has been suffering from a “pearl-glut”, for want of a more elegant expression. Regular auction-goers will be aware that auctions tend to be semi-swamped with pearl jewellery with supply overwhelming demand. Well not any more if our Fine Jewellery auction is anything to go by. Pearl earrings, designer pearl earrings and south sea pearls were selling with a regularity that shocked and pleased our auction specialists. One of the highlights was lot 22, a south sea pearl necklace that realised $7930 (IBP).