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Monday, 20 July, 2020
Antique lovers were left stunned by the revelation on Sunday’s BBC Antiques Roadshow that a huge sapphire brooch - deemed worthless by jewellers – was actually worth a staggering £40-£50k. Just a few days later, in a Wolverhampton auction room, another sapphire – this time the star of a Victorian-style pendant set with diamonds – caused an online bidding war that saw the hammer fall at an impressive £11,000.
The piece went under the hammer at Cuttlestones’ Wolverhampton Auction Rooms on Wednesday, 15th July as part of a collection of jewellery consigned by a local vendor. Split into 44 lots, the collection went on to sell for a total in excess of £25,000.
Other standout pieces included Lot 99 – a Victorian diamond and guilloche enamel pendant, which sold for £1,150 and Lot 100 – another guilloche enamel pendant, this time featuring pearls as well as diamonds, that went for £480. Jewellery featuring portrait miniatures also performed well - with Lot 96 – a 19th Century 7-panel miniature portrait bracelet achieving £800 and Lot 129 – an oval portrait miniature of a lady set in a large yellow metal locket, which shattered its estimate of £60-100 when it sold for £480.
A rather more unusual piece was Lot 105 – a brooch featuring dark red carved central cabochon flanked by two serpents and gold outstretched wings. Thought to be of high carat, the piece sold for £650. Meanwhile, Lot 106 – an intricate Arts & Crafts style pendant set with six deep red cabochon stones on a suspension chain and with later brooch adaption, presented in an Omar Ramsden design handicraft cardboard box, saw the hammer fall at £400.
Proving beauty is in the eye of the beholder, other highlight lots were rather more simple in design. Lot 110 – a turquoise and old cut diamond brooch featuring 12 diamonds in unmarked yellow & white metal sold for £550; Lot 122, an unmarked yellow metal bangle set with a purple cabochon – possibly amethyst – fetched £140 and Lot 123, an unmarked yellow metal bangle set with a moonstone £130. Elsewhere, Lot 135; a selection of costume and other jewellery – including a nice pair of clip-on earrings in a Hemming & Co. of London box – achieved £1,350.
The high hammer prices reflect the strong market across the board for Cuttlestones’ online sales, as MD and Head Auctioneer, Ben Gamble, explains:
“We’re blown away by the success of our online sales in general – and the sale of the sapphire brooch for £11,000 is the icing on the cake. There may be a bit of a knock-on effect from the Antiques Roadshow discovery, but the catalogue had generated strong interest before the show aired from a diverse range of bidders in the US and UK. We had a lot of interest from the London and Chester trade and even had a bidder from the South East book an appointment to view the sapphire pendant – they drove up the day before the sale. Put simply, now is a great time to sell!”
For a free, no obligation valuation of jewellery or other antiques and collectibles, email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or send via WhatsApp to 07949 603872. A full sale calendar as well as catalogues for forthcoming sales can be found at www.cuttlestones.co.uk