A resurgence of interest in period jewellery

‘As we saw in our latest sale of Fine Jewellery, Watches, Silver and Objects of Vertu there is a huge resurgence of interest in period jewellery, especially classic Victorian and Edwardian pieces. You simply don’t often see jewellery of this kind and this quality on the market nowadays,’ said a delighted James Nicholson, Dreweatts’ International Head of Jewellery and Silver.

‘We hold regular monthly sales, then every three months we have a ‘show case’ sale of the best pieces we have been offered over that period. This recent sale on 9th March was just such a sale and what a resounding success it was! The star lots were fiercely fought over, taking many well over the top estimates.’

National and international telephone lines were buzzing, internet bidding was lively but the preponderance of enthusiastic private buyers in the saleroom was exceptional. The 485 lot sale, mainly consisting of privately owned, quality pieces made well over the higher estimate.

Amongst the numerous extremely attractive items of jewellery, was the circa 1820 Regency woven gold and amethyst necklace and cannetille drop earrings (lot 272), which sold over estimate at £6,100 while the pretty mid Victorian gold and turquoise demi-parure of forget-me-not clusters (lot 279), fetched £4,270 considerably over the £800-1,200 estimate. Another delicate piece was the Belle Epoque necklace (lot 324) consisting of swags of diamonds and pearls, and this went for £3,904 also well over its estimate of £700-900.

As always anything linked to Faberge and other major Russian workshops, attracts attention; the 9 carat gold bracelet (lot 350) with fourteen miniature Russian Easter egg charms (many inlaid with tiny rubies, diamonds or sapphires), made in about 1900 was snapped up by a British private collector for £10,980 just over the high estimate. The extremely attractive Edwardian multicoloured sapphire and enamel necklace, which had been illustrated on the front cover of the catalogue, and set with twenty-two circular gems (lot 351), far exceeded expectations and went for £13,420 (estimate £2,500-3,500).

There were many notable highlights in the other sections of the sale, but the focal point was undoubtedly the exceptionally rare Charles I silver, pierced circular basket by Richard Blackwell I (lot 63), made in London in circa 1624-1640. Until the discovery of this piece, only three other pre Restoration examples of baskets were known. After heated bidding it went to an international buyer for £39,040 against an estimate of £15,000-25,000.

Another handsome piece was the George IV silver gilt and ivory ink stand by John Bridge (lot 47), London 1829. The boldly carved ivory holder enclosing a removable cut glass inkwell, recalled 17th century German plate and was typical of the early 19th century historicism promoted by the Prince Regent, later King George IV. Conservatively estimated £2,000-3,000 it made an astonishing £19,520.

To view the sale catalogue online, please click here

For further press information please contact Vanessa Clewes Salmon: press@dnfa.com

For further information on the sale, please call Dreweatts’ Donnington Priory Salerooms on 01635 553553 or email donnington@dnfa.com.

Dreweatts - 11 March 2011