“Our sale includes unusual pieces that will attract dedicated collectors of jewellery and watches as well as items that will make perfect Christmas gifts,” says Frances Noble, head of the jewellery department at Dix Noonan Webb. “From classic 20th century makers, including Cartier, Kutchinsky, Chaumet, Chopard and Theo Fennell, early 20th century German jewellers Koch and French 19th century jeweller Bassot, to modern designers such as Alan Gard and Tom Scott, famed for his work with Andrew Grima - all will feature in the auction.”
Coloured stone highlights include a stunning purple/blue colour-change untreated Sri Lankan sapphire ring of 7.1 carats estimated at £5,000-£7,000, a ‘fancy yellow’ diamond set cluster ring of 4.74 carats, expected to fetch £10,000-£12,000 and a Columbian 4.03 carat step-cut emerald ring, estimated at £4,000 to £6,000. The stylish jewellery selection includes an Art Deco diamond ring of 3.98 carats, estimated at £8,000-£10,000, a pair of vibrant pink rubellite and diamond ear pendants, offered at £3,500-£5,000, and a pretty sapphire flowerhead necklace at £4,000-£6,000.
Some pieces to be auctioned have remarkable histories. A rare 17th / 18th century Italian rock crystal reliquary displays a fragment of the ‘True Cross of Christ’. By Christian tradition these came from the cross on which Christ was crucified, known as the True Cross. This was said to have been discovered by Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, when she travelled to the Holy Land in the 4th century. Fragments of the Cross were broken up and later widely distributed. The reliquary to be auctioned at Dix Noonan Webb, which has its original red wax seal stamped with the arms of a Catholic bishop or bishopric, and original case, is estimated at £800 to £1,000.
A George III gold, diamond and enamel pocket watch by the London maker John Holmes, estimated at £2,200 to £3,000, is inscribed ‘Lady Dowr Powerscourt to her Grandaughter D. Style’. It is believed to have been given by the Dowager Lady Powerscourt, widow of the 1st Viscount Powerscourt, to her granddaughter Dorothy in the late 18th century.
Another eye catching piece in the sale is a late 19th century Indian gold and gem set ‘Aigrette’ or turban ornament made for the Western market and later adapted to a brooch/pendant. Modelled as a peacock with wings outstretched – symbolizing royalty and power – the piece is set throughout with graduated half seed pearls and accented with mixed-cut rubies and emeralds. The Great Exhibition of 1851 brought Indian jewellery to the attention of an international public and pieces made for export became a huge part of the jewellery trade between Britain and India. This exquisite example is estimated at £2,000 to £3,000.
An 18 carat gold, citrine and diamond collar pendant designed by Tom Scott in 1969 is one of the modern jewellery pieces to be auctioned. With matching ring, the suite is expected to fetch £3,000 to £5,000.
Dix Noonan Webb Ltd are leading international specialist auctioneers and valuers of coins, tokens, medals, militaria, paper money and jewellery. Established in 1990, the company boasts over 250 years' combined experience in this field and stages regular auctions throughout the year.
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Telephone: 07770 694254
Dix Noonan Webb
16 Bolton Street,
London W1J 8BQ
Telephone: 020 7016 1700.