Bonham’s held its annual Fine Jewelry and Jadeite auction at the Shangri-La hotel in Hong Kong Saturday evening. On the block were many unique and signed pieces with an emphasis on the Burmese rubies and jadeite that prove so popular in Eastern sales.
While Bonhams achieved some degree of success with the sale, a surprising number of lots failed to find buyers, including some rare and unique jadeite items.
Tiffany & JAR Succeed
Leading the auction’s successes was a unique pair of nephrite dice with gilt decoration by Tiffany & Co. ($2,100 – $2,600) lead the auction. The lot included the original Tiffany fitted leather case, and sold for $2,740, including buyers’ premium. A Pair of Diamond and Conch Pearl Pendant Earrings ($26,000 – $39,000) also did well, selling within estimate at $32,246.
Finally, a pair of titanium ear clips, by JAR earned an astonishing $12,898. The famously reclusive Paris jeweler has been in the news quite often this fall, with an ongoing exhibition of his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Several other works by JAR have generated buzz throughout the auction season, with a notable leaf brooch doubling its pre-auction estimate at Christie’s Geneva.
Colored Diamonds Hit-or-Miss
Several important, highly advertised pieces failed to find buyers at Saturday’s event, including colored diamond pieces and an unusual jade set.
A Jadeite and Diamond Necklace ($150,000 – $230,000) with eight highly translucent icy jadeite cabochons set in swirls of diamonds. What appeared to be a complementing set, a Jadeite and Diamond Ring and Earring Suite ($90,000 – $130,000) with the same unusual jade and swirl motif, also failed to sell.
Colored diamonds continue to be hit-or-miss this season. Houses have enjoyed rousing success with the record-breaking sales of The Orange and the Pink Star, by Christie’s and Sotheby’s, respectively. Other stones have not fared as well. Most notably the Premier Blue, a rare round brilliant-cut blue diamond expected to fetch more than $19 million, failed to find a buyer at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.
One of the highlights of the Bonham’s event, a Rare Early 20th Century Fancy Colored Diamond, Diamond, and Emerald Pendant Necklace, circa 1910 ($290,000 – $350,000) sold right above estimate at $353,413, while a Colored Diamond and Diamond Pendant Necklace ($30,000 – $39,000) failed to sell.