Jewellery

In the art and antiques market, the jewellery category spans the millennia from ancient artefacts fit for Cleopatra herself to modern branded wares by famous French and American ateliers. This may include objects of significant intrinsic worth – valued for the gemstones and precious metals from which they were made – but also objects fashioned from more humble materials that are appreciated simply for the excellence of their design.


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Textbook Lalique choker makes €150,000 in Paris auction

27 January 2020

This opal, diamond, enamel and 18ct yellow gold choker, c.1898, is textbook René Lalique (1860-1945).

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Archaeological revival bracelet attracts bidders in Chichester

27 January 2020

Estimated at £2000-3000, this French gold and enamel bracelet set with seven oval carved hardstone intaglios sold for £8500 (plus 20% buyer premium) at Henry Adams of Chichester on January 16.

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Byronic collection offered at Chiswick Auctions

27 January 2020

Chiswick Auctions will offer a single-owner collection of memorabilia relating to the second generation English Romantic poet, George Gordon Byron (1788-1824).

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Cartier desk clock collection at Bonhams shows evolution of design

27 January 2020

John Benjamin reviews the sale of an exceptional collection of desk clocks and Cartier jewels at Bonhams.

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Cufflinks with the royal cypher draw bidders at Lawrences

27 January 2020

This pair of silver and enamel cufflinks with the royal cypher of George VI comes in a presentation box by Plante of Bury Street, London.

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Charmed by Spetchley Park: rock crystal pendant soars to 70-times estimate at Sotheby's

27 January 2020

This intriguing rock crystal pendant may have been used as a ‘charmstone’. It follows the same form as the famous Glenorchy Charmstone in the National Museums of Scotland and may too have once adorned an early reliquary.

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Jewels from the studio: new auction format for New Jersey saleroom

27 January 2020

Lambertsville, New Jersey, auction house Rago/Wright is to launch a new sale category on February 12 titled 'Studio Jewelry 1900-Present'.

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Four cameo and intaglio rings indicating glyphic art is now at the cutting edge of fashion

27 January 2020

Glyphic art was one of the success stories of 2019. The return to collecting fashion of this once dusty academic field is bringing more hardstone gems to the market.

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Rare example of chameleon stone alexandrite sells at Skinner

27 January 2020

According to a popular story, alexandrite, one of the three main varieties of chrysoberyl, was discovered in the Urals by the Finnish mineralogist Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld (1792-1866) and named in honour of the future Tsar Alexander II of Russia.

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Plea for trade and auction houses to spot stolen bassoons and Cartier ring

04 January 2020

A musician is calling on antiques dealers and auction houses to be alert to two stolen bassoons and a Cartier ring that were taken on November 21 from a home in north London.

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Second ‘lost’ Marlborough gem sparkles in Cambridge

23 December 2019

An intaglio ring became the second of the ‘lost’ Marlborough jewels to surface at auction in 2019 when it sold for £36,000 (plus 22.5% premium) in Cambridge.

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Ring sheds light on Jewish soldiers in Roman army

23 December 2019

A Roman bronze ring offered for sale by Pax Romana (15% buyer’s premium) in London on November 24 appears to shed light on a little known aspect of the imperial army: the contribution of Jewish soldiers.

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Thieves steal precious baroque treasures from German museum

25 November 2019

Dresden’s Royal Palace has been targeted by thieves who cut the electricity supply to enter exhibition rooms at its museum containing thousands of valuable antiques.

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Pendant is a cut above the rest on paper

25 November 2019

This rare late-17th century 4in (9.5cm) devotional pendant displays the craft of 'scherenschnitte' (scissor cuts).

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Cartier cigarette case and presentation trowels give echoes of the First World War at Cirencester auction

25 November 2019

Differing echoes of the First World War attracted bidders at Dominic Winter’s (20% buyer’s premium) Cirencester auction in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday.

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Jewels come in from the cold at £68,000

18 November 2019

Thirty pieces of antiquarian jewellery discovered next to a joint of meat in an old freezer were sold for £68,000 (plus 24% buyer's premum) at Kidson-Trigg near Highworth, Swindon.

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A little box of Sunshine

16 November 2019

For more than 25 years a regular contributor to BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, John Benjamin recalls his early days in the trade – while reviewing a recent jewellery auction. Additional reporting by Roland Arkell.

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Oved’s animal magic

11 November 2019

It was not catalogued as such, but this silver ring modelled as a standing lion with a gold-coloured mane is designed by Moshe Oved (1885-1958), the owner of celebrated Bloomsbury antique shop Cameo Corner where jewellery expert John Benjamin first learnt his trade.

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The sign of the Knights Templar

11 November 2019

This early medieval gold ring dates to the time of the Crusades – its decoration of a five-fold ‘Jerusalem’ cross suggesting a link with the Knights Templar.

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Sprinkling a little stardust

11 November 2019

The 1961 International Exhibition of Modern Jewellery, organised jointly by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and the Victoria and Albert Museum, was the world’s first international display of contemporary jewellery.

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