Posted on: 28 April 2022

April Showers: April 2022

This April saw Trevanion Auctioneers “showered” with bids at their latest sale! The top hammer price of the day came from a metamorphic Victorian diamond necklace.  Designed as delicate foliate swag collar and suspending an impressive diamond set star pendant, the necklace caught the attention of antique jewellery collectors up and down the country. “Metamorphic jewellery refers to pieces that can be broken down to form different types of accessory” says jewellery valuer Helena Waudby. “For example, a necklace which can be transformed into a tiara, or a brooch which can be separated and used as clips or hair pieces. The necklace in this month’s sale has a multitude of uses – it can be worn with the star pendant to form a grand neck piece, or the star can be removed to create a more delicate collarette, with the pendant then worn as a brooch, or even a hairclip! Metamorphic jewellery always remains popular at auction because it’s so diverse, and buyers feel that by investing into one large piece, you are actually getting multiple pieces of jewellery, and more bang for your buck!” On sale day, the bidding war was fought between online bidders and a North-West based jewellery collector, ultimately selling to the latter for £5000 + Buyer’s Premium.

A Victorian metamorphic diamond necklace sold for £5,000

Results for the jewellery section were strong across the board, and the market shows no signs of slowing down moving into the summer months. “The market fluctuates month to month, but jewellery reached new highs during the pandemic, and remains steady as we move forward,” says Helena. “And it’s not just the big gemstones or hefty precious metals attracting the top pieces – our bidders are discerning, investing in good quality antique pieces which they feel will retain more value. Our top selling jewellery lots were all period pieces: a wonderful 19th century diamond cluster ring fetched £1,700 and a Georgian mourning ring took £1,300. There is a romance and sentiment behind antique jewellery which gives it an enduring appeal that cuts across the ever-fluctuating fashion market.”

On a different note, a collection of guitars caused a commotion in the sale room amongst professional and amateur musicians alike. Boasting models by famed American guitar makers such as Gibson, Fender and Martin & Co, the collection sold for a total of over £13,000. Highlights from the collection included a Gold Gibson Les Paul which made £2,600, a Fender Telecaster Relic which took £1,900, and a 2017 Martin & Co acoustic Guitar which made £1,800.

A Gibson Les Paul electric guitar sold for £2,600

“This collection was a little more unusual than the antique and fine art pieces we usually handle, but as a classic rock fan, it’s been a great treat to have it in the saleroom!” says auctioneer Ian Woodward. “The guitars came from a reputable Shropshire based collector, and many were seldom used, so they were in fantastic condition. I would describe guitars of this quality as ‘boy’s toy’s’ – luxury goods and indulgences that tend to grab the attention of our male buyers.  I’m thinking of pieces such as antique toys, vintage games, militaria or car memorabilia – the people bidding aren’t necessarily collectors or connoisseurs, but they’ve always fancied owning one. The market is levelling out in many areas since the lockdown ‘boom’ we’ve been experiencing for the last couple of years, but items like these appeal to our inner child, and our bidders are often happy to dig a little deeper to own them!”

Some of the more unexpected results of the day came from a collection of prints, maps and pictures discovered amongst two inconspicuous looking suitcases from a home in Market Drayton. The contents belonged to the vendor’s late husband, an art collector and enthusiastic historian. “Opening the suitcases, I immediately came across a folder of watercolour sketches by the sought after 19th century watercolourist David Cox Senior, shortly followed by a collection of 18th century maps!” says valuer Simon Grover.  “The second suitcase revealed a collection of works by the great British illustrator Thomas Onwyhn, including some very rare copies of his comical ‘Water Cure’ series, and a handwritten manuscript containing watercolour illustration by the artist.  In total the collection sold for more than £5000, which was a great surprise for the vendor!”

If you think you may have hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, you can contact Trevanion Auctioneers on 01948 800 202 or email to book a valuation appointment.