Posted on: 29 November 2023

Diamonds and Dogs yield Top Results: November 2023

They traditionally say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend and dogs are a man’s best friend, and bidders at our hugely popular Fine Art and Antiques auction in November certainly seemed to agree with this sentiment with both diamonds and dogs among the top prices achieved over the two-day auction.

Day one of the auction saw the fine silver, jewellery and watches categories go under the hammer with some record-breaking results. Highlights of the jewellery section included a stunning late 19th century diamond set tiara, beautifully presented in its original case.  Consigned to the auction by a Welsh vendor, the tiara was estimated at £8,000-£12,000.  

A diamond tiara, SOLD for £12,000

Amelia Tomkinson FGA who runs the jewellery department at the auctioneers said ‘There is something incredibly magical about tiaras which I love, they represent a time and place in society in the early 20th century where it was the epitome of elegance to have and wear a tiara. Luckily jewellers in the early 20th century knew that it was important to have flexibility in a piece such as this, and wonderfully, this tiara also converted into a very wearable necklace’.  As Amelia explains, versatility was key, and appears the bidders thought so too as the piece was hotly contested by potential buyers both in the room and on the telephone before selling to the room bidder for £12,000 plus buyers premium. 

A 20th century old cut pear diamond ‘toi et moi’ ring, SOLD for £26,000

The tiara was swiftly followed by another of the day’s highlights as a two stone diamond ring secured the top hammer price of the day at £26,000 plus buyer’s premium.  The ring was a particularly lovely example of a ‘Toi et Moi’ ring, literally translating as ‘you and me’, the magnificent piece featured two particularly well-matched pear cut diamonds within a cross-over setting.  The ‘Toi et Moi’ setting became famous in 1796, when Napoleon Bonaparte proposed to Josephine de Beauharnais with a ring in a similar design.  Traditionally they feature two different stones in matching sizes and cuts in a style which is highly romantic and symbolises two entities meeting as one.  Amelia explains ‘The pear cut diamond is historically worth more than it’s brilliant cut equivalent because there is a lot more wastage when cutting a pear-shaped diamond, therefore it is more expensive to produce, this particular example was early 20th century in date and the setting was exquisite’.  Consigned to the auction by a Cheshire client and holding a pre-sale estimate of £15,000-£20,000 the ring was consistently one of the most popular lots in the run up to the auction but smashed its estimate before finally selling for £26,000.

An emerald and diamond ring SOLD for £13,000

Of the auction, Managing Partner Christina Trevanion said ‘I’m incredibly proud of my team following this auction, which firmly cements us as the one of the premier jewellery auction houses within the UK.  We provide the customer service you would expect from a local business, yet with an international platform on which to market your goods and harnessing the latest technology. The market is particularly buoyant for antique jewellery, silver and watches at the moment, and I would urge anyone who is considering having their pieces valued to book an appointment with us today’. Other highlights within day one included an emerald and diamond ring which sold for £13,000 plus buyers premium, and a gentleman’s Rolex watch which sold for £8,000.

The paintings also provided some impressive results for the auctioneers who offered two pictures by the esteemed animalier artist Arthur Wardle (1864-1949).  Discovered in the attic of a Telford vendor, the paintings depicted Bulldogs and were typical of the artist whose prolific oeuvre focused on his lifelong fascination with dogs of various breeds, creating rich naturalistic paintings. Wardle exhibited at the Royal Academy at the tender age of only 16 and today, his work can be found amongst the collection of the Tate Gallery and The Kennel Club. The oil on canvas bulldog paintings were hotly contested, reaching a combined hammer price of £4,600 plus buyers premium.

Two pictures by Arthur Wardle (1864-1949) SOLD for a total of £4,600

On day two of the fine art auction, the auctioneers saw some further surprises in the form of a Louis Vuitton trunk which was found in the garages of a Cheshire country house and – despite damage – sold for £2,800, and a collection of camera equipment which sold for £2,000.

Of the auction, auctioneer and Associate Director Ashley Jones stated ‘The market is strong across the board, we saw positive results in the furniture, clocks and works of art sections, whilst also maintaining a strong presence in the Asian market which saw a pair of Chinese famille rose vases achieve £6,500.  We’re delighted for our vendors and are looking forward to our next auction which will be held on the 10th January 2024.  We’re also delighted to be announcing the first of our specialist fine jewellery, silver and watches auctions which will be held on February 14th 2024 and urge anyone who would like to consign items into either of these auctions to get in touch with us.  2024 promises to be an exciting year for us’.