Posted on: 21 July 2020

Sapphires sparkle this summer season!

Our July sale proved that the auction world is as resilient as ever, turning out record-breaking results and achieving some fantastic prices despite the challenging circumstances. Following the success of our first online-only auction in June, July’s sale boasted an exciting consignment of garden statuary, a selection of rare antique furniture and a collection of exquisite jewellery. Of the auction, Managing Director and Auctioneer Christina Trevanion said “This month’s sale was testament to the market’s endurance and ability to adapt. We have had many hurdles to overcome and adjusting to a new way of doing business has been a challenge for myself and the team. Despite this, Saturday saw a record number of online buyers registering to bid in the auction, and our international audience has continued to expand rapidly. As the start of the year has shown us, we can’t be sure what’s around the corner, but the success of our summer sales indicate an exciting few months ahead for Trevanion and Dean.”

Jewellery Highlights: sapphire & diamond ring sold £8000, an Art Deco diamond brooch sold £1100, a pair of pearl and diamond earrings sold £1000 and a yellow sapphire ring sold £2400

The top price of the day was taken by an impressive sapphire and diamond ring, which sold for £8,000 + Buyer’s Premium. With a central stone weighing approximately eight carats and sporting a rich inky blue hue, the ring was one of the most sought after lots of the day. After a competitive bidding war between parties online and on the phone, the ring sold to an online buyer based in Hong Kong.

Reflecting on the success of the sale, jewellery specialist Helena Waudby said: “The jewellery market is experiencing somewhat of a boom at the moment, with coloured stones in particular performing very well. This example had all the key components that our buyers look for when shopping for sapphires – a strong saturation of colour, a good size and a flattering cut which brings out its sparkle. It is not often you find a stone which possesses all these ingredients, which is why it proved so popular. And of course, it was absolutely stunning!”

Other noteworthy jewels included an unusual yellow sapphire ring, which sold for £2,400, a diamond art deco brooch at £1,100 and a delicate pair of 19th century pearl and diamond earrings, which took £1,000. “With gold prices at a record high at the moment, it’s no surprise that jewellery is achieving such fantastic results at auction. Gold and good quality gemstones have long been seen as a safe haven for investors in times of economic uncertainty. I would urge anyone who has pieces that they’ve been thinking about selling for a while to act sooner rather than later to guarantee the best possible results.”

Some of the top results of the day came from the furniture section, including an impressive 17th century oak refractory table consigned from a fine country house in Cheshire. It sold for a staggering £4,400 to a Canadian bidder. “This table really was a rare jewel, so we were expecting it to perform very well, but it’s end result was incredible” said Auctioneer and furniture specialist Ian Woodward. “It was constructed from 17th century timbers and bearing in mind it’s age it was in fantastic condition. It was very attractive, with a wonderful colour and patina, and appealed to avid antiques collectors and private buyers alike, which contributed to the final hammer price.”

Pictured: A Vienna three-weight wall clock sold £1000, a rovolving desk chair sold £900 and 17th century oak refractory table sold £4400

The table was the first in a string of remarkable prices achieved in the furniture section; of note was an early 18th century oak dresser which realised £2400, a rare Victorian Vienna three-weight wall clock which sold for £1000, and a selection of early to mid-century chairs which took over £2000 collectively. Reflecting on the results of the day, Ian said “This is the strongest the furniture market has been for fifteen years. There seems to be a new generation of furniture buyers re-shaping the market; these buyers are looking at the practicality of a piece more than its integrity when selecting furniture. They don’t seem to mind so much if a piece has been refurbished or modified, which at one time would have had a huge impact on its value but are more concerned with its aesthetics and functionality. Additionally, more people are working from home, especially since lockdown, and are investing more in their home environment. This was certainly reflected in the popularity of furniture suited for the home studies and libraries in Saturday’s auction.”

Some of the most surprising results of the day came from a consignment of garden statuary, amassed from the grounds of three country estates in Cheshire. The collection proved extremely popular amongst bidders and realised some astonishing prices, with many lots surpassing their pre-sale estimates, including a pair of Medici lions which sold for £1,100 and an unusual stone garden bench with pineapple finials which sold for £1,100. The grand total for the impressive collection came to over £17,000. 

A pair of Medici Lions sold for £1100

Of the collection, auctioneer Ashley Jones said “We were very fortunate to come across three such fantastic collections in such rapid succession. Garden furniture and statuary is an often-overlooked area of selling and buying, but one that frequently achieves fantastic prices, particularly in the summer months when many people are focusing on re-landscaping their gardens. As is often the case with collections such as this, we were initially drafted in to assist with the sale of the house contents, and the outdoor effects were almost missed completely –  one vendor was even contemplating selling the garden contents as part of the house, so they were surprised when we said how well it would perform at auction! We hope to make the garden statuary auction and annual summer event.”

Following the success of our summer series of auctions, we will be holding their August Fine Art & Antiques auction next month. This already promises to be an exciting sale, featuring a collection of specially curated art and antiques of the 20th century. This will include selected items of mid-century furniture, signed Beatles memorabilia, and a consignment of first edition James Bond books worth in the region of £3000 – £6000. Of the upcoming sale, specialist Simon Grover said “We are seeing an increase in demand for 20th century pieces across all areas, particularly mid-century pieces which offer clean and simple lines and fit well in any domestic interior. It’s an exciting avenue that we’ll be exploring in our next auction, and we’re anticipating some great results!”