Thursday 21 November 2019

Van Cleef & Arpels - Bugs and Things

Van Cleef & Arpels was founded in 1896 by Alfred Van Cleef and Salomon Arpels in Paris.

Wednesday 20 November 2019

The Lost Faberge Eggs

Peter Carl Fabergé and his brother Agathon were Russian jewellers of French descent based in St. Petersburg. They became famous for the quality and beauty of their work.

In 1885 Tsar Alexander III (House of Romanov) commissioned the production of the gold and enamel 'Hen Egg' for his wife the Empress Maria.
The tsarina and the tsar enjoyed the egg so much that Alexander III ordered a new egg from Fabergé for his wife every Easter thereafter.

Fabergé was made ‘Goldsmith by Special Appointment to the Imperial Crown’ and over the next 33 years 52 eggs were made for the Russian Royal Family as well as a further 15 for other private buyers.
The 1917 Russian Revolution toppled Tsar Nicholas II who was executed along with much of the royal family in July 1918. The Fabergé eggs and many other treasures of the Royal family were confiscated and stored in the vaults of the Kremlin Armoury. Some were sold to raise funds for the new regime.

Over time eight of the original 52 Imperial eggs vanished and their whereabouts remained a mystery.

Imperial Coronation Egg

The Rosebud Egg
A $14k sale turned into millions for a man who'd been thwarted in his attempts to turn a quick profit by selling the egg to scrap metal dealers. The man overestimated what the tiny golden egg would be worth once melted down. He'd been hoping to make $500.

He typed "egg" and the name engraved on the clock,"Vacheron Constantin", into Google. His search brought up a 2011 article in Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper describing a "frantic search" for the object: the Third Imperial Easter Egg, made by Faberge for the Russian royal family and estimated to be worth millions.

The Third Imperial Easter Egg is one of 50 delivered by Fabergé to Emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II from 1885 to 1916, and until its recent discovery was one of eight lost eggs. Only two others of the lost eggs are thought to have survived the revolution.

Monday 18 November 2019

Jewels shine at Sotheby’s

Top lot at Sotheby’s sale was an Art Deco bracelet made by Cartier in 1927. Featuring a 46.07-carat Burmese cabochon sapphire, it sold for more than $6.1m, shattering its high estimate of $3m.

A sapphire and diamond clip brooch by Cartier from 1937 sold for $328,348, well over its $250k high estimate.
A 46.93-carat D color, IF, modified brilliant-cut diamond fetched more than $3.13m.

A 6.03-carat fancy intense purple-pink diamond made $3.3m or $556,251 per carat.

Sunday 17 November 2019

One 'Carrot' Diamond found after 14 years

85-year-old Mary Grams lost her diamond engagement ring in 2004 while gardening. Despite searching the farm thoroughly, she couldn’t find the ring, given to her in 1951. “I cried for I don’t know how many days.” Grams settled for a cheap replacement ring and told no one but her son. She said her late husband never noticed the difference.

The band was eventually found by Mary's daughter-in-law, who now lives on the farm with her husband. She was pulling carrots when she saw one was encircled with the long lost ring.

Friday 15 November 2019

Petra Diamonds tenders 20.08-carat blue diamond -$14.9m

Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL) has tendered a 20.08-carat blue diamond it found in September at its Cullinan mine.

The 'exceptional' Type IIb blue gem diamond made $14.9 million, or about $741,000 per carat.

Sunday 10 November 2019

7.03-carat fancy deep blue diamond leads at Christie’s

A 7.03-carat fancy deep blue diamond on a platinum ring by Moussaieff is the top lot at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale. The blue rectangular-cut gem is VVS2 and carries an estimate of $10m to $14m.

The sale features a number of sapphires including a 42.97-carat Burmese sapphire pendant (estimate: $2m-$3m) and a 12.65-carat no-heat cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire mounted on a platinum ring surrounded by pear-shaped diamonds by Cartier. (est $1m).
Other top lots include a 46.93-carat D color, IF diamond with a half-moon modified brilliant-cut. (estimate $3.8m to $4.5m)

A 3.88-carat Burmese pigeon blood red ruby ring is expected to fetch $500k.