MONROVIA, Calif. – John Moran Auctioneers’ annual December 8 Fine Jewelry Auction was a decided success, amassing just over $1.2 million in total sales. The jewelry cases were well appointed, containing all the glitz and glamour appropriate of a holiday auction event. Ten phone lines were in full swing throughout the evening, and online bidders took part through LiveAuctioneers.
The evening’s decided top lot was a highly anticipated unmounted natural fancy light gray-blue diamond, weighing in at 2.78 carats (shown above). Following a protracted bidding war, the winning bidder paid an equivalent of $181,294 per carat for the rare stone, for a total price realized of $504,000 (all prices quoted inclusive of 20% house buyer’s premium). Initially, the diamond was estimated to bring $50,000 to $70,000, however it became clear that the diamond would exceed expectations when interest in the lot reached a fever pitch the day before the sale.
Overall, Moran’s did well with diamonds at their December 8th sale; the very first lot up at the block was a gorgeous Art Deco diamond and platinum ring, which was knocked down at the high end of its estimate, realizing $2760 (est. $2000/3000). Shortly thereafter, a stunning late Art Deco diamond and platinum bracelet, set with over ten total carats of diamonds quickly shot to a $27,000 selling price (est. $25,000/35,000).
The second-highest-earning lot of the evening was a 5.22 carat pear-shaped diamond, graded K color and VS1 clarity, which brought a very respectable $45,000 at the block (est. $30,000 to $40,000).
Van Cleef & Arpels pieces of all shapes and sizes brought exceptional prices throughout the event. A gold and diamond necklace, constructed of yellow gold marquise-shaped sectionals tipped with full-cut diamonds set the phone lines afire, with the winning bidder paying $21,600 (est. $5,000/7,000).
A VCA emerald and diamond ring, the central cabochon emerald gauged at approximately 1.85ct, inspired heated competition between multiple absentee bidders, floor buyers and telephone buyers; the ring brought an exceptional $13,200 with a telephone buyer proving successful (est. $3,000/5,000). A darling 18K yellow gold and sapphire bird brooch by the maker also exceeded expectations, realizing $5,700 (est. $1,500/2,000).
Pieces by contemporary designers certainly received a lot of attention during the preview, and proved their popularity with excellent selling prices throughout the night. An 18K gold bracelet by celebrated Greek maker Ilias Lalaounis, the links with a fanciful double-loop design, brought $1,599, nearly double the $600 to $800 estimate. Later, a pair of coral and diamond earrings by maker Henry Dunay featuring 18K gold diamond-set flames went up to the block with a $7,000 to $9,000 estimate, which was quickly exceeded when two floor bidders competed to take the piece home (price realized: $16,800). A 14K gold cuff bracelet by Hopi maker Charles Loloma featuring a channel-set turquoise, coral and lapis lazuli to the interior inspired fervent online bidding, realizing $21,250 (est. $4,000/6,000)
French makers Boucheron and Cartier were represented in Moran’s December jewelry catalogue with some charming selections; a set of understatedly elegant cufflinks by Boucheron with interchangeable stones were a surprise hit, shooting to an excellent $3300 selling price (est.: $500/700). Two Cartier lots, each of 18K yellow gold with carved lapis lazuli and diamond accents were expected to prove popular but by all accounts exceeded expectations; the ring earned $13,750 while the bangle brought $22,500 (est. $2000/3000 and $4000/6000, respectively).
Moran’s catalogue featured a number of wonderful examples of antique jewelry, including a diamond and plique-à-jour enamel necklace dating to the turn of the century with fanciful pearl accents. The necklace flew to a selling price of $28,800, thus joining the collection of a very happy phone bidder (est.: $4,000/6,000).
A second enameled piece, this one 14K gold plaque pendant/brooch set with a moonstone cabochon, diamonds and rubies, went up at the block with a $500 to $700 estimate, bringing $1920.
Additional highlights include:
- An 18K gold bangle with diamond-accented ram’s head terminals caught the eye of many buyers, resulting in a selling price twice the high estimate, earning $2,040 (est. $700/900).
- A stately Rolex for Tiffany & Co. GMT Master Oyster Perpetual wristwatch sparked intense interest from online bidders, earning $12,300 on the block (est. $8,000/12,000).
- Modernist maker Georg Jensen was represented in the December catalog with a simple but stylish stacked disc bracelet designed by Astrid Fog; the bracelet was expected to earn $800 to $1,200 but quickly flew to a final price of $1,500.
Moran’s next jewelry-only auction is scheduled for May of 2016, though select jewelry pieces will be included in the January 19th and the February 23rd Decorative Art Auction catalogs.
The January 19th Decorative Art Auction (the first to be held at Moran’s new Monrovia, Calif., headquarters) will feature a curated jewelry selection alongside Chinese silver and furniture, French decorative arts, English silver, bronzes and Continental works of fine art both modern and traditional.
Moran’s is also pleased to announce their January Online Fine Art Auction, featuring paintings, prints and photographs with estimates ranging from $300 to $5,000; the Online Fine Art Auction will go live via LiveAuctioneers.com beginning on December 30th. Extended preview for this event and the January 19th event will run concurrently – contact John Moran Auctioneers directly for more information and preview times.
John Moran Auctioneers is currently consigning for all upcoming 2016 auction dates; for additional information regarding upcoming events or to inquire regarding consignment, contact John Moran Auctioneers directly via email: email@example.com or telephone: 626-793-1833.