Published 22nd March 2012
Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood's April 2012 Fine Art Sale includes an exciting collection of antique and modern jewellery, which will be of interest to collectors as well as those looking for a special piece for an important occasion or everyday wear. Auction is a wonderful way of buying jewellery as pieces can be acquired at a far more modest cost than at a retail jewellers.
Amongst the lots included is a 19th century gold ruby, tortoiseshell and star-sapphire mounted hinged bangle, the body inset with tortoiseshell panels and cabochon rubies, the head with a single star sapphire. This is a beautiful, slightly different type of jewellery: This star sapphire is a type of sapphire that exhibits a star-like phenomenon known as asterism, containing intersecting needle-like inclusions following the underlying crystal structure, which causes the appearance of a 'star'. Cut 'en cabochon', typically with the star near the top of the dome. Found in a variety of 19th century jewellery, this should have wide appeal estimated at £800-£1,200.
In a slightly different vein is the pietra dura rectangular panel brooch with central butterfly motif, 50mm x 40mm overall. Pietra dura meaning 'hard rock' which is an ancient technique using semi-precious stones such as agate and onyx. These stones are inlaid into marble or other soft stone. Pietra dura is an art form that superficially resembles mosaics and can be found mounted as various items of jewellery such as pendants and brooches. This example is estimated at £300-400 and should be within reach of many pockets.
Cameo brooches remain a popular form of jewellery and high quality examples display supberb craftsmanship. Offered in this sale, with an estimate of £700-900 is an oval cornelian agate and cultured seed pearl cameo brooch/pendant within a frame of scroll pierced design, 51mm overall. A cameo such as this one is made of micro-crystalline quartz, otherwise known as 'agate'. The value will be surely appreciate as time goes by. Carved mostly ultrasonically, the agate stone cameo is a durable and beautiful work of art appreciated by all cameo collectors and anyone wanting to own a valuable piece of jewellery that will last forever.
Watches retain their appeal as a useful and decorative item which has yet to be diminished by modern technology. Included in this sale is lady's diamond mounted cocktail wristwatch, the rectangular dial with Arabic numerals with tapering integral bracelet, pave set with old-cut and single-cut diamonds. A beautiful item of diamond jewellery for any special occasion. Very appealing to those who like dainty, classy jewellery. Worn as a bracelet, this cocktail wristwatch is eye catching to those who appreciate diamond jewellery. It is expected to attract bids of £800-1,200.