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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Artist Jewels, Led By Andrew Grima, Featured At Bonhams London Auction

Gold, diamond and fire opal brooch/pendant, 1970, by Andrew Grima.  All photos courtesy of Bonhams except where noted

All of the big names, including Cartier, Bulgari and Van Cleef & Arpels, will be part of the Bonhams London Fine Jewelry sale on April 27. However, the auction house will also feature the works of several contemporary jewelry artists, led by Andrew Grima.

Jean Ghika, head of Jewellery for Bonhams UK & Europe, was particularly excited about the five pieces by Grima that will be included in the sale. She says the Anglo-Italian jewelry designer, known for his modern works in the 1960s and ’70s, is a “pioneer of his day” who placed a strong emphasis on textures and conceptual designs.

“It wasn’t about the stones but the concept,” she said during a recent meeting at Bonhams London headquarters. “He was very instep with the changing trends. He represented an interest in jewelry as an art form rather than a conglomerate of stones.”

The Grima pieces she highlighted are:

Jean Ghika, head of Jewellery for Bonhams UK & Europe
displays the Andrew Grima pendant.
Photo by Anthony DeMarco

A gold, diamond and fire opal brooch/pendant, 1970, with the oval-cut opal set among an abstract arrangement of textured 18k gold cinnamon sticks, with a brilliant-cut diamond accent. Its estimate is £5,000 - £7,000 ($6,275 - $8,800).


A rutilated quartz, cultured pearl and diamond torque necklace, 1990, with the textured torque suspended at the front by a carved rutilated quartz “apple” with brilliant-cut diamond highlights, surmounted by a grey cultured pearl and brushed leaves. Its estimate is £7,000 - £10,000 ($8,800 - $12,500).


A color change sapphire and diamond ring, 1977, with a cushion-shaped, unheated Sri Lankan sapphire set within an abstract surround of brilliant-cut diamonds mounted on stalks. Its estimate is £5,000-7,000 ($6,275 - $8,800).

The auction of 141 lots will offer a breadth of jewels including signed pieces, antique items and colorful gems. 


The top lot is a Van Cleef & Arpels ring featuring a 10.28-carat E color marquise-cut diamond set between pear-shaped diamonds with an estimate of £150,000 - £200,000 ($188,200 - $251,000).

Signed jewels
The top three items in this group are:


A diamond 'Fuchsia' brooch and earring suite by Van Cleef & Arpels is among the top items in this group. The brooch is designed as a fuchsia flower head, its petals pavé-set with brilliant-cut diamonds and its stamen reveals an articulated cascade of pear-shaped diamonds. Its estimate is £70,000 - £100,000 ($87,800 - $125,500).


In addition, the auction will offer an Art deco diamond bracelet by Cartier, circa 1925. Signed “Cartier Londres,” the finely pierced articulated geometric strap is decorated with cushion-shaped old brilliant and single-cut diamonds. Its estimate is £20,000 - £30,000 ($25,100 - $27,600).


Another standout in this group is an enamel and diamond “Serpenti” bracelet-watch by Bulgari, circa 1965-1970. The articulated bracelet is composed of a series of overlapping scales applied with orangey-yellow and red enamel. The serpent’s head has a forked tongue and marquise-cut diamond eyes. Its mouth opens to reveal a circular watch dial. Its estimate is £50,000-60,000 ($62,700 - $75,300).

Antique jewels
Some of the standouts in this group are:


A 19th century diamond rivière necklace composed of 45 collet-set cushion-shaped diamonds weighing 43 carats. Its estimate is £60,000 - £80,000 ($75,300 - $100,380).

Photo by Anthony DeMarco

A Georgian diamond panel bracelet, circa 1780, composed of a series of individually sprung plaques, each pavé-set with old brilliant-cut diamonds, within a border of similarly-cut diamonds, mounted in silver closed back settings. Its estimate is £8,000 - £10,000 ($10,000 - $12,500).


An early 18th Century gold and diamond necklace of Portuguese origin in its original fitted case. It’s designed as a series of ribbon-bow motif links suspending a chandelier fringe. Its estimate is £10,000 - £15,000 ($12,500 - $18,800).

A special spinel
Bonhams is placing a special emphasis on spinels. These gems in red and blue (there are other colors) are sometimes mistaken for and are actually rarer than rubies and sapphires. However, their prices are lower. In September 2015, the 50.13-carat Hope Spinel fetched the world record price of $1.4 million at Bonhams London Fine Jewellery Sale, also setting a world record of $30,000 per carat, nearly double the previous record.


For this sale Bonhams is offering an early 20th century spinel and diamond ring. The 5.3-carat Burmese, unheated, step-cut spinel, circa 1915, is set within an octagonal surround of old single-cut diamonds. Its estimate is £15,000 - £20,000 ($18,800 - $25,100).

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