The strength and international appeal of investment-grade diamonds were clear in the strong prices realised for Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' December 4-5 Fine Jewelry and Timepieces auction. Internet live bidding for the event was provided by LiveAuctioneers.
An impressive 10.56-carat emerald-cut diamond drew interest from a diverse group of collectors and exceeded all expectations by realising $632,000 against an estimate of $300,000-$350,000. Other large diamonds in the sale also outperformed their estimates, including a 5.69-carat pear-shape diamond which sold for $115,900 and a 6.93-carat marquise-cut stone that brought $59,780.
Combining fine Colombian emeralds and diamonds with exquisite Art Deco aesthetics, a platinum, emerald and diamond bracelet achieved an impressive $436,000. The bracelet attracted more than 20 serious collectors, both foreign and domestic, in the most heavily contested lot of the sale.
Vintage jewelry signed by important makers attracted international interest. A selection from Cartier drew stellar results and included a rare pair of Tutti Frutti earclips that sold for $63,440 against an estimate of $15,000-$20,000. An Art Deco platinum, diamond and rock crystal brooch, one of Cartier's more iconic designs, brought $51,240, while a Cartier platinum charm bracelet realized $36,600.
The sale offered the rare opportunity to acquire sought-after works by artist Daniel Brush. The selections, from the Ralph Esmerian Collection, included an intricate mastodon ivory, ebony and gold necklace that achieved $61,000; as well as a textured steel and gold sculpture that sold for $48,800.
A strong timepiece session was highlighted by vintage complications and premier manufacturers. An antique 18K yellow gold minute repeating chronograph pocket watch brought $8,540 and an 18K yellow gold Cartier roadster watch was bid to $15,860. A pair of Patek Philippe references also met with eager bidding when a vintage yellow gold Ref. 2526 sold for $18,300 and a yellow gold Travel Time Calatrava realized $13,420.
In total, 181 lots (16% average over the two days) were purchased via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com. There were 846 registered online bidders, who placed 954 bids during the sale.