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    WORLD AUCTION RECORD PER CARAT FOR AN EMERALD

    Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

    The Rockefeller Winston emerald

    There was a world auction record per carat at Christie’s in New York last night when The Rockefeller Emerald sold for $5,511,500.  This amounted to $305,000 per carat.  The octagonal step-cut emerald is approximately 18.04 carats.

    It was sold to jeweller Harry Winston. CFO Robert Scott was bidding in Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza saleroom with instructions from Harry Winston CEO Nayla Hayek to “bring this magnificent gem home at any price.” Following the sale, Nayla Hayek commented “Harry Winston is immensely proud to own the finest emerald in the world which once belonged to one of America’s most important dynasties.”

    The sale of magnificent jewels totalled $26.1 million and was 83% sold by lot and 89% by value. There was strong results for jewels from Louis Comfort Tiffany once part of The Garden Museum Collection in Japan.

    BALLYEDMOND’S GENTLEMAN’S ACCESSORIES & AN EXQUISITE SMALL CEZANNE

    Friday, June 9th, 2017
    Cufflinks

    Ballyedmond – This pair of sapphire and diamond cufflinks made £16,250 (with an estimate of £3,000-4,000)

    The online sale of gentleman’s accessories from the collection of Irish entrepreneur Lord Ballyedmond  was 100% sold, making it the second white glove online auction at Sotheby’s in 2017.  There were cufflinks, tie pins and watches by great names including Cartier, Van Clef & Arpels, Boucheron and Tiffany and Co.  The sale attracted global interest with US bidders placing most bids, followed by the UK, Italy and Russia.  No less than 75% of lots on offer went for prices above their high estimate.
    Over two days of sales in London in May the Ballyedmond Collection of over 500 objects, mostly from his restored townhouse in Belgravia, made £4.3 million over a top estimate of £3.1 million. Born in Kilcurry Co. Louth Edward Haughty, who became Lord Ballyedmond, made his fortune founding and steering the Norbrook Group, a pharmaceutical company based in Newry.

     

     

    Paul Cezanne – Baigneuses, La Montagne Sainte-Victoire au fond (It is estimated at £4-6 million) UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Paul Cezanne’s Baigneuses La Montagne Sainte-Victoire au fond is an exquisite small work that  units two key motifs, bathers and the Montagne Sainte Victoire. Measuring just five by eight inches it is the dover lot of Sotheby’s inaugural Actual Size sale in London on June 21.  It is estimated at £4-6 million. At the turn of the century Cezanne’s revolutionary works began the process of the fragmentation of reality in art and opened the door to modernism.  He used the classical subject of bathers as a compositional tool for a completely new and free aesthetic.  The use of translucent watercolour renders the human figure almost weightless and the nudes are fully embraced by nature.  Adding to the rarity the composition includes a view of Montagne Saine-Victoire.  In a small scale the artist captures the most important subjects and ideas that formed his artistic legacy. On June 21 to coincide with the flagship sales in London Sotheby’s will stage a “small” sale. This brings together a range of works from the 20th and 21st centuries. This first of a kind sale will include painting, sculpture and works on paper with one common characteristic – each will be no bigger than the size of the catalogue page on which it is illustrated.

    AN AUCTION OF ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE IN ORANMORE

    Sunday, June 4th, 2017
    An auction of architectural salvage is always of interest to a wide variety of imaginative collectors.  Aidan Foley’s two day sale of the stock of Bailey Gibson Interiors and Salvage at Oranmore, Co. Galway on June 10 and 11 is likely to be no exception.  The 1,200 lots will be sold over two days.
    There are pitch pine beams and cast iron stanchions from Boland’s Mills in Dublin, vintage light fittings, garden furniture and urns and a selection which ranges from French doors to whiskey barrels.  Garden enthusiasts and doer uppers will be interested in cut kerb stones and old building stones, outdoor lighting, a fountain, statuary, reclaimed brick and granite cobbles.  Most lots will be sold without reserves.

    salvaged bricks

    Some salvage in the sale

    GARDEN SCULPTURE AND ARCHITECTURAL PIECES AT SHEPPARDS

    Friday, May 26th, 2017

    The sale of garden sculpture and architectural ornaments at Sheppards in Durrow on May 30 is on view at Gash Gardens, Castletown, Co. Laois from May 27-19.  The catalogue, which is online, lists 232 lots.  Here is a small selection:

    Regency lead fountain head (800-1,200) UPDATE: THIS MADE 750 AT HAMMER

    One of a pair of 19th century cast iron urns and stands (800-1,200)  UPDATE: THIS LOT MADE 850 AT HAMMER

    Pair of Regency lead urns (400-600)  UPDATE: THESE MADE 620 AT HAMMER

    Cast iron garden seat by Pierce of Wexford (800-1,200) UPDATE: THIS MADE 950 AT HAMMER

    DEATH OF STEPHEN MCKENNA

    Friday, May 5th, 2017

    Stephen McKenna (1939–2017) Photo credit: Amelia Stein

    The death of artist Stephen McKenna has been announced by The Kerlin Gallery.  The London born artist studied at The Slade in the 1960’s.  Rather than conforming to the era’s dominant trends of pop art and conceptualism, he defied expectation by turning instead to figurative painting – unfashionable in London at that time – and began to develop a unique painterly practice informed by diverse art historical precedents.

    He moved to Germany in 1971 and, after living and working in numerous European countries, settled in Co. Carlow in the 1990’s.  The impact of this extensive continental travel is evident in McKenna’s painting, not only in its subject matter – though European cityscapes and landscapes are frequently represented – but in the lyricism of his approach, artfully fusing classical and romantic painting traditions. He died in Co. Carlow on May 4.

    PERIOD AND CONTEMPORARY JEWELLERY AT JAMES ADAM

    Friday, May 5th, 2017

    Period and contemporary jewellery will come under the hammer at the James Adam summer auction of fine jewellery and watches in Dublin on May 9. The sale, curated by Claire-Laurence Mestrallet is designed to appeal to every taste, young and old, funky and sophisticated.  The highlight is a  signed Cartier lapis lazuli cultured pearl and diamond necklace which is estimated at 25,000-35,000.  The catalogue is online.  Here is a small selection:

    LAPIS LAZULI, CULTURED PEARL AND DIAMOND NECKLACE, BY CARTIER, CIRCA 1986 (25,000-35,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A FINE LADY’S PLATINUM AND DIAMOND-SET BRACELET WATCH, BY ROLEX, CIRCA 2002 (10,000-15,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 9,500 AT HAMMER

    A TOURMALINE AND GOLD BROOCH, BY H. STERN, CIRCA 1970 (1,000-1,500)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 950 AT HAMMER

    AN EARLY 20TH CENTURY NATURAL PEARL AND DIAMOND PENDANT NECKLACE (3,000-5,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 4,200 ATR HAMMER

    AN EARLY 20TH CENTURY EMERALD AND DIAMOND RING, CIRCA 1920 (5,000-7,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,200 AT HAMMER

    PARCHMENT COPY OF AMERICAN DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE DISCOVERED IN SUSSEX

    Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

    The parchment copy of the American Declaration of Independence, which had been folded.

    One of only two parchment copies of America’s Declaration of Independence has been discovered by researchers from Harvard in a record office in West Sussex.  They unearthed the manuscript – believed to date from the 1780’s – while compiling a database of every copy of the declaration kept in Britain. The only other known parchment manuscript copy is kept at the National Archives in Washington DC.

    Staff at the West Sussex Record Office in Chichester had not taken a particular interest in the copy before the team from Harvard got in touch.  It was made ten years after the declaration. They are now working on a valuation. It is believed that the copy came to the record office  in 1956.  It was given by a local man who apparently worked for a law firm representing the Dukes of Richmond.

    Field Marshal Charles Lennox (1735-1806), 3rd Duke of Richmond, was known as the “radical duke” for his support for the American colonists’ rebellion.  He also supported a policy of concession in Ireland and held advanced views on parliamentary reform. It is thought that  he may have originally brought the manuscript to Britain. The record office is now working with the university as well as historians at the British Library and the American Library of Congress to carry out further tests on the manuscript.

    A 92 CARAT HEART SHAPED DIAMOND AT CHRISTIE’S GENEVA

    Thursday, April 13th, 2017

    La Légende a 92 carat D color Flawless heart-shaped diamond

    La Légende a 92 carat heart-shaped diamond pendant signed by Boehmer et Bassenge will lead Christie’s sale of Magnificent Jewels on May 17 in Geneva. The Maison de Haute Joaillerie was launched last year and named in honour of Charles Boehmer and Paul Bassenge, Parisian jewellers of the 18th century. Working exclusively with a handful of large, D colour, flawless clarity diamonds of perfect polish and symmetry, combined with years of experience and preparation, the Maison Boehmer et Bassenge operates with an uncompromising attitude to quality. Just a few creations are produced each year.

    La Légende is the largest D Flawless heart shaped diamond ever offered at auction. It is suspended from a cultured pearl sautoir.  The necklace is estimated at US $14-18 million. Exceptional diamonds and gemstones will lead this spring season, along with important private properties such as the Cartier and Art Déco collection assembled by Éric Nussbaum, one of Cartier’s most eminent experts. A particular focus has been set on Italian jewellery design from the 1900s to the present day in the dedicated Dolce Vita section.

    THE MOST VALUABLE EARRINGS EVER SEEN AT AUCTION

    Monday, April 10th, 2017

    The most valuable earrings at auction, ever.

    THE most valuable earrings ever to appear at auction comes up at Sotheby’s in Geneva on May 16.  The Apollo and Artemis diamonds, one Fancy Vivid Blue, one Fancy Intense Pink, are to be offered separately as individual lots.  The Apollo Blue, internally flawless and 14.54 carats, is estimated at US$38-50 million, the 16 carat VVS 2 clarity Artemis Pink at US$12.5-18 million. The Apollo Blue is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond ever offered at auction.

    David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said: “’The Apollo and Artemis Diamonds’ will be the stars of our May sale in Geneva – by far the most important pair of earrings ever offered at auction. These exquisite coloured diamonds are enormously rare and each is a wonderful stone in its own right. Together, as a pair of earrings, they are breathtaking. We have named them after Apollo and Artemis, a twin brother and sister of great power and beauty who were among the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. These are diamonds of great distinction, with extraordinary presence, and we are honoured that Sotheby’s has been chosen to bring them to auction in May.”

    UPDATE:  They sold for a combined world record total of $57 million. They were renamed The Memory of Autumn Leaves ($42 million) and The Dream of Autumn Leaves ($15 million).  The auction realised $151.5 million.

    THE MOST VALUABLE GEMSTONE EVER SOLD AT AUCTION

    Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

    THERE was a new world auction record for any diamond or jewel when the Pink Star, a 59.60-carat oval mixed-cut Fancy Vivid Pink Internally Flawless diamond, sold for US$71.2 million at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong tonight. This is the highest ever price for any object sold at auction in Asia.  The most valuable gemstone ever sold at auction made more than double the previous record for a fancy vivid pink diamond. The Pink Star was acquired by Hong Kong jeweller Chow Tai Fook and renamed The CTF Pink in memory of the late Dr. Cheng Yu-Tung, father of the current chairman and founder of Chow Tai Fook.  It also commemorates the 88th anniversary of the brand. The winning telephone bid was placed by Dr. Henry Cheng Kar-Shun, chairman of the company.

    “It is fitting that the owner of the most prestigious jeweller in Greater China should today break the record for the most valuable item ever sold in Asia as well as the most valuable diamond ever sold at auction – now appropriately named the CTF Pink – said Sotheby’s President and CEO Tad Smith, adding, “And Sotheby’s has been honoured and thrilled to serve this very discerning client for many years.”
    David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division, added: “I am delighted that this magnificently beautiful diamond has been rightfully crowned the most valuable gemstone ever sold at auction. The price has more than doubled the record for a fancy vivid pink diamond that we set just last year in Geneva.”

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for March 20, 2017)