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    HOARD OF BOOKS STOLEN IN UK RECOVERED IN ROMANIA

    Friday, September 18th, 2020

    Around 200 valuable books stolen from a warehouse near Heathrow in 2017 have been recovered in Romania. They include first editions of Galileo and Isaac Newton. They were found buried under the floor of a house in the region of Neamt, in north-eastern Romania, on Wednesday. A Romanian organised crime gang was responsible for the theft. The BBC reports that thirteen people have been charged, 12 of whom have already pleaded guilty. The books were being stored in a warehouse ahead of being transported to a specialist book auction in Las Vegas, in the US, when they were stolen.

    DOLLY PARTON’S DULCIMER AT CHRISTIE’S NASHVILLE SALE

    Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

    Dolly Parton’s Swarovski-crystal bedazzled four-string dulcimer will lead an online only charity auction at Christie’s. Entitled “NASHVILLE: An Auction to benefit ACM Lifting Lives® COVID-19 Response Fund” it will lead a sale with items donated by some of the biggest names in country music including Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Marty Stuart, Bernie Taupin and Trisha Yearwood. The dulcimer has been owned by Dolly Parton for 30 years and was used to play “Jolene” during her 50th Anniversary performance at the Grand Ole Opry in 2019. It is estimated at $50,000-100,000.

    ACM Lifting Lives® is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music. Through partnerships with artists and strong ties in the music industry it funds music health programs and serves members of the music community who face unexpected hardship.

    Dolly Parton performing with the dulcimer at her 50th Anniversary concert at the Grand Ole Opry / © Grand Ole Opry | Photo by Chris Holl

    JEWELLERY AT JAMES ADAM IN DUBLIN

    Sunday, September 13th, 2020

    A single stone rectangular diamond ring tops the bill at the James Adam sale of fine jewellery and watches in Dublin at 4 pm on September 15.  The certified 7.75 carat stone has an estimate of €120,000-€180,000.  Other top lots include a diamond cuff bracelet by Fred Paris (€60,000-€80,000) and a pair of diamond pendant ear clips (€45,000-€55,000).If these prices are a bit beyond your range then how about an amethyst brooch designed as a sweet wrapper by Bulgari (€600-€800) or a three strand natural pearl necklace (€700-€900).  There are diamond and gold bracelets, sapphire rings including a c1960  sapphire and diamond cocktail ring by Boucheron (€1,800-€2,2000, brooches, pendants and plenty of baubles to lift the lockdown mood and propel the imagination into a less socially distant future with lots going on.  The catalogue for this sale of 250 lots is online.

    Single stone rectangular diamond ring (€120,000-€180,000). UPDATE: THIS WAS PASSED AT €110,000

    FLAWLESS 102 CARAT DIAMOND AT SOTHEBY’S HONG KONG

    Friday, September 11th, 2020

    An internally flawless 102.39-carat diamond comes under the hammer at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong next month. There is no estimate but diamonds of this size and quality have D colour oval stone was cut from a 271-carat rough diamond discovered in Ontario, Canada in 2018. It has achieved top rank in each of the “four Cs” — cut, colour, clarity and carat weight — by which a diamond is judged. In the circumstances of the moment it is being offered without a reserve. Bidding opens online from September 15 and the sale end at a live auction in Hong Kong on October 5.

    SPARKLING DIAMOND SOLITAIRE AT O’REILLY’S

    Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

    THIS sparkling diamond solitaire comes up at the Francs St., Dublin firm of O’Reilly’s 48 hour timed online only auction of jewellery, diamonds, watches and silver. It runs from 1 pm today to 1 pm on August 28. The estimated weight of the brilliant cut diamond is 5.01 carat and the ring is estimated at 42,000-48,000. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    DEATH OF DESMOND GUINNESS

    Friday, August 21st, 2020

    Desmond Guinness, founder of the Irish Georgian Society, has died aged 88. The Society said on their website: “We are indebted to his legacy in founding the Irish Georgian Society in 1958, together with the late Mariga Guinness. He boldly championed the cause of Ireland’s architectural heritage at a time when it faced great challenges through neglect and the threat of demolition from new development. In spite of hostility in some quarters, through his ardent campaigning, educating and working to save numerous buildings we are surrounded by a rich legacy of historic buildings saved to be celebrated as an integral part of our culture and identity. He has inspired us all and, for the thousands of members and supporters of the Irish Georgian Society in Ireland and around the world, Desmond has truly been a Conservation Hero.”

    He was the second son of author and brewer Bryan Guinness, 2nd Baron Moyne, and Diana Mitford (later Lady Mosley).

    BALFOUR DECLARATION RECALLED AT SOTHEBY’S BOOK SALE

    Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

    A signed menu from a 1927 dinner at London’s Savoy to mark the tenth anniversary of The Balfour Declaration comes up at Sotheby’s Books and Manuscripts sale which opens today and runs until August 4. The 1917 declaration was a statement from the British government announcing support for the establishment of “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a minority Jewish population. The declaration was in a letter from then Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community. The menu is signed by guests including Balfour, Nahum Sokolow (chairman of the World Zionist executive), the physicist Sir Ernest Rutherford, James de Rothschild and P.M.W. MacDonagh, almost certainly the Limerick born Irish journalist Michael MacDonagh. It is estimated at £400-600.

    UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £2,394

    AN AUCTION BRIMFUL OF THE QUIRKY AND UNUSUAL

    Sunday, July 19th, 2020

    If your taste runs to the quirky and unusual the sale for you is about to kick off in Co. Laois.  More than 6,500 lots of costumes and props from the martial arts drama Into the Badlands – filmed at Ardmore Studios in Bray – are to be sold in a six day auction online and at The Heritage, Killenard starting at 10 am on July 20. The series depicted a feudal society and design influences are steampunk, retrofuturistic and Asian. Starring Daniel Wu and Orla Brady it was an international hit with over a million viewers per episode over three series. Fans globally will be sharpening their swords and getting ready to enter the fight for memorabilia including working vintage cars – a Daimler, an Ambassador Nash and a Citroen –  hundreds of items of period furniture, costumes, antiques, two motorbikes and all sorts of ephemera.  The catalogue is online at Sean Eacrett auctioneers and the auction will be live on The Saleroom, Easy Live Auctions and Live Auctioneers.  When Sean Eacrett offered the props from the TV series Penny Dreadful in 2016 it was a complete sell out and he expects the same again. 

    Vintage cars from the Into the Badlands. UPDATE: THESE CARS SOLD, LEFT TO RIGHT, FOR HAMMER PRICES OF 2,000, 2,300 AND 3,600

    SENSATIONAL DIAMOND NECKLACE AT CHRISTIE’S, NEW YORK

    Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

    A sensational diamond necklace suspending a pear-shaped diamond of 115.83 carats, F color, VVS1 clarity will lead Christie’s sale of magnificent jewels in New York on July 29. It is estimated at $5,000,000-7,000,000. Coloured diamonds also lead the sale, with a fancy intense blue diamond ring of 7.16 carats, internally flawless ($3,500,000-5,000,000); and a fancy intense yellow diamond ring of 33.65 carats, VS2 clarity ($525,000-625,000). Coloured gemstones are also strongly represented with a Burma sapphire ring of 42.45 carats ($350,000–550,000); Colombian emerald ring of 35.77 carats ($300,000-500,000); and superb Art Deco sapphire and diamond sautoir, by Bulgari ($650,000–850,000).

    The Jewels Online sale which runs from July 22 to August 6/7 features a broad selection of fine jewels and iconic designs by Bulgari, Cartier, David Webb, Tiffany & Co., and Van Cleef & Arpels.

    A SENSATIONAL DIAMOND NECKLACE WITH PENDANT OF 115.83 CARATS,
    F COLOR, VVS1 CLARITY. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $6,290,500

    WORLD RECORD PRICE FOR JEWEL SOLD ONLINE

    Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

    A 28.86 carat diamond which made $2,115,000 achieved a world record price for a jewel sold online at Christie’s . The jewels online sale which has just ended achieved 31 bids from Asia and America for the D Colour Type IIA emerald cut stone. The sale brought in $4.1 million with 64% of lots selling at or above their high estimate. Bidders from 27 countries joined in.

    Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Jewelry at Christie’s commented: “The spectacular 28.86 carat D color diamond received immediate attention upon its announcement. The stone possesses a transparency and purity which can only be found in the world’s finest diamonds. The sale of this exceptional stone established the record for a jewel sold in an online-only auction, demonstrating greater client confidence in Christie’s digital ability and online sale platform. We now look forward to the beginning of our live auction season for jewelry spanning all major Christie’s global sale sites led by a US$8m Fancy Intense Blue IF Diamond of 12.11 carats offered in Hong Kong on July 9.”

    Christie’s Jewels sales calendar for July 2020 includes live and online auctions in Geneva, Hong Kong, London, New York, and Paris. 

    THE DIAMOND RING OF 28.86 CARATS, D COLOR, VVS1 CLARITY, TYPE IIA