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Graff Bracelet Exceeds Expectations at Bonhams

Piece sells for $749,847, more than four times its high valuation.
Sep 25, 2019 9:58 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... An emerald and diamond bracelet by Graff fetched more than four times its high estimate at Bonhams, leading an auction that saw many pieces crush presale estimates. 

The piece, which was the subject of a fierce bidding war, features 13 step-cut Colombian emeralds, the largest of which is 2.56 carats, interspersed with an equal number of step-cut diamonds. It sold to a private buyer for $749,847, beating its $180,000 high presale estimate at the September London Jewels sale.

“The emeralds in this classic and elegantly designed bracelet are of superlative quality,” Emily Barber, director of jewelry at Bonhams UK, said Wednesday. “They have a rich, vivid, true-green color and crystalline transparency. To amass this number of emeralds that are so well matched in terms of color, quality and size would have been a painstaking and expensive selection process and encapsulates Graff’s commitment to using only the very best-quality stones.”

Another emerald that received heavy bidding was an Art Deco emerald, diamond and enamel brooch by designer Hennell. The piece, created in 1925 and given as a gift by Mughal Emperor Akbar II to Lady Mary Hood Mackenzie, garnered $186,587 against a high estimate of $73,000.

“This was the first time the emerald had come to the open market,” Barber explained. “It had been passed down the female line of the family since Mary Hood’s death, and it certainly captured a lot of interest during the sale, with bidders from 25 countries.”

Other notable items at the sale included a five-piece, mystery-set collection by Van Cleef & Arpels, which sold for a total of $402,938. The entire collection found buyers, and most pieces sold for well over their presale estimates. Those included a ruby and diamond ring, which sold for $40,488, surpassing its high presale estimate of $36,000. A pair of ruby and diamond earrings was snapped up for $96,411, almost double its $49,000 high estimate.

Additionally, 20 jewels from the private collection of the Buccellati family, made by famed designer Mario Buccellati, sold well. A silver, gold and emerald vanity case brought in $31,162, nearly four times its high estimate of $8,500, while a gold bangle sold for $12,200 against a high valuation of $3,600.

In total, Bonhams sold 82% of lots by value. The auction house’s next jewelry sale will take place on September 26 in New York.

Image: The Graff emerald and diamond bracelet. (Bonhams)
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Tags: bonhams, Emily Barber, Graff, Hennell, Lady Mary Hood Mackenzie, London Jewels, Mario Buccellati, Mughal Emperor Akbar II, Rapaport News, Van Cleef & Arpels
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