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Coloured Gemstone Pieces To Headline Bonhams London Auction This Month

This 'mystery-set' ruby bracelet by Van Cleef & Arpels will
headline the auction.

Coloured gemstones will lead Bonhams London Jewels sale this month with Van Cleef & Arpels’ rubies, Kashmir sapphires and Colombian emeralds all going under the hammer on September 24.

Headlining the sale is a ‘mystery-set' bracelet by Van Cleef & Arpels containing 177 rubies set in seamless channels, creating a bright mosaic of colour, unbroken by any trace of yellow gold.  It has a pre-sale estimate of £100,000-£150,000 ($120,000-$180,000).

Also on auction will be:

  • A ruby and diamond ‘bellegarde’ necklace estimated at £40,000-£60,000 ($49,000-$73,000). 
  • A ‘mystery-set’ ruby and diamond bombé ring, estimated at £20,000-£30,000 ($24,000-$36,000)
  • A pair of ‘mystery-set’ ruby and diamond ‘lampion’ earrings, estimated at £30,000-£40,000 ($36,000-$49,000).
  • A ‘mystery-set’ ruby and diamond ‘noeud ruban’ brooch, estimated at £25,000-£35,000 ($30,000-$43,000).

Two impressive Kashmir sapphires are also expected to garner attention during the sale’s preview in London, Geneva, Hong Kong and New York this season.  The first, a sapphire and diamond three-stone ring, features an oval-cut sapphire, weighing 5.16 carats, set between brilliant-cut diamonds.  It is estimated at £80,000-£120,000 ($97,000-$150,000) and accompanied by three reports confirming its Kashmir origin and no evidence of heat treatment. 

The second ring, a sapphire and diamond three-stone ring, dated circa 1900, boasts a cushion-shaped sapphire, weighing 4.46 carats, set between cushion-shaped diamonds, with smaller old brilliant-cut diamond highlights.   It has a pre-sale estimate of £100,000-£150,000 ($120,000-$180,000) and is accompanied by four reports stating that the sapphire is of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating.

Emeralds are represented by two notable pieces. The first, an emerald and diamond bracelet by Graff, set with a row of step-cut Colombian emeralds and diamonds, is estimated at £100,000-£150,000 ($120,000-$180,000).  

Gold, silver and emerald bracelet attributed to Mario Buccellati, dated 1919

The second, an art deco emerald, diamond and enamel brooch by Hennell, the distinguished British jeweller, is dated circa 1925 and contains an engraved emerald, dated 1813-14, which is thought to have been presented by the Mughal Emperor Akbar Shah (reigned 1806-1837) to Lady Mary Hood, heiress of Francis Humberston Mackenzie, chief of clan Mackenzie and last Baron Seaforth (1754-1815), estimated at £40,000-£60,000 ($49,000-$73,000). 

The chieftaincy devolved to her after the death of her father and she was also the inspiration for the character, Ellen Douglas, in Sir Walter Scott’s poem The Lady of the Lake. In the early 1800s, Lady Hood travelled extensively and charmed the upper echelons of Anglo-Indian society.  It is during these years that she acquired the emerald.

The sale will also feature 20 pieces from the private collection of the Buccellati family, signed pieces by Andrew Grima and Lalique.

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