Antique Jewels Shine at Bonhams London

AuctionsSep 27, 2023

Antique Jewels Shine at Bonhams London

A rare Chaumet necklace and 20th-century sapphire ring sold for double their estimates.

Chaumet diamond necklace, circa 1900
This rare Chaumet diamond necklace, circa 1900, sold for £305,200 ($371,458), a highlight of a recent Bonhams London Jewels auction.
London—A rare Chaumet diamond necklace, circa 1900, stole the show at a recent Bonhams jewelry auction, selling for double its top estimate. 

The necklace appeared alongside several other antique pieces at the New Bond Street London Jewels sale on Sept. 21, where it sold for £305,200, or $371,458 at current exchange rates. 

The chain, pavé-set with old brilliant- and rose-cut diamonds, features a fringe of seven drops, each suspended from loops in the ribbon-style chain by the stems of laurel-leaf surmounts. 

Each drop pendant, dangling below a duo of pear-shaped diamonds, is pavé-set with old brilliant-cut, rose-cut, table-cut, cushion-cut and pear-shaped diamonds. 

The necklace features silver and gold mountings and contains an estimated 32 carats of diamonds.  

Chaumet’s first iteration of this style dates to 1896 when the Archduchess Maria Dorothea of Austria (1867-1932) commissioned the French jewelry house to make a tiara for her wedding to Philippe, Duke of Orléans. 

The piece she wore featured inverted arches interspersed with laurel-leaf elements supporting large diamonds in tapered openwork mounts and could be converted to a necklace. 

The design was so popular that Chaumet crafted other, slightly different versions of it, making the recently sold necklace a lone and rare survivor of its time, the auction house said.

Also notable at the jewelry auction was a sapphire and diamond platinum ring, circa 1920. 

The Art Deco piece features a 7.12-carat fancy-cut sugarloaf cabochon Kashmir sapphire within an undulating single-cut diamond surround and flanked by two smaller pear-shaped cabochon sapphires.

It sold for more than double its pre-sale estimate as well, going for £248,050 ($301,554).

Art Deco sapphire and diamond platinum ring
An Art Deco ring featuring diamonds and a 7.12-carat Kashmir sapphire, sold for £248,050 ($301,554).

“The selection of jewels represented best-in-class examples of jewelry design from the 19th and 20th centuries,” said Bonhams Head of Jewellery, UK, Emily Barber. 

“There was fierce competition from international buyers for rare antique and period jewelry including the Chaumet necklace, which is an exquisite survivor from the glamorous Belle Époque era, and an Art Deco ring set with a 7.12-carat sugarloaf sapphire of Kashmir origin.”

In other highlights of the sale, more antique diamond jewelry outdid pre-sale estimates.

A late 19th-century cluster necklace went for more than double its estimate, selling for £127,400 ($154,880).

Featuring approximately 50 carats of diamonds, the necklace is comprised of 16 diamond clusters, each a collet-set old brilliant-cut diamond inside a target surround of old brilliant-cut diamonds.

Late 19th-century diamond cluster necklace
A late 19th-century diamond cluster necklace, sold for £127,400 ($154,880)

A pair of Van Cleef & Arpels diamond earrings, circa 1935, sold above their pre-sale estimate as well, garnering £51,200 ($62,243).

The diamond “Disques” platinum ear clips feature spiraling pavé-set brilliant and old brilliant-cut diamonds in a detached halo around an inner baguette-cut diamond circle.

Van Cleef & Arpels diamond “Disques” platinum ear clips
Van Cleef & Arpels diamond “Disques” platinum ear clips, sold for £51,200 ($62,243).

 Related stories will be right here … 

Two emerald and diamond rings shone in the Bonhams London sale. 

The first, a Garrard ring, features a step-cut Colombian emerald center stone surrounded by tapered baguette and triangular-cut diamonds between baguette and calibré-cut diamond shoulders. It sold for four times its pre-sale estimate, going for £203,600 ($247,516).

The second ring again features a step-cut Colombian emerald, this time set between tapered baguette-cut diamonds. It sold for £70,250 ($85,402), more than three times its pre-sale estimate.

diamond and emerald rings
Left, the Garrard emerald and diamond ring that sold for £203,600 ($247,516) and, right, another emerald and diamond ring, which sold for £70,250 ($85,402)

Two charming garnet and gem-set turtle brooches mounted in gold, circa 1860, also sold at the jewelry auction.  

The first turtle’s shell is a carved central garnet cabochon, surrounded by garnet cabochons, all outlined in cushion-shaped and old brilliant-cut diamonds. Its head, feet and tail are set with circular-cut ruby accents. The brooch outdid its pre-sale estimate, going for £15,360 ($18,654). 

The other turtle also has a carved garnet shell. It is surrounded by cushion-shaped and old brilliant-cut diamonds and green guilloché enamel decoration. The turtle’s head is accented by step-cut emeralds.  

This brooch also topped its pre-sale estimate, selling for £17,920 ($21,763). 

Four items that belonged to British-born American actress Jean Simmons, all gifts from fellow actor Stewart Granger during their courtship, appeared at the London Jewels sale as well.  

The two wed in 1950 and were married for 10 years. They share a daughter, film editor Tracy Granger, who is selling this collection, which includes two unique animal pieces.  

The first is a Cartier opal, ruby and diamond “Love Bird” brooch from 1948. 

It features a pair of different-sized birds with black opal bodies, buff-top calibré-cut ruby feathers, buff-top marquise-cut ruby eyes, and single-cut diamond crests. The birds sit facing each other, perched on a branch that features a brilliant-cut diamond on the side. 

The Love Bird brooch did not sell, but the other animal piece owned by Simmons, a dog brooch by Boucheron, went for £19,200 ($23,312). 

The dog’s body is composed of two polished spheres, its neck, tail and legs are made of articulated gas-pipe linking, and its geometric head features ruby bead eyes and an engraved nose. The dog is one of three versions Boucheron created of this brooch in 1947; a cat and a horse also were made. 


Granger and Simmons starred opposite some of the biggest names during the “Golden Age” of Hollywood.

More antique jewelry is hitting the auction block this November, as Sotheby’s Geneva will offer the “Vienna 1900: An Imperial and Royal Collection” in two dedicated auctions on Nov. 6 and 7.  

The Latest

Lightbox x Roséate Light Wand pendants
Lab-GrownDec 01, 2023
Lightbox Teams Up With Brand Founded by Former Tiffany Exec

The lab-grown diamond brand also collaborated with the website The Future Rocks on a collection launching today.

Lila Moss Calvin Klein campaign
FinancialsDec 01, 2023
Movado Lowers Guidance Again After Q3 Sales Dip

The company said it is facing a “challenging retail environment” but is prepared for the holiday season.

Muzo emerald and argyle pink diamond necklace
CollectionsDec 01, 2023
Piece of the Week: Muzo’s Emerald and Argyle Pink Diamond Necklace

It’s the hero piece of the newest "Green Jewel" collection, a collaborative offering from the two mines.

Platinum  Guild International Diamond Rings
Brought to you by
If It’s Custom, Make It Platinum

With holiday proposals right around the corner, encourage your customers to go for platinum when making the big purchase.

Claire’s CFO COO Chris Cramer
MajorsNov 30, 2023
Claire’s Hires Former Bath & Body Works Exec as CFO, COO

Chris Cramer, who also spent time at Gen Z intimates brand Parade, will take on the dual role.

Weekly QuizNov 30, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Kwiat diamonds
IndependentsNov 30, 2023
Frank Adams Rolls Out Kwiat’s ‘Mine to Shine’ Program

The retail offering lets customers track their diamond’s journey.

Diamond development hub in Angola
SourcingNov 29, 2023
Largest New Diamond Mine of the Decade Coming Online in Angola

The Luele mine is expected to eventually make the country the world’s third-largest diamond producer.

Brought to you by
Did You Know? The Vital Role of IGI: The International Gemological Institute

In a world where the sparkle of a gemstone is only as brilliant as the trust behind it, IGI's purpose is truly invaluable.

Holiday shoppers holding bags
SurveysNov 29, 2023
Holiday Shoppers Broke a Record This Weekend, Says NRF

From Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, 200.4 million consumers shopped online and in stores.

Cast StyleBar Nordstrom
MajorsNov 29, 2023
Cast Debuts at Nordstrom, Closes on More VC Funding

The growing company also plans to open more of its own boutiques.

EditorsNov 29, 2023
Warren Buffett on Success, Mistakes and Betting on America

The best quotes from the Oracle of Omaha and his right-hand man Charlie Munger from the 2018 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting.

J. Dostie Jewelers
IndependentsNov 28, 2023
Maine Jeweler to Relocate After 76 Years

J. Dostie Jewelers will move from Lewiston to Yarmouth this spring.

Finks Jewelers new store
IndependentsNov 28, 2023
Fink’s Jewelers Opens 10th Store

It’s the company’s second location in Tennessee.

Mary Tyler Moore and a pair of Elsa Peretti Bone Cuffs
AuctionsNov 28, 2023
Mary Tyler Moore’s Jewelry Is Up For Auction

You can have this jewelry, why don’t you take it?

Original Miami Beach Antique Show 2024
Events & AwardsNov 28, 2023
The Original Miami Beach Antique Show Is Celebrating 60 Years

Next year’s milestone show will be full of educational programming and collaborations.

De Beers Metamorphosis high jewelry earrings
EditorsNov 27, 2023
10 Tips for Selling Diamonds This Holiday Season

Sales experts and a diamantaire share their best advice on how to send customers home with diamond jewelry.

Platinum Born new collection
CollectionsNov 27, 2023
See the New ‘Platinum Born’ Jewelry

The brand has released five new collections.

Frank Adams Jewelers
IndependentsNov 27, 2023
Frank Adams Jewelers Named ‘Family Business of the Year’

The Albany Business Review recently honored the 100-year-old company.

GIA Dr. John W. Valley
GradingNov 27, 2023
Dr. John W. Valley Retires from GIA Board of Governors

To honor his legacy, GIA has set up a scholarship in his name.

Stock image of police car with its lights on
CrimeNov 22, 2023
JSA Warns of Surge in Attacks on Jewelers on the Road

There have been eight attacks in the last month, spanning from a jewelry store parking lot in Rhode Island to highways in California.

Buddha Mama citrine bangle
TrendsNov 22, 2023
Amanda’s Style File: November Glow

These 15 pieces of jewelry celebrate November babies and the hues of citrine and topaz that reflect the colors of the season.

Columbia Gem House fundraiser
SourcingNov 22, 2023
Columbia Gem House Raises $12K for Wildlife

The money will help a nonprofit rehabilitate sea turtles.

Facet Barcelona factory opening
MajorsNov 22, 2023
Facet Barcelona Opens New Factory in Spain

The jewelry manufacturer said it can now better serve the North American market.

David Yurman holiday campaign
TechnologyNov 21, 2023
See David Yurman’s New High-Tech Holiday Campaign

The jewelry brand takes viewers through a virtual winter wonderland set in New York City.

2023 Rock the Jewels Awards winners
Events & AwardsNov 21, 2023
Here Are the Winners of BIJC’s Inaugural ‘Rock the Jewels’ Awards

The organization recognized outstanding industry players at its celebratory event.

Rough diamonds from De Beers Gahcho Kue mine
SourcingNov 21, 2023
De Beers’ Rough Diamond Sales Sink to $80M

India’s voluntary moratorium on rough diamond imports coupled with a stunted recovery in China continue to impact the miner.

Smart Age Solutions founder and CEO Emmanuel Raheb
ColumnistsNov 21, 2023
The Smart Lab: Score Big During Football Season With Hulu Advertising

Emmanuel Raheb outlines three reasons why Hulu advertising and football can be a game changer for your jewelry store’s marketing.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy