(Chicago, Illinois) November 30, 2009 – Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ winter sale of Fine Jewelry and Timepieces totaled $1,225,938, with 82% of lots sold. The sale’s top lot, a platinum, 18 karat yellow gold, diamond and ruby dragon brooch, more than quadrupled its high estimate, selling for $67,100 to a Midwest private collector. The brooch, designed circa 1968 by Donald Claflin for Tiffany & Co., depicts a Chinese dragon with pave diamonds and rubies for the eyes and tongue. An identical brooch appears in John Loring’s Tiffany’s 20th Century: A Portrait of American Style, as well as at Chicago’s Field Museum’s current exhibition The Nature of Diamonds.
Signed vintage jewelry realized exceptional prices, with collectors competing for extraordinary designs. An 18 karat white gold, carved jadeite and lapis lazuli bracelet by Mauboussin drew six phone bidders, finally selling to a West Coast collector for $43,920, nearly triple its high estimate.
Leading the fine timepieces session, a Breguet 18 karat yellow gold tourbillon wristwatch realized $48,800, and an 18 karat yellow gold Ulysse Nardin hour striker wristwatch sold for $23,180. Examples with unusual complications also exceeded their estimates – a Vacheron Constantin watch with lozenge shape dial and a Roger Dubuis watch with moon phases each realized $15,860.
Consistently strong results for colored jewels underscore the resilience of the market, with a 6.01 carat cushion cut sapphire and diamond ring selling for $18,300 and a 3.71 carat step cut emerald ring selling for $12,200. Likewise, interest in diamonds remains strong; a ring with three stones totaling 8.27 carats brought $42,700 and ring with 5.24 carats total brought $30,500.
Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is currently seeking consignments for its April 18, 2010 auction. For information on appraisal and auction services, please call 312.280.1212.