Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Auction

April 6th, 2011 by

Jewels that stand the test of time are typically characterized by great stones or great design. The New York sale of Magnificent Jewels this April features many such jewels, including an array of white diamonds and period Cartier designs offered from a distinguished family collection.

Collectors will find top quality precious gemstones of every color including an exceptional Colombian emerald mounted by Harry Winston, a beautiful Burma ruby set in a 1920’s Chaumet brooch, and a lively Burma sapphire certified “royal blue”. Complementing such remarkable gems, the sale this April also features beautiful signed jewels made by leading jewelry designers both past and present. On the catalogue cover we showcase an elegant pair of diamond, sapphire and emerald hoop earclips by JAR, the most creative jeweler working today. Another highlight is a Modernist bangle-bracelet/clip made by Raymond Templier in the mid-1930s that is equally stunning and innovative.

Browse E-Catalogue

Fellows Secondhand Jewellery & Watches

April 6th, 2011 by

The catalogue for the Fellows auction of secondhand jewellery and watches can be seen online – click here to view the catalogue now.

The auction will be held April 7th at 10:00 am.

Sotheby’s – Sales Results

March 24th, 2011 by

Click here to view the sales results from the March 17th jewels auction.

Sotheby’s is also currently accepting consignments for their upcoming Fine Jewels auction to be held on July 13th in London.

Sotheby’s – Magnificent Jewels Auction in New York

March 24th, 2011 by

Jewels that stand the test of time are typically characterized by great stones or great design.  The New York sale of Magnificent Jewels this April features many such jewels, including an array of white diamond and period Cartier designs offered from a distinguished family collection.  Highlighting the diamonds are two pear-shaped stones, both D color with the rare type IIa classification, one weighing 20.74 carats in a pendant mounting, the other 15.31 carats and set in a stylish jabot pin by Cartier.

Collectors will find top quality precious gemstones of every color including an exceptional Colombian emerald mounted by Harry Winston, a beautiful Burma ruby set in a 1920’s Chaumet brooch, and a lively Burma sapphire certified “royal blue”.  Complementing such remarkable gems, the sale this April also features beautiful signed jewels made by leading jewelry designers both past and present.

View Catalogue Online

Dealers Wanted for Discovery TV Show!

March 21st, 2011 by

Dealers Wanted for Discovery TV Show

UK TV production company Fever Media are looking for U.S. antiques and collectibles dealers to appear in a brand new TV show for the Discovery Channel.

The program sees members of the public attempting to sell their items to a panel of dealers. These items could be anything from a vintage car, to a collection of Star Wars toys, to an original Picasso sketch.

We are seeking dealers with a good knowledge of different areas and periods to feature on the panel. We are very keen to get a U.S. based dealer involved and if the show is successful there is potential to screen it in the U.S. A fee would be paid.

If you are interested or would like to know more, please contact Kieran at

From out of the vault, fine jewelers’ private collection arrives at Morphy’s for Feb. 26 no-reserve specialty auction

February 9th, 2011 by

DENVER, Pa. – A top-tier private collection of gold, platinum and precious-gem jewelry amassed over several decades will be featured in a single-session, no-reserve specialty auction at Morphy’s gallery on Feb. 26, 2011. The collection – whose consignors previously owned fine jewelry stores in Florida – consists primarily of superior-quality estate jewelry selected “with a sophisticated eye over a number of years,” said Dr. John Morphy, director of Acquisitions & Appraisals for Morphy’s. “This is not retail stock; this was the consignors’ own collection, which they kept in a safe. Approximately half of it is vintage, and there are some truly spectacular pieces.” Around 80% of the collection is gold, 5% platinum and 5% sterling, Morphy said.

14K white gold Art Deco diamond ring with 3.04-carat center diamond in champagne or pale yellow color, and 1.02 carats of surrounding diamonds. Estimate $15,000-$25,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Literally hundreds of diamond rings and bracelets will be offered, with many of the rings featuring large solitaires of outstanding clarity and quality. “I would say anyone who is thinking about marriage would be wise to view this collection, which includes around 30 engagement rings. They’ll be able to choose from what is essentially a jeweler’s private reserve, at prices likely to be far more competitive than those at a jewelry store,” Morphy said.

One of the top rings in the sale is a 14K white gold Art Deco design with a 3.04-carat center diamond surrounded by an additional array of diamonds weighing 1.02 carats. Because the main diamond is an unusual champagne or pale yellow color, the attendant diamonds make it “pop,” Morphy said. “It has huge eye appeal.” The ring is accompanied by its original jeweler’s papers and is estimated at $15,000-$25,000.

14K white gold ring with 4.37-carat deep blue oval sapphire and diamonds weighing 0.36 carats. Estimate $4,000-$8,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Sapphires and diamonds have always been an especially compatible jewelry duo. The collection includes a 14K white gold ring boasting a 4.37-carat deep-blue oval sapphire with 0.36 carats of diamonds, estimate $4,000-$8,000; and an elegant 14K white gold link bracelet channel-set with 14.62 carats of sapphires and 5.28 carats of diamonds, estimate $8,000-$15,000.

The names Tiffany & Co., and David Yurman add quiet prestige to the sale roster, both in gold and silver interpretations. A Tiffany 14K gold bracelet of wide, alternating fluted and smooth links is dated 1946 and estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

Rolex stainless steel and 18K gold gentleman’s wristwatch, mechanical, Model No. 116233, with original box and papers. Estimate $5,000-$8,000. Morphy Auctions image.

The premier timepiece brand Rolex will be available both to men and women in the assortment of six wristwatches to be auctioned. “Some of the Rolexes are vintage, possibly from the 1960s or ’70s,” said Morphy. “We are in the process of obtaining additional information about them from Rolex.” An example from the grouping is a gentleman’s stainless steel and 18K gold mechanical Model No. 116233 with original Rolex box and paperwork. Estimate: $5,000-$8,000.

Ten exceptional pieces from an additional consignor will be included in the sale, as well. The consignment includes an exquisite double-strand Victorian 14K gold “slide” bracelet with approximately 20 hand-crafted and jeweled components, some incorporating movable characters, e.g., snake, little girl, etc. Also, the mini-collection includes a 14K gold mesh purse with original gold strap and double-sapphire clasp, total gold weight: 59.9 dwt (pennyweight). Both items date to around the turn of the 20th century and carry individual estimates of $2,000-$3,000.

Turn of the 20th century 14K gold mesh purse with original gold strap and double-sapphire clasp, total gold weight: 59.9 dwt. Estimate $2,000-$3,000. Morphy Auctions image.

The 400-lot sale also includes early 20th-century enameled-gold jewelry and a nice selection of gold charms, many of them mechanical. “These sorts of charms are quite desirable,” said Morphy. “For example, there’s a movable golfer, a typewriter, and an old woman in the shoe that opens to reveal the children inside.”

Morphy Auctions CEO Dan Morphy described the jewelry to be auctioned as “a highly select collection that we’re very proud to have been chosen to present at auction.” All items will be sold to the highest bidder, regardless of price.

All forms of bidding will be available for the Feb. 26 Fine Jewelry auction, including live in the gallery, absentee, by phone, or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place through Morphy Live or The entire auction inventory is presently available to preview at Morphy’s gallery.

For additional information, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail Visit Morphy’s online at

Happy Birthday To Us!

February 3rd, 2011 by turned a year on Feb 1st 2011!  Thanks to all of our vendors for helping us to build our site into one of the best antiques sites on the web!  We’ve had more than 15oo dealers join in the fun so far, and we’re always looking for more.  We’re excited to offer over 80,000 items for sale on, but that number increases every day as more and more vendors sign up to be a part of our growing family.

To all of the people that visit looking for the perfect gift, trying to spruce up their home with a beautiful antique, or simply out of curiosity, thank you for coming!

And for everyone, vendors and antique aficionados alike, we’ve recently added a few features to our home page that we think you’ll enjoy!

– First, check out the Deal Of The Day – Each day we’ll offer a new deal from a vendor that is eager to give you a beautiful antique for a steal!

– Next, feast your eyes on the Cool Antique Of The Week – Each week we’ll show you something interesting from the site that is available to be purchased and fawned over by it’s new owner!

– And finally, have some fun with What Is This Antique? – Each week we’ll choose a new and interesting, if not a bit obscure, antique to feature for this game.  Take a guess, or several guesses, at what you think it is, and then each Monday we’ll publish the list of guesses submitted by everyone, along with the actual name and description of the antique. strives to offer a wide variety of beautiful and interesting antiques, collectibles, and fine art pieces.  We’re looking forward to another stellar year where we add to our already impressive list of vendors and push our inventory to over 100,000 items!  So Happy Birthday To Us!  We’re looking forward to another fantastic year!

Antique Jewelry: “Lover’s Eyes” Georgian Watercolor Miniatures

July 28th, 2010 by

In 1784 the widow Maria Fitzherbert was introduced to The Prince of Wales– who would later become George IV– at a gathering in London. The two began a secret affair that would continue until their controversial wedding in the drawing room of her home a year and a half later. In the interim, in order to carry a keepsake of his paramour while keeping her identity hidden, the prince had a miniature watercolor created of her—but not of her entire face. Her eye—just one of them—was drawn on a tiny piece of ivory which the prince carried around like a locket. The effect was charming, whimsical and mysterious, and “lover’s eyes” soon took off as a trend among members of London high society.

Between 1790 and about 1825, it became a popular custom to have a miniature watercolor of the eye of a lover, friend, or sister painted, and then sealed under glass and ornamentally framed in a ring, brooch, or pendant. Sometimes the portrait extended as far as the eyebrow, and some portraits contained hints of sideburns or soft curls of hair. The rings and lockets were designed for men as well as women, though most pieces feature portraits of women no matter which gender wore or carried them.

Though the practice of keeping a lover’s eye was persistent, it never quite became universal. The custom continued for a quarter of a century, but less than a thousand or so of these tiny portraits exist in the world today. Because of their scarcity, lover’s eyes are now considered extremely valuable and coveted pieces of antique jewelry.

It’s difficult to adequately describe the weird beauty of an authentic Georgian lover’s eye. When set in antique rings especially, these portraits are not at all out of place in the most elegant vintage antique jewelry collections. But they also call to mind a curiously modern and playful steampunk style– half ornamentation, half secret code, and suggestive of a different form of Georgian art, the anatomical sketch. True lover’s eyes are utterly mesmerizing specimens of antique jewelry, and their high appraisal value only adds to their elusively.

Even more so than with other forms of antique jewelry, forgeries of lover’s eyes abound. With modern scanning technology, the portraits have become easy to replicate, and of course high demand only increases the temptation to counterfeiters. If you own a lover’s eye, take the proper precautions before you part with it. And if you plan to invest in one, be aware that lover’s eyes represent a foray into what is considered high–risk collecting. Even skilled antique jewelry appraisers can mistake authenticity, and the sheer beauty of a piece for its own sake can be fatally alluring.

Remember: there are very, very few of these in the world. If the cost a lover’s eye seems too good to be true, it probably is. Appreciate the artistry and the history of the piece, but be cautious.

By Erin Sweeney

Antique Jewelry

June 25th, 2010 by

What does one do with antique jewelry if it can’t be safely or stylishly worn? My friend Ellen inherited a beautiful collection of antique jewelry, including several dozen brooches and lapel pins. She created an elegant method of displaying them. She built the top of her coffee table into a honeycomb of cubes, each one a frame large enough to display three or four carefully matched pins. Then she lined each frame with a background material—sand in some cases, distressed velvet or tiny pebbles in others. Finally she laid each pin down in its cube and made a hinged glass lid for the whole table. Together, the antique jewelry and the display itself make an excellent conversation piece.

By Erin Sweeney


This boot was made for talkin…

April 11th, 2010 by
I can’t be the only person who feels you can never have enough shoes OR enough bling! After all, the well-heeled Marilyn Monroe convinced the world that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” with just a few simple lyrics! So imagine my delight upon learning about this magnificent almost pure gold boot charm through Lucyanne Robinson, one of the dealers who will be exhibiting her exceptional wares at the upcoming Spring Fever Antiques and Design Show and Sale, produced by New England Antique Shows.

This tiny treasure truly is the best of both worlds, and its size defies the great history and legacy behind the piece. The charm is 2″ high, 2″ long, and 3/4″ wide at the heel.  It is made from 22 carat yellow gold (92% gold and 8% silver-copper) and weighs 67.3 grams, or about 2 1/3 ounces!  The detail work on the piece is truly exceptional.  Check out the perfectly proportioned eyelets and heels; the nails on the soles; and the way the gold has been wrinkled to look like leather.  Now that’s fancy footwork!
So besides its design and quality, what makes this boot charm so, well… charming? This one a kind piece was hand forged in France in 1974 by Jean-Marie Mazard and his daughter-in-law Jacline, who together were the design team behind the world famous Jean Mahie design studio. The company’s name is taken from a child’s attempt to pronounce “Jean-Marie.” This highly realistic boot charm is distinct and exceptional among Jean Mahie pieces, departing from the artists’ usual more freeform, fluid approach.  For comparison, the pendant pictured to the left is truly representative of the “typical” Jean Mahie style.  From the collector’s perspective, some of the things that make the boot charm so interesting are its design, period of production, and clear identification on the sole. This rarity is pictured and referenced in the book Jean Mahie the Artists and Their Work 25 Years of Sculpture, published by the Meriden-Stinehour Press in 1987.

Jean Mahie has been a global influence in the jewelry and design industries since the late 1960’s. The principals got their big break when their creations were exhibited at both Van Cleef and Arpels and Cartier in Paris. The work was extremely well received; so much so that it influenced the artistic direction at both major jewelers.  A great example of this is the hand hammered cuffs that Van Cleef and Arpels still shows on its web site and which First Lady Jackie Kennedy owned. A photo of Jackie and her Jean Mahie inspired VCA bracelet is featured above on the left.

Fast forward a few years, Jean-Marie and Jacline’s designs were noticed by retail luxury tycoon Stanley Marcus and his director of fine jewelry, Dudley Ramsden. Eventually the line was brought to the United States under an exclusive contract to the upscale Neiman-Marcus store chain. In reference to Jean Mahie designs, Stanley Marcus once wrote: “This jewelry is not for the timid.” By the late 1970s, the artists immigrated to the US and their jewelry was, and continues to be, produced piece by piece here in the US.

Today, Jean Mahie is still designing and producing unique, one of a kind jewelry creations which are coveted by collectors globally. The torch has been passed to the next generations; the company’s current collaborators are Jacline and her son. Together they continue to make hand forged pieces and describe themselves with the old gold smithing term “forgerons d’or”; clearly a “charming” name for their “gold standard” talent in jewelry design and craftsmanship.
I would like to thank Lucyanne Robinson for walking me through the details of this amazing Jean Mahie boot charm. Lucyanne specializes in exceptional and inspired jewelry. Her offerings span the 19th and 20th centuries, across the main categories of antique, vintage couture, and artisans’ one-of-a-kind works. The collection is available through select antiques shows around the U.S. For more information about this piece, please contact Lucyanne at
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