A girl's best friend?
A lot of people are taking the opportunity presented by high precious metal prices to sell off some of their old jewellery.
But a local lady took things to a whole new level when she walked into a recent Thursday morning discovery session at Brigg with three pieces with a combined value of around £15,000.
The pieces she brought in were an art deco brooch, a necklace – and a tiara.
The lady is a specialist who deals in jewellery and, after discussion about valuations, she has entered the three pieces into the Autumn Fine Art and Antiques Auction that will be taking place on October 9.
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It might seem odd that traders would sell via auction but there are times when the marketing power of the auction house is useful in reaching the maximum number of potential buyers. Even with a website, there is no way that a dealer can match the range of our databases combined with the various specialist services that we plug into such as the-saleroom.com, invaluable.com, i-bidder.com and the rest.
The market for pieces of jewellery valued at multiple-thousands of pounds is national and international, so the news about the sale of the pieces has to travel widely. Hence the lady's decision to enter them into the autumn sale.
The oldest is the art deco brooch that dates from the 1920s and has no fewer than 157 diamonds. The circular central stone weighs in at over a carat. That is flanked by stones cut in the baguette style, which is said to accentuate a diamond's lustre, whiteness and clarity but downplay its fire. Baguettes were all the rage during the art deco period.
It is an impressive brooch and, thanks to all the deco period dramas on television at the moment, the style is very much in fashion. The pre-sale estimate will be £4,000 to £5,000 but it could do even better than that.
The necklace has even more diamonds: It is 18 carat white gold and has 199 diamonds. Each flower has seven stones – and there are others dotted around the place. A very pretty thing, it is expected to go for £4,000 to £5,000.
Perhaps the most challenging piece, in terms of marketing, is the tiara, pictured. It is 18 carat yellow gold, set with approximately 6.5 carats of diamonds. It was made abroad and imported into this country in 1991, at which point it was assayed at the Sheffield office.
It was last sold at auction in Surrey in 2008, making the front cover of a jewellery sale catalogue, at which point it had a pre-sale estimate of £7,500 to £9,000. We think that's a bit over the top but it should make £4,000 to £6,000.
Nice as it is, the piece is challenging simply because the demand for tiaras is not what it once was. It might appeal to a bride for her wedding day, great for the wife of anyone being moved up into the peerage of course, and just the thing for any girl with a school prom in the offing.
The three pieces are the star lots in a terrific jewellery section in that auction. As I mentioned, gold and silver prices are very high at the moment and a lot of people are selling off old, unused, unwanted or damaged jewellery.
Run-of-the-mill pieces are likely to be snapped up at scrap value and sent off to the melting pot but the beauty of selling at auction, rather than through any other outlet, is that there is always the possibility that things, even damaged items, will appeal to collectors or jewellery wearers, in which case prices can soar way over the bullion value of the precious metal.
The catalogue for the Autumn Fine Art & Antiques Auction and details of the viewing sessions will be on the saleroom website www.cjmasset.com next week. The auction is exclusively online, the first of our major antiques sales to be handled in this way.
Meanwhile, the team will be staging the weekly antiques valuation clinics at the Angel Suite in Brigg next Thursday morning and at the auction centre on Dunlop Way, Scunthorpe next Friday morning.