Sotheby’s auction house had another fine showing last week, bringing in sales of more than $2.3 million at its London auction house Thursday. It was at their annual spectacular jewelry auction which featured jewels from the early 19th century, several archaeological revival jewels from the mid-19th century and various pieces incorporating natural pearls.
The item with the highest price tag actually, was a collection of loose pearls, which sold for more than $225,000; 282 saltwater pearls of different shapes and sizes, and was once property of a royal collection.
Another notable piece was a gold and gemstone brooch from the 1950’s designed to look like a hummingbird, which consisted of two cabochon emeralds which forms the body, and cabochon rubies for the eye and feet. The piece, which was made from gemstones that had been shaped and polished, rather than faceted, sold for $9,695.
However, although a price tag of almost $10,000 is nothing to sneeze at, it was far surpassed by a floral spray consisting of three flowers and set with round and rose-cut diamonds sold for $32,318. The stunningly versatile piece, which can be reportedly worn as a tiara, necklace, brooch, pendant, pin, or hair fitting, is estimated to be from around 1880.
Sotheby’s is the world’s fourth oldest auction house with divisions in New York City, Moscow, and Hong Kong as well as London. The auction house has made many memorable sales over the past year, including the always popular Wallis Simpson auction, as well as the record breaking sale of the “Graff Pink.” The 24.78 carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond was sold in Geneva for $46 million, and became the most expensive single jewel ever sold at auction.