Summer Specialist Jewellery, Watches, Silver & Coins Auction

Jun 24, 2022

It was all sparkles at Wessex Auction Rooms with their summer specialist Jewellery, Silver, Watches and Coins auction.


A fabulous diamond saw some fierce bidding between bidders in the room and online. The round brilliant cut diamond weighed over 2.0 carats, with a clarity grading of SI and colour grade of H. The stone was secured with six claws on an 18ct yellow gold shank. “When it comes to diamonds, there are four factors that affect the value of the stone: carat, colour, clarity and cut” explains Izzie Balmer FGA DGA, Auctioneer and Head of Jewellery and Silver at Wessex Auction Rooms. “The round brilliant cut diamond is the most popular of diamond cuts, because it’s the best compromise of fire and brilliance in a diamond. The cut is graded as excellent, very good, good and poor. The colour assesses the whiteness of the diamond, unless it’s a fancy colour which are desired for their colour of yellow, pink, blue or green. The clarity assesses whether the diamond contains inclusions; the size, quantity and placement of these inclusions. Our diamond was very good on all fronts. The bigger the diamond, the rarer it is to get a good colour and clarity grading – in effect, for all the Cs to line up. This in turn influences their worth. I was delighted to sell the diamond ring for £6,000”.

Cartier never fails to attract attention. A luxury brand known for its quality; Cartier have created many iconic designs including the Panthère collection. In 1914 the Panthère was first seen on a wristwatch and that same year the animal was depicted on the Cartier Christmas card, lying at the feet of an elegantly dressed woman. Forty-five years later and multiple visits to Paris Zoo from the Cartier design team, the first three-dimensional Cartier Panthère was created for the Duchess of Windsor. The following year the Duke and Duchess of Windsor commissioned a Cartier Panthère brooch, and so was born the worldwide love of the Cartier Panthère. Following the success of the Panthère collection, was the Maillon Panthère collection. Much simpler in its design, the jewellery is formed of slinky links designed to “sensually wrap around the hand, wrist or décolleté in voluptuous fashion”.Each link is individually attached to achieve maximum movement and comfort, emulating the elegant feline movement of the panther. Wessex Auction Rooms had one such piece, the Cartier Maillon Panthère diamond 18ct yellow gold bracelet. With interest in the room, on the internet and on the phone lines, this beauty sold for £2,600.

It's not all about the diamonds, Gents wristwatches always whip up a storm, especially when they come in the form of a 1960s Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer Precision wristwatch. The Rolex Explorer was launched in the 1950s and was born from the increasing determination during the early 1950s to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. Rolex wanted their watches to be there on the summit, and so large-sized Oyster watches were issued to the ninth British Expedition team: these watches were the prototypes to the Explorer watch. The Explorer watch as we know it today was released in the early 1960s although the design has been tweaked over the years. In good condition the Rolex Explorer watch at Wessex Auction rooms saw lots of pre-auction interest. The final battle came down to a private bidder in the room and the internet. The room bidder secured the watch for £6,200 and delighted told the auctioneer he’d been after one for years.

Some items of adornment go in and out of fashion, but a pocket watch is timeless. With BBC’s Peaky Blinders propelling pocket watches into the public eye, it’s no surprise that the crème de la crème, the full hunter pocket watch, commands attention when it comes to the market. At Wessex Auction Rooms a gorgeous Victorian full hunter 18ct yellow gold pocket watch with local connections -the watch was made by the Bristol-based watchmaker Langford & Sons, with engraved address for 40 College Green Bristol -sparked fierce bidding with the gavel finally falling at £1,900.

A beautiful George III unmarked silver cube tea caddy saw intense bidding. Tea was a highly prized and valuable commodity in the 18th century. Tea caddies were used to store the tea leaves; the caddies themselves were often works of art.” Such an expensive item as tea would not be stored in a cheap container” explains Izzie, “it would be kept in a caddy equally as expensive, kept out on display as a sign of the owner’s wealth. The most valuable tea caddies were often made from silver and were complete with lock and key. The key was worn on a chatelaine by the lady of the house. Often the tea would be a blend mixed by the lady of the house which she would proudly offer to her guests.” The caddy itself was a decorative item in its own right. George III silver tea caddies don’t often come to the market. With hallmarks for John Whittingham the caddy was decorated with swag, urn and foliate decoration. Despite being locked, there was a good chance the key was inside as there was a distinctive key-like rattle when shaken. This did not deter bidders, selling for a cool £1,400.

Not to be left out, the coins saw strong results. A particularly fine Royal Mint United Kingdom 2019 2oz silver proof coin sold for £1,800. The coin was limited edition and the box was signed by the engraver William Wyon, complete with Certificate of Authenticity.

Wessex Auction Rooms are consigning now for their next specialist Jewellery, Silver, Watches and Coins auction. For more information or to make an appointment, please email izzie@wessexauctionrooms.co.uk or call the office on 01249 720888.