A very special jewellery collection

Nov 17, 2021

Wessex Auction Rooms are delighted to present a superb collection of jewellery in their forthcoming Specialist Jewellery auction on the 3rd December. “I couldn’t believe my eyes” enthuses Izzie Balmer FGA DGA Auctioneer and Head of Jewellery and Silver “my client kept passing to me all of her beautiful pieces from her collection, each one completely dazzling and beautiful. It’s impossible to choose my three favourite pieces because they are all stunning and unique, but here are the three top lots.”

The pièce de résistance is a magnificent late Victorian diamond sunburst brooch, circa 1895. Set with a total of 7.0 carats, the sparkling brooch is formed of 12 rays around a central circular configuration. The principle old round cut diamond weighs approximately 0.65 carat, assessed clarity SI2, assessed colour I. Victorian jewellery could often be worn in multiple ways, with necklaces having removable pendant droppers that doubled up as a brooch; with two bracelets linking together to form a choker necklace, for example. Wessex Auction Rooms’ diamond sunburst brooch originally would have been part of such a set, forming the central section of a tiara as well as being worn as a brooch. Not only did this multifunctional jewellery allow variety and flexibility, it also enabled the same jewellery to be worn during the day and, by becoming more elaborate, into the evening as well. With a guide of £3000-£5000 it certainly is has the wow factor.

Imperial topaz is considered the king of topaz. Coming in various hues from a golden orange through to a pinkish orange, it is located in Brazil. A spectacular Victorian Imperial topaz necklace, guide price of £3000-£5000, comprises a riviere necklace of pale golden-orange Imperial topaz, from which a detachable pendant, which can also be worn as a brooch, formed of graduated oval and round topaz is suspended. With its collet set stones and granulation decoration the necklace is striking in its simplicity, allowing the topaz to take centre stage. Until the discoveries of the gemstone mines in the latter half of the 19th century, gemstone deposits were rare, often found in or near to rivers, the water taking the gemstones downriver of the gemstone locality. “Set in high-carat unmarked gold, this topaz necklace would have been purchased by someone extremely wealthy” explains Izzie. “The rare Imperial topaz, sourced from Brazil with its unusual colour will certainly have turned a few envious heads!”

Emeralds are always a popular choice at auction and a fantastic oval cabochon cut emerald and diamond cluster ring, with a guide of £2000-£3000 will be entered into the specialist jewellery auction at Wessex Auction Rooms. “The colour of the emerald is phenomenal, and I love the use of the cabochon rather than the more traditional emerald cut” gushes Izzie. The vibrant green emerald measures approximately 8.9 x 7.8mm, with a cluster of twelve old cut diamonds totalling 0.85 carat. Emeralds are prized for their colour and clarity, the most vivid green and cleanest stones commanding the highest prices. They have been appreciated for centuries, with Cleopatra herself favouring it in her jewellery and adornments. Emeralds are brittle stones and should be treated with care. Rings should be removed before the washing of hands and emerald jewellery should be stored in its own case where it cannot be knocked or scratched by other jewellery.

Entries are welcome for the December specialist jewellery auction. For all enquiries please email Izzie at izzie@wessexauctionrooms.co.uk, or call the office on 01249 720888 for further information.