For the first time in auctions’ history, this December Bonhams London will offer two important collections of Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds belonging to the Cullinan family.
The upcoming Fine Jewellery sale, taking place at Bonhams London next 7 December will have an extraordinary leading lot.
The two collections forming the lot are composed of extremely rare Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds, very well matched in colour and with an equally extraordinary provenance, as they come directly from the Cullinan family.
The first of these two exceptional lots is a Fancy Coloured Diamond and Diamond Brooch, consisting of three step-cut Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds weighing 5.29, 3.11 and 2.37 carats respectively.
The second one is a Pair of Fancy Coloured Diamond and Diamond Earclips with brilliant-cut Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds weighing 2.08 and 1.93 carats.
The provenance of these diamonds is as grand as the gemstones themselves, as they belong to the Cullinan family, who never offered at auction this treasure before.
Jean Ghika, Bonhams Director of Jewellery for UK & Europe, explains:
“The diamonds were acquired in 1940 during a train journey when the present owner’s father-in-law, R.V. Cullinan, son of the famous South African diamond magnate Sir Thomas Cullinan, asked his friend General Pierre De Villiers, a director of De Beers, to buy him some diamonds on his next visit to Kimberley. On the train back from the De Beers mine at Kimberley, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer asked General De Villiers “What have you got this time?” The General retrieved a packet from his pocket and proudly showed Sir Ernest, who replied “I can do better than that” and showed the General a set of yellow diamonds. A deal was struck. The diamonds were then purchased by the General, who kept half, and the other half was given to R.V. Cullinan. These are the diamonds which we will be offering for sale.”
The fact that only one in approximately 10,000 of all diamonds mined as a fancy colour emphasises the value of yellow diamonds.
Mr Ghika adds that “Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds are some of the rarest in the world and the best examples are prized for their extraordinary vibrant tone and sun-like hue. They are increasingly sought after, and we anticipate that they will attract a lot of interest from discerning collectors around the world.”
Fine Jewellery at its best
Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale will also offer exquisite pieces, such as this Pair of Fancy Coloured Diamond, Diamond and Cultured Pearl Earrings by Cartier.
Two other major lots featuring colourless diamonds are A Diamond Single-Stone Ring featuring an old pear-shaped diamond, G colour, VVS2 clarity weighing 6.53 carats, and an exquisite Diamond Panel Bracelet, dated circa 1955, with a wide articulated buckle-shaped strap with openwork detail, and set with old brilliant, brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds in a geometric pattern.
Signed Fine Jewellery not to be missed
The Fine Jewellery sale at Bonhams London will feature remarkable signed creations by outstanding Jewellery Maisons, such as this Important Diamond Ring by Harry Winston, New York, circa 1968, boasting an impressive marquise-cut diamond weighing 7.73 carats, F colour and VVS1 clarity.
If you love Verdura, you will not be disappointed by A Nephrite and Gem-Set Cuff and by A Black Jade and Gem-Set Cuff and Earclip Suite.
Following last September Andrew Grima auction’s success, twelve more Grima designed jewels will be presented in December. Among them will be An 18 Carat Gold and Diamond ‘Super Shell’ Necklace by Grima, 1972. This necklace was exhibited at the ‘Grima Retrospective’ in May 1991.
More highlights signed Grima include An Amethyst and Diamond Ring (1969), A Diamond-Set ‘Key’ Brooch/Pendant (circa 2002) and A Gold, Diamond and Tourmaline ‘Stick and Stones’ Necklace (1973).
Remaining in this section devoted to jewellery with a defined design imprint, I would like to also highlight this Rubellite Tourmaline and Diamond Ring by Margherita Burgener, a ring whose aerial structure embraces a 9.19-carat step-cut rubellite tourmaline.
Coloured stones are keeping their momentum
Throughout 2017, Bonhams registered a very good performance for sapphires originating from Kashmir.
In keeping with this favourable trend, the auction house will offer in December an elegant Gold, Sapphire and Diamond Ring featuring a cushion-cut sapphire weighing 3.89 carats.
Period and vintage jewellery keep fascinating the public
A fine jewellery sale would not be such without some refined period, antique and vintage jewels. Browsing the lots that will be offered next December, here are our personal favourite.