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Preview: Fine Jewellery, Watches & Silver Sale

11th June 2024.

A dazzling selection of rings are on offer in the Fine Jewellery, Watches and Silver Sale, which will be held at Tennants Auctioneers on 13th July, led by two impressive diamond rings from private collections. The first is a Diamond Three Stone Ring, which has a significant total diamond content of 6.25 carat approximately and carries a pre-sale estimate of £20,000-25,000 (all figures exclude buyer’s premium). Diamond three stone rings have an enduring popularity as engagement rings. Some people describe them as trilogy rings; a diamond each for the past, present and future.  The second is a Diamond Two Stone Twist Ring, featuring old cut diamonds with a total estimated diamond weight of 5.00 carat (estimate: £10,000-15,000).

For those seeking colour, a Sapphire and Diamond Ring from the Victorian era features an old pear cut sapphire and old cut diamonds (estimate: £7,000-10,000), and an Art Deco Emerald and Diamond Cluster Ring with a Colombian emerald is offered with an estimate of £5,000-7,000. Further notable pieces of jewellery include an unusual Pearl Brooch, realistically modelled as a cherub atop a bird, which is housed in a fitted case labelled ‘C. Giuliano, 115 Piccadilly, London’ (estimate: £1,000-1,500).

An extremely fine and rare 1968 Omega First Generation/Second Execution Professional Exotic Red Racing Speedmaster Chronograph Wristwatch is one of the outstanding lots in the Watch section of the sale (estimate: £20,000-30,000). This very rare exotic ‘Racing’ dial wristwatch (reference 145.012) was produced for only two years from 1967-8, with two generations and three executions, differentiated by small amendments of design and mechanics. By repute, this watch has been in the same family since new and is one of only six examples of the first generation/second execution Professional Speedmaster known to the market.

Luxury modern watches in the sale are led by a 2021 Rolex 18 Carat Everose Gold and Diamond Set Day/Date Wristwatch (estimate: £25,000-28,000), a 2014 Breguet 18 Carat White Gold Classique Wristwatch (estimate: £10,000-15,000), and 2016 Patek Philippe 18 Carat Rose Gold Annual Calendar Wristwatch (estimate: £12,000-15,000). Amongst the pocket watches in the sale is a very rare Cartier Art Deco Ultra Slim 18 Carat Gold Open Faced Pocket Watch, made in 1935 (estimate: £2,000-3,000). By repute, this watch was originally owned by Sir Henry Sessions Souttar (1875-1964), a British surgeon with a wide breadth of interests. Having trained first as a mathematician and engineer, he went on to design and make new types of surgical instruments and is remembered in the medical world today.

The sale also includes a selection of silver, purchased in the legendary 1977 ‘Sale of the Century’ at Mentmore Towers, conducted by Sotheby’s. Mentmore is a grand country house, built for the Rothschild family in Buckinghamshire in the 1850s. The house was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton in the so-called ‘Jacobeathan’ style for Baron Mayer de Rothschild, of the banking family. A celebrated collector, his country home became a grand gallery housing his renowned collections of fine and decorative art. Highlights of Mentmore silver on offer in the sale include a Pair of Edward VII Silver Inkwells by Sebastian Garrard, London, 1904 (estimate: £400-600). The inkwells belonged to Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery and 1st Earl Midlothian, who married Hannah de Rothschild, only heir of Baron Meyer de Rothschild.

Amongst several lots of Chinese silver in the sale is a Five-Piece Chinese Export Silver Tea and Coffee Service, retailed by Nanking Store, Shanghai in the first quarter of the 20th century, each piece chased with dragons and with handles cast in the shape of bamboo (estimate: £4,000-6,000). Further highlights include a Victorian Silver Tea Tray by Stephen Smith and William Nicholson, London, 1853 decorated with the coat-of-arms of the Holdsworth family (estimate: £3,000-5,000), and a Pair of William III Silver Tazze by Joseph Sheene, London, 1698 (estimate: £1,000-1,500). Also on offer is a fascinating Pair of Victorian Silver Ceremonial Natural Trumpets, by the musical instrument maker Henry Potter and Co., who were based at 30 Charing Cross Road, London (estimate: £1,200-1,800). Although of the typical military form down to the chased garland of military trophies, this pair was originally presented as a birthday gift to Henry Pearson Banks (1844-1891) by his brother Edwin Hodge Banks (1847-1917), commemorating the elder brother’s year as High Sheriff of Cumberland.


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