NEW YORK CITY — The Joseph DuMouchelle jewelry auction conducted on May 8 astounded bidders with a final bid totaling $348,000 for an antique Tiffany & Co. lady’s pendant. The estimate was $125/175,000. The platinum and gold heart-shaped pendant, circa 1895, featured a central 15.06-carat old mine-cut diamond, graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as a natural fancy yellow color, clarity VS1. Bidding for the diamond opened at $150,000 and quickly escalated. Potential buyers included individuals from the United States and overseas who participated online, by phone and on the auction floor by proxy.
The pendant with attached seed pearl necklace was featured in John Loring’s Tiffany’s 150 Years (Doubleday & Co., Inc, 1987). It was also featured in the exhibition “Tiffany: 150 Years of Gems and Jewelry” at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, in 1988. Early speculation in the diamond trade had indicated the value of the piece was in the diamond, which, once bought, would possibly be recut. The purchaser has already stated this will not be the case; the historical piece will be kept intact.
Once owned by Helen de Kay, the pendant features a near invisible setting perfected by Tiffany craftsmen during the 1860s. The design would eventually lead to the universally acclaimed six-pronged “Tiffany setting,” which remains the definitive diamond setting today.
The auction also included signed jewelry by Tiffany Schlumberger, Cartier, Seaman Schepps and Chanel, as well as timepieces by Chopard, Rolex, Tiffany, Piaget, Chaumet and Jaeger-LeCoultre. More than 170 lots were offered during the event, resulting in total sales of $1,042,770.
Another featured lot was an Edwardian platinum and 21.36-carat diamond lady’s bracelet that realized $90,000. A 3.98-carat round brilliant-cut diamond ring, SI1 clarity and J color, accompanied by a GIA report, sold for $42,000, while a 15.50-carat unheated Ceylon sapphire and diamond lady’s ring fetched $38,400.
Additional highlight of the sale included a rose-cut diamond necklace that brought $33,600; a Tiffany & Co. fancy sapphire, diamond and pearl lady’s necklace and bracelet set that finished at $26,400 and a Chopard 18K yellow gold and turquoise lady’s watch that went out at $19,200. The same amount was realized for a 49-carat natural alexandrite and diamond lady’s ring, while an 18K white gold and approximate 11.32-carat diamond lady’s convertible necklace brought $15,600, and a 6.87-carat natural unheated Ceylon sapphire, unmounted, commanded $14,760.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
For additional information, www.josephdumouchelle.com, 800-475-8898 or 212-740-7600.