Published: September 18, 2017
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — Leland Little Auctions’ Fall quarterly auction featuring The Collection of Esther B. Ferguson, Secessionville Manor, S.C., on September 16, was replete with fine art and jewelry. According to Claire Fraser, fine art and silver director, the company was “exceptionally proud to set auction records for works by four North Carolina artists—Claude Howell, Francis Speight, Herb Jackson and Mabel Pugh.” In fact, Claude Howell’s (1915-1977), “Loading the Nets,” $58,800, was the second top lot of the day.
However, it was an 18K gold Madagascar sapphire and diamond ring by Julius Cohen that was the show stopper when it sold at $144,000 with premium, leaving its $10/20,000 estimate far behind. Centering on one emerald cut Madagascar blue sapphire weighing approximately 10.90 carats and accented to each side with one trapeze shaped cut diamond weighing approximately 1.01 total carat, the tapered shank signed Julius Cohen, the ring came with a Cartier Assignment of Insurance dated December 11, 1971, from the consignor’s mother, who purchased it at Cartier, New York.
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