Iconic pieces, private collections and prominent diamonds set the stage for Freeman's November 7 auction of Jewelry & Watches. Realizing just over $1.5 million, the sale saw an impressive 91% sell-through rate. The remarkable selection of jewelry and watches brought collectors from near and far; with enthusiastic bidders from Philadelphia to Russia competing in the room, on the phone, and internet. "Having our sale the day before the Presidential election was a bit daunting, but it proved to be a healthy distraction for bidders - which resulted in healthy prices. I think this demonstrates a sense of optimism," remarked Jewelry & Watches department head Virginia Salem after the sale.
"Well, that was a nail-biter!" exclaimed one onlooker during the heated bidding for the top lot of the day, a rare 1969 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, better known as the "Paul Newman" watch. The final battle came down between two gentlemen collectors bidding via phone, finally selling for $231,250.
A private collection of jewelry from a New Jersey estate saw excellent results. This highly coveted selection of period jewels ranging from early 19th century enamel to contemporary designs by Elsa Peretti exceeded pre-auction estimates, resulting in $240,000 for the collection and achieving a remarkable 98% sell-through rate.
Exceptional, quality diamonds continue to remain the standard in the jewelry market with a modern round brilliant diamond weighing 5.13 carats bringing $106,250, and a fancy intense yellow diamond, platinum and eighteen karat gold ring selling for $50,000. A diamond and platinum highly articulated ribbon brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels brought strong interest. After fierce competition from the phones, it was a finally won by a bidder in the room, realizing $62,500.
Top Lots of Freeman's November 7 Jewelry & Watches Auction
- A rare fourteen karat gold "Paul Newman" chronograph bracelet watch, Rolex, Cosmograph Daytona circa 1969. Sold for $231,250
- A 5.13 carat diamond and platinum ring with guard. Sold for $106,250
- A diamond and platinum clip-brooch, Van Cleef & Arpels. Sold for $62,500
- A fancy intense yellow diamond, platinum and eighteen karat gold ring. Sold for $50,000
- A French Art Deco diamond and platinum bracelet. Sold for $40,625