Elizabeth Taylor once said, "Big girls need big diamonds," and Freeman's annual spring auction of Fine Jewelry & Watches was marked by the sale of an impressive lady's 14.87 carat yellow radiant cut diamond ring. Other highlights included museum-quality pocket watches from the David S. Landes Collection and jewelry by world-renowned designer Arthur King, who created pieces for Elizabeth Taylor and Hollywood's elite. The May 6 Fine Jewelry & Watches sale was an event not to be missed with 91% of lots sold. The auction drew interest from around the world as both private collectors and institutions vied for jewelry and timepieces spanning three centuries.
An impressive lady’s 14.87 carat fancy yellow diamond ring elicited a bidding war between two phones and ultimately fetched an astounding $314,500. "In less than a year, this is the third time Freeman's has had the pleasure of offering a ring of this significance to our clients," said Freeman"s chairman and jewelry department head Samuel M. "Beau" Freeman, II. In June 2012, a 10.8 carat "Golconda" platinum and diamond dinner ring and an impressive lady's yellow 12.69 carat and white diamond dinner ring sold at Freeman’s and achieved $482,500 and $362,500, respectively.
Dubbed "one of our best historians of industry and technology" by the New York Times, the Timepiece Collection of David S. Landes, avid horologist and Harvard professor emeritus, received considerable attention yesterday.Lot 30, a rare 18 karat yellow gold highly enameled timepiece by Benjamin Arlaud, case by Les Duex Huaut Freres, and signed "Les Deux Freres Huaut Pintre De Son A.E." more than doubled its estimate and sold for $62,500. The highly enameled pocket watch circa 1686 displays an "Adoration of the Magi" scene and is a fine example of painting on enamel. "Some of the best examples of this style came from the Geneva School of horology. Works by brothers Jean Pierre and Ami Huaut are rare, as they only collaborated from 1682-1688," said jewelry specialist Madeline McCauley. Other works by Huaut are presently on exhibition at the Frick Collection. In total, the David S. Landes Collection achieved $382,000. The next opportunity to acquire a piece from this collection will be at the May 21 English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts auction. Freeman’s will sell a rare example of fine horological craftsmanship, a longcase regulator clock by J.F. Henri Motel. It is only one of four known regulators by master horologist Motel and estimated at $100,000-150,000.
Popular jeweler to the stars and royalty during the 1960s and 1970s, Arthur King was well-known for personally choosing each pearl and gem from exotic locations such asBurma, India, and Japan for his pieces. He was a master of the lost wax casting technique andwould form 18 karat yellow gold settings around the precious materials he was featuring. The result was an organic and modern style of jewelry. King's work has had a resurgence in recent years, and at yesterday"s Fine Jewelry & Watches auction, a private collection of custom-made Arthur King jewelry saw competitive bidding and maximum results. Lot 140, an 18 karat yellow gold sapphire and diamond brooch achieved $37,500, and lot 139, an 18 karat yellow gold rustic v-shape diamond, emerald, and natural baroque pearl necklace brought $31,250.
Top 5 Lots
- Lot 268 sold for $314,500: Impressive lady’s 14.87 carat radiant cut, fancy yellow diamond ring
- Lot 430 sold for $62,500: Rare 18 karat yellow gold highly enameled timepiece by Benjamin Arlaud, case by Les Duex Huaut Freres, c. 1686
- Lot 34 sold for $53,125: Lady's 5.49 carat Marquise cut platinum diamond engagement ring Lot 167 sold $50,000: 18 carat yellow gold graduated heart shaped jadeite and diamond bracelet, Galt & Brothers
- Lot 2 sold for $40,625: Art Deco platinum and diamond strap bracelet, featuring three central old European cut diamonds, approximately 0.65, 0.65, and 1.14 carats