Yesterday saw the region’s first specialist Jewellery, Silver and Watches Sale of 2019 on the 11th April here at Cheffins. Featuring over 450 lots, the auction saw a record 93 per cent sale rate as private and trade buyers competed for the best items on offer.  

The highest price achieved was £9,000 for a rare oval diamond and enamel Kundan-Meena ring. This was closely followed by £8,500 for a late 19th century singing bird automaton box which saw fierce bidding on the day, well-exceeding its pre-sale estimate of £3,000 - £5,000 and exhibiting all the hallmarks of being a highly-unusual collectors’ item whilst also being of showroom quality.

As always, the most desirable brands saw intense bidding on the day. For example, an 18ct gold pendant by Cartier sold for £5,000, well above its estimate, whilst a Faberge amethyst and diamond stick pin achieved £2,200, well over its £500 - £800 estimate.

In the watches section, both antique and modern examples sold for strong prices. The most historic was an Omega Air Ministry wrist watch from the 1940s which was the property of Hurricane pilot acting Squadron Leader V.C. Royals who served in Egypt, Malta, the Middle East, North Africa and Sicily. The watch is one of the few remaining which were issued by the Air Ministry during WWII from Omega for pilots and navigators in the RAF and achieved a record price of £1,100 for that particular make and model. A collection of vintage Rolex watches also achieved strong prices.

Silver performed well on the day with nearly all of the over 100 lots selling, many well in excess of estimates. For example, an elaborate brandy bowl spoon sold for £2,500, against its £200 - £300 estimate, whilst a 17th century Dutch brandy bowl sold for £1,600, double its upper guide price of £800. Dishes, salvers, servers, coffee and tea pots all also saw competitive bidding between both private and trade buyers throughout the day.

For jewellery, once again quality stood out. Top prices included £5,000 paid for an impressive emerald and diamond ring; £4,800 for a Belle Epoque diamond and aquamarine pendant necklace and £4,000 for a French Art Deco diamond bar brooch.

Steven Collins, Head of Jewellery, Silver and Watches at Cheffins says: “The results from this sale once again go to prove how strong the overall demand is for quality in the market at the moment. Both trade and private buyers happily competed to pay top dollar to secure the best in class of each of the sale sections. Some of the biggest surprises on the day were in the silver section. Only a few years ago the silver market was seeing decorative items selling for little more than scrap value, however the prices achieved prove its return to popularity amongst both trade and private buyers, especially for the more unusual and older examples.”