Diamond and Sapphire Owl Gets Bidders in a Flap at Mallams Oxford

Diamond and Sapphire Owl Gets Bidders in a Flap at Mallams Oxford


Mallams’ July 27th Jewellery, Watches and Silver Sale saw some excellent results with just under 98% of lots sold and a total hammer value of £254,370, almost 40% above top estimate. Louise Dennis, Mallams’ Head of Jewellery and Watches, said “We were delighted with the results from this sale, which demonstrate the current strength in the auction market for good examples of antique and period jewellery and silver.”

The top performing lot was an early 20th century diamond and sapphire set owl (lot 170), cased by C & A Giuliano, which came to Mallams from the estate of Edward Baldwin, 4th Earl of Bewdley. Estimated at £2500-£3500, a considerable amount of pre-sale interest resulted in competition across several telephone lines and online bidders during the sale, the hammer eventually falling at £19,000 to a UK bidder.

Other items from the same estate also performed exceptionally well, with lot 169, an emerald and diamond panel brooch, selling for £9600, more than five times top estimate, and lot 166, a late 19th century Indian vari gem-set fringe necklace, selling for £4200 (estimate £2000-£3000), both lots going to UK telephone bidders. A George II silver tankard (lot 335), with presentation inscription to the base, achieved double top estimate at £1600.

“The transformative effect of interesting provenance elevated the sale of this collection” said Louise Dennis. “As the grandson of Stanley Baldwin, who thrice served as Prime Minister in the 1920s and 30s, Edward was the custodian of these pieces for much of his life and his extended family included Rudyard Kipling, Edward Burne-Jones and Edward Poynter. This history, coupled with the high standards of craftsmanship and design exhibited by these items, saw several lots exceed their pre-sale estimate.”

Other items of note were a diamond pendant, cased by Carrington & Co and estimated at £4000-£6000 (lot 174), which sold to a UK online bidder for £7200, and a Breitling stainless steel ‘Navitimer’ chronograph wristwatch (lot 205) which achieved a hammer price of £2000, double its lower estimate. Lot 353, a George III silver-gilt twin handled large cup and cover also saw strong bidding, selling for £3200 against an estimate of £1500-£2000.

Mallams is now accepting entries for its next Jewellery, Watches & Silver Sale in November 2022. If you have any items of interest, please call 01865 241358 or email Mallams' jewellery and watches specialist, Louise Dennis at louise.dennis@mallams.co.uk or Alicia Rogers, silver specialist at alicia.rogers@mallams.co.uk

All prices are subject to a 30% buyers' premium (VAT inclusive). 

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