Exceptionally rare collection of Cullinan-owned Fancy Coloured Diamonds lead Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale this December in London


Fine Jewellery
7 Dec 2017
London, New Bond Street

A collection of extremely rare Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds with a provenance that is steeped in the history of world-class diamonds headline Bonhams London Fine Jewellery sale next month (7 December 2017).

Bonhams announced today that it will auction two important collections of Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds, exceptionally well matched in colour and with an enviable provenance, hailing from the Cullinan family. This is the first time the coloured diamonds have come to auction.

The first important lot from the Cullinan collection is A Fancy Coloured Diamond and Diamond Brooch. This consists of three step-cut Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds, weighing 5.29, 3.11 and 2.37 carats, estimated at £200,000-300,000.

The second lot is A pair of Fancy Coloured Diamond and Diamond Earclips. The brilliant-cut Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds, weighing 2.08 and 1.93 carats, have a pre-sale estimate of £50,000-80,000.

The provenance of the gemstones is as magnificent as the diamonds themselves. Jean Ghika, Bonhams Director of Jewellery for UK & Europe, explains: "The diamonds were acquired in 1940 during a train journey when the present owner's father-in-law, R.V. Cullinan, son of the famous South African diamond magnate Sir Thomas Cullinan, asked his friend General Pierre De Villiers, a director of De Beers, to buy him some diamonds on his next visit to Kimberley. On the train back from the De Beers mine at Kimberley, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer asked General De Villiers "What have you got this time?" The General retrieved a packet from his pocket and proudly showed Sir Ernest, who replied "I can do better than that" and showed the General a set of yellow diamonds. A deal was struck. The diamonds were then purchased by the General, who kept half, and the other half were given to R.V. Cullinan. These are the diamonds which we will be offering for sale.

"It's important to remember that only one in approximately 10,000 of all diamonds mined has a fancy colour. Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds are some of the rarest in the world and the best examples are prized for their extraordinary vibrant tone and sun-like hue. They are increasingly sought after and we anticipate that they will attract a lot of interest from discerning collectors around the world."

Bonhams will also be offering A Pair of Fancy Coloured Diamond, Diamond and Cultured Pearl Earrings, signed Cartier, for sale. The Fancy Intense Purplish Pink cushion-shaped diamonds, weighing 1.01 and 1.01 carats, each suspending a detachable drop-shaped cultured pearl and brilliant-cut diamond, are estimated at £100,000-120,000.

Moving on to colourless diamonds, Bonhams will also be auctioning A Diamond Single-Stone Ring, weighing 6.53 carats for sale. Estimated at £120,000-150,000, the old pear-shaped diamond is G colour, VVS2 clarity, and is an "extremely charming diamond" according to Jean Ghika of Bonhams.

For those who are searching for the statement bracelet to have this Christmas, A Diamond Panel Bracelet, estimated at £80,000-100,000, would be the perfect choice. Dated circa 1955, the wide articulated buckle-shaped strap with openwork detail, is set throughout with old brilliant, brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds in a repeating geometric design.

Jean Ghika, Bonhams Director of Jewellery for UK & Europe, adds: "December is the most wonderful time of the year to buy diamonds and we are delighted to have such an excellent choice of coloured and colourless diamonds on offer for our last sale of the year. Always classic, never out of fashion and extremely wearable, they make a perfect gift and an important addition to a jewellery collection."

Signed jewellery from world renowned designers up for auction

Pieces from Verdura, Harry Winston and Boucheron will also feature in the sale. Highlights include:

An Important Diamond Ring by Harry Winston, New York, circa 1968, estimated at £180,000-250,000. The marquise-cut diamond, weighing 7.73 carats, is F colour, VVS1 clarity. Part of the proceeds of the sale of this lot will be donated to the Women's Cancer Center at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy.
A Nephrite and Gem-Set Cuff by Verdura. The wide nephrite cuff highlighted by a Maltese cross decorated with an oval cabochon ruby between cabochon pear-shaped amethysts, circular-cut citrines and half pearls, is estimated at £10,000 - 15,000.
A Black Jade and Gem-Set Cuff and Earclip Suite by Verdura.
The wide black jade cuff is applied with cabochon emeralds and sapphires, half pearls and brilliant-cut diamonds. A pair of earrings finishes off the suite which is estimated at £12,000 - 15,000.

Andrew Grima jewellery collection up for auction following September sale success

Hot on the heels of Bonhams hugely successful white glove sale for Grima designed jewellery in September, the auction house is delighted to present a collection of 12 remarkable lots in its December sale. Highlights include:

An 18 Carat Gold and Diamond 'Super Shell' Necklace by Grima, 1972. Exhibited at the 'Grima Retrospective' in May 1991, the "Pacific textile", also known as "cloth of gold", cone shell, wrapped in textured yellow gold with brilliant-cut diamond detail, suspended from a gold torque, is estimated at £10,000 - 15,000.
An Amethyst and Diamond Ring by Grima, 1969. The cabochon amethyst is set within an engraved 18 carat gold mount with brilliant-cut diamond highlights, and has a pre-sale estimate of £4,000 - 6,000.
A Diamond-Set 'Key' Brooch/Pendant by Grima, circa 2002.
Andrew Grima collected antique keys. He copied one of the keys from his collection to make this textured openwork 'key' brooch. Held by a brushed 'ribbon' with brilliant-cut diamond highlights, this is a unique one-off piece and is estimated at £4,000 - 6,000.
A Gold, Diamond and Tourmaline 'Sticks and Stones' Necklace by Grima, 1973. Also exhibited at the 'Grima Retrospective', the elongated pendant set with a tourmaline crystal, terminating in a watermelon tourmaline 'slice', polished on one side, mounted in 18 carat textured yellow gold, with brilliant-cut diamond detail, suspended from a yellow gold torque, is estimated at £4,000 - 6,000.

Appetite for Kashmir sapphires remains strong

Sapphires originating from Kashmir have performed extremely well at Bonhams in 2017. For the festive season ahead, Bonhams is offering an elegantly designed Gold, Sapphire and Diamond Ring for sale. The cushion-shaped sapphire, weighing 3.89 carats, between baguette-cut diamond shoulders, is estimated at £60,000 - 80,000. It is accompanied by a report from SSEF stating that the sapphire is of
Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating.

Details and full information on all 123 lots featured in the sale can be found here http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24174 Bids can be placed online on Bonhams' website www.bonhams.com, via telephone, in writing, and also in person on the day of the sale.

Bonhams sells more jewellery lots each year than any other international house and has more dedicated jewellery auctions annually.

Follow Bonhams Fine Jewellery on Instagram on @BonhamsJewels.

-ENDS-
For more information, images and interviews, please contact:
Maria Boyle, MB Communications Ltd Poppy McKenzie Smith, Bonhams Press Office
T: +44 (0) 20 8876 8444 / 0788 764 7855 T: +44 (0) 207 468 8363
maria@mbcomms.co.uk poppy.mckenziesmith@bonhams.com

Contacts
  1. Jean Ghika
    Specialist
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8282
    FaxFax: +44 20 7499 5364

Related auctions