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Bonhams says art deco jewellery is making a huge comeback
The auction house attributes it to the influence of period films and TV shows like Downton Abbey
By: Diamond World News Service
Oct 8 2014 12:07AM
Reference: 9641  

According to Bonhams, art deco jewellery has made a stunning comeback, a vogue among buyers for jewellery from the Twenties and Thirties, which it attributes to the influence of period films and TV shows like Downton Abbey – with stars of the show becoming vintage style icons.

The auctioneer said Downton’s global success had opened up new markets especially in the Far East and Asia where rare vintage jewellery has soared in value. Investors and collectors alike are increasingly seeking out original art deco jewellery by Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron, Chaumet and Bulgari among others, with a number of record sales been made.

The ITV1 show returned to the screens on September 21 for a new series. Jean Ghika, head of jewellery in the UK and Europe at Bonhams, said: “The Downton series has highlighted the art deco style and jewellery is one element that viewers can see on screen and then incorporate into their own look. This is obviously more difficult to do with the fashions. But the result is a definite increase in interest in all things art deco in relation to jewellery. When it comes to Downton Abbey, Lady Mary and Lady Edith are the obvious on-screen style advocates. They provide a wonderful insight into how the beautiful pieces from the art deco era were worn, for example Sautoir necklaces, clip brooches and hair ornaments. “These are pieces that come to life on screen, which allows potential buyers of similar work to see how they might be incorporated into an outfit today.”

Bonhams’ Jean Ghika highlighted the genuine 45-carat floral diamond tiara that Lady Mary wore during her eagerly-anticipated wedding to Matthew Crawford in the third season of the show. While the big jewellery houses were at their zenith during the Twenties and Thirties, and any items by them are highly sought after, Bonhams said there was also a growing interest in the smaller ‘artist jewellers’, for example Rene Boivin, Suzanne Belperron and Georges Fouquet.

Bonhams recently sold a Cartier ruby and diamond necklace, circa 1925, to a private collector in Hong Kong for a record sum of nearly £390,000, a natural pearl ring, circa, 1920 for an astounding £72,100 – more than 12 times its pre-sale estimate of £4,000-£6,000.

Bonhams has a number of items from the deco era coming up in its forthcoming jewellery sales in New York, Hong Kong and London, including an art deco jadeite, enamel and diamond compact, by Cartier, circa 1930; art deco aquamarine and diamond clip brooch, by Cartier, circa 1935; an art deco diamond and platinum bracelet, circa 1925; an art deco jade, pearl, onyx and diamond jabot pin, by Cartier, circa 1925; an art deco diamond pendant, by Tiffany, circa 1920.

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