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Revenues at Bonhams sale of Fine Jewellery triples pre-sale estimates
The Ceres Collection of cameo and intaglio rings sells 100 percent of lots in a ‘white glove sale’
By: Diamond World News Service
Sep 22 2014 10:52AM
Reference: 9621  

Bonhams sale of Fine Jewellery was an auction with total revenues of over £300,000, tripling its pre-sale estimate, an audience of select and serious group of bidders and offering including The Ceres Collection of cameo and intaglio rings.

The collection, comprising 101 rings dating from as early as the 4th Century BC, witnessed 100 percent of lots sold in a ‘white glove sale’. Majority of rings doubled their estimates prices, as prices soared ten and twenty times higher than expected. The top lot was an 18th-19th century octagonal intaglio ring carved in deep red garnet, to depict the portrait bust of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 –180 AD). The ring is mounted in gold and sold for £31,250 (estimate £1,000-1,500). Strongly contended was also an 18th-19th century intaglio depicting the snake haired Medusa in grey-banded agate, which was bought for £27,500. An ancient Roman onyx cameo fragment dating from the 1st-2nd century AD and mounted in a later golden surround and ring setting sold for £25,000.

Emily Barber, Director of Jewellery at Bond Street said: “The Ceres Collection is probably the most significant collection of cameos and intaglios to be seen on the market for several generations. The sale sparked international interest amongst collectors and connoisseurs of engraved gems as well as buyers who are new to this fascinating subject. The strong selling prices achieved accentuate just how rare it is for collections of this type to come up for auction.”

The sale was held in Bond Street on 17th September.

Historical and mythological figures, Roman gods and goddesses are carved into semi-precious stones and set into golden ring mounts. Gods of fortune, victory, love, light and harvest act as talismans, bringing good luck those who wear them – their legends emblazoned on the stones. Cameos and intaglios have been collected and admired since the early civilizations of the near east, Mesopotamia, Assyria, Minoan Crete and Cyprus.

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