Auctions

CARTIER AUCTION TO BE HELD IN GENEVA

Antiquorum Auctioneers and Etude Tajan, a leading French auction house, have scheduled “The Magical Art of Cartier” theme sale for Nov. 19 in Geneva, Switzerland. The auction will offer 300 to 400 lots, 60% them watches and 40% objets d’art. Antiquorum’s biggest event of 1996, the sale kicks off the celebration of Cartier’s 150th anniversary next year.

Exceptional pieces to be offered will include:

  • An Egyptian-style, onyx, coral and mother of pearl carriage clock, circa 1925, from the home of Elsie de Wolfe, a noted 20th century American designer. The presale estimate is $400,000-$450,000.

  • A men’s platinum skeleton wristwatch adorned with sapphires and signed Cartier, Paris. Presale estimate: $200,000-$300,000.

  • An Art Deco octagonal gold and rock crystal Cartier mystery clock with platinum diamond-set hands. Presale estimate: $350,000-$450,000.

  • A yellow gold and platinum woodpecker brooch set with emeralds, rubies and diamonds and signed “Monture Cartier.” Presale estimate: $200,000-$220,000.

  • A platinum, rock crystal and diamond-set pocket watch, circa 1930, once belonging to former New York Gov. Alfred Emanuel Smith. Presale estimate: $8,000-$10,000.

Antiquorum USA Inc., 609 Fifth Ave., Suite 503, New York, NY 10017; (212) 750-1103, fax (212) 750-6127.

Separately, Antiquorum announced a record-breaking spring season with successful watch and clock sales and a day for diamonds in Geneva, Milan and Hong Kong. The season included a world record $1.7 million paid for a Patek Philippe 1939 “Calatrava” wrist watch at a sale in Geneva in April. Watches by Audemars Piguet, Rolex and Patek Philippe at the May 25 auction in Milan achieved prices double and triple their estimates; the top lot was a circa 1930 Rolex Antimagnetic stainless-steel chronograph wrist watch that sold for $17,290, well above the presale estimate of $3,750-$5,000. The June 3-4 Hong Kong sale drew telephone bids from European, U.S. and Asian buyers for watches by Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, Rolex, Cartier, Audemars Piguet and Jaeger Le Coultre. Popular lots were women’s wrist watches and wrist watches by Rolex and Patek Philippe.

Diamonds were the passion at the sale of Important Jewelry and Rare and Exotic Gemstones in May in Geneva. The sale totaled almost $1.2 million. The top lot — a platinum ring with an 8.71-ct. fancy yellow pear-shaped diamond — sold for $339,838, compared with a presale estimate of $65,000-$75,000.

Antiquorum also announced its new page on the World Wide Web at http://www.antiquorum.com. Antiquorum Online offers a computerized direct sales catalog of collector watches and jewels. It also has an auction calendar, previews and highlights of auctions and sales results.

Antiquorum USA Inc., 609 Fifth Ave., Suite 503, New York, NY 10017; (212) 750-1103, fax (212) 750-6127.

KENNEDY FEVER BURNS ON AT SKINNER AUCTION

For buyers who just couldn’t get enough of America’s royal family at Sotheby’s auction earlier this year, Kennedy possessions made another appearance at the Skinner auction of fine jewelry June 11 in Boston, Mass.

A 14k yellow gold triple-link bracelet that President Kennedy gave to his daughter Caroline for her birthday during his White House years sold to a Boston buyer for $6,325, well above the presale estimate of $800-$1,200. The bracelet has a center bar spelling “Caroline” from which hangs a horse head charm engraved “Macaroni.”

The auction also featured pocket watches, cigarette cases, diamond jewelry and antique jewelry from the estate of Harold Asnes, a Boston antique dealer. An Edwardian diamond solitaire from the estate sold for $13,800.

Other highlights included an Etruscan revival brooch by Giancinto Melillo that sold for $18,400 and a bracelet of channel-set rubies and pave-set diamonds that sold for $20,700.

WILLIAM DOYLE GALLERIES GO ON-LINE

The William Doyle Galleries joined the World Wide Web this spring

with a site at http://www.doylegalleries.com. The Web site explains the gallery’s consignment and appraisal services and offers an auction schedule with highlights of upcoming sales and preview illustrations of major pieces. Browsers also have access to partially illustrated on-line catalogs.

WRIST WATCH BRINGS OUTSTANDING SALE

The exceptional price paid for a Patek Philippe wrist watch took many by surprise at Christie’s sale of Fine Watches and Wristwatches June 26.

The piece, one of three ever made, is an 18k perpetual calendar wristwatch with moonphase circa 1961. Though estimated at $20,000-$25,000, the wristwatch sold to a private buyer for $772,500.

Doug Escribano, head of Christie’s watch department in New York, N.Y., says the last sale of a wrist watch of this kind brought about $100,000, but five bidders competing furiously for the piece at the June sale drove up the price.

Other outstanding sales included a Patek Philippe stainless steel chronograph circa 1950 that surpassed its presale estimate of $25,000-$30,000 to sell for $151,000. An Audemars Piguet platinum minute-repeating cushion-shaped wrist watch circa 1927 sold for $123,500.

The sale brought a total of $3.4 million.

SKINNER SCHEDULES FINE JEWELRY AUCTION

Skinner/Boston will hold an auction of fine jewelry Sept. 12. Notable pieces will include a collection of colored stones, period jewelry featuring a cabochon emerald and diamond pendant brooch, a 13-ct. emerald-cut diamond, a diamond bow brooch of 30 cts. and Art Deco bracelets from such notables as Oscar Heyman, Harry Winston, Cartier and Tiffany & Co.

A single-owner collection of vintage watches from Rolex, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and others will be featured also. A final highlight will be a collection of more than 150 hat pins.

Skinner/Boston, The Heritage on the Garden, 63 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116; (617) 350-5400, fax (617) 350-5429.

PEARL AUCTION ANNOUNCED

The 19th International Tahiti Pearl Auction will be held Oct. 18-19 in Papeete, Tahiti. The annual auction is organized by G.I.E. Poe Rava Nui, a cooperative of 450 family-run companies that contributes 10% of the Tahitian pearl production. The auction will offer 80,000 to 100,000 pearls from more than half of these companies.

Last year’s auction sold 56,899 Tahitian cultured pearls for more than $4.9 million to 35 buyers, most of them from Japan.

Separately, the new Tahiti Pearl Producers G.I.E. reported success with its first international cultured black pearl auction, held in April. The group sold 93% of the lots offered for a total of $3.9 million. Buyers included companies in Japan, Germany, South Korea, France, Hong Kong, New Caledonia, Australia and the U.S.

The success of these auctions signals that Tahiti’s cultured pearls are returning to a price they haven’t achieved since 1995, says Martin Coeroli, general manager of G.I.E. Perles de Tahiti, the promotion group for Tahitian pearl producers. G.I.E. Perles de Tahiti, B.P. 20470, Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia; (689) 45-03-03, fax (689) 45-04-50.

ART DECO POPULAR AT WILLIAM DOYLE AUCTION

Art Deco design and jewelry fit for a princess’s cousin boosted sales at the Important Estate Jewelry auction at William Doyle Galleries May 1 in New York, N.Y.

Total sales of $937,969 exceeded presale estimates of $646,180-$895,500. The top-selling lot was an Art Deco pendant that sold for $109,750, compared with a presale estimate of $65,000-$75,000. The piece comprises a 7.50-ct. t.w. diamond clip attached to a black onyx ring that suspends a triangular onyx pendant with 28.15 cts. of diamonds.

Another Art Deco highlight, a pair of diamond and sapphire dress clips with 7.50 cts. of diamonds, sold for $7,762.

Antique and collectible jewelry from the estate of Emeline Clark Roche, a well-known New York stage designer, were popular also. The biggest success from the estate was a gold and enamel chatelaine and watch from Tiffany & Co. that sold for $9,487, considerably higher than the $1,500-$2,000 presale estimate. An Old Mine-cut diamond engagement ring from the estate sold for $6,325, and a gold-mounted sardonyx intaglio brooch with enamel, granular and wirework accents portraying a mythological scene brought $5,750.

Other notable sales included a selection of diamond engagement rings, including a 5.68-ct. European-cut diamond signed Marcus that sold for $27,600 and a 5.35-ct. rectangular-cut diamond that sold for $18,400.