Carved agate cameo stands to earn $35K

LOS ANGELES — During its Gems, Minerals & Lapidary Works of Art sale being held May 21 in Los Angeles, Bonhams is presenting one of the most comprehensive offerings of fine gemstone carvings to come to market in recent years. The property, from a private East Coast collector, will feature examples of exotic animals, domestic pets, large cameos featuring Biblical and Grecian-inspired scenes and objet d’art. Many of these seldom-offered pieces were created in the world-renowned carving center of Idar-Oberstein, Germany.

This three-color agate cameo, “Faun and Bacchantes,” by Dieter Roth on a 18-karat gold base by Manfred Wild, Idar-Oberstein, Germany, carries a presale estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. (Photo courtesy Bonhams).

This three-color agate cameo, “Faun and Bacchantes,” by Dieter Roth on a 18-karat gold base by Manfred Wild, Idar-Oberstein, Germany, carries a presale estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. (Photo courtesy Bonhams).

Highlights include “The Merry Pig,” a rock crystal quartz and Morganite Faberge-inspired egg-creation by Manfred Wild, Idar-Oberstein (estimate $60,000-$80,000); “Faun and Bacchantes,” a three-color agate cameo by Dieter Roth on an 18-karat gold base by Wild ($25,000-$35,000); a jasper carving of a standing lion by Christoph Schmidtt, Idar-Oberstein ($5,500-$6,500); a black obsidian carving of three monkeys inspired by the proverb “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil,” by Schmitt ($2,500-$3,500); an azure-malachite carving of a frog by Eberhard Bank, Idar-Oberstein ($2,500-$3,500); a gray obsidian carving of a Persian cat by Wild ($3,500-$4,500); a labradorite carving of a duck by Manfred Gettman, Idar-Oberstein ($3,000-$4,000); and a family of three chimpanzees with a baby on a verdite branch by female carver Heidi Nilgis, Idar-Oberstein ($3,500-$4,500). This is first time that Nilgis’ work will be offered at a major public auction in the U.S.

Additional carved works of note include “This Skull is on Fire,” a flawless rock crystal, gold vermeil and obsidian creation also by Quispe Aparicio ($12,000-$15,000) and “Lost Love,” a gem aquamarine, diamond, platinum and 18-karat gold erotic sculpture by New York society jeweler Henry Dunay ($150,000-$200,000).

For more information, visit www.bonhams.com.

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