Harry Winston necklace settles at $138,000

PASADENA, Calif. — After the evening preview party, bidders had no trouble selecting their favorite pieces from among the glittering baubles at John Moran’s HQ Jewelry and Luxury Auction May 21. Triumphing over the competition and taking a purchase home, however, turned out to be more difficult. Selling prices hit levels well above presale estimates throughout the 278-lot sale, and 86 percent of the lots sold.

Two of the most highly contested pieces were those by Italian-American designer Verdura. The first was a camel-form brooch with baroque cultured pearls set into the hump, set with

This natural shell, diamond and sapphire necklace by Italian-American jewelry designer Verdura achieved $96,000. (Photo courtesy John Moran Auctioneers)

This natural shell, diamond and sapphire necklace by Italian-American jewelry designer Verdura achieved $96,000. (Photo courtesy John Moran Auctioneers)

170 full-cut round diamonds, a pear-shaped yellow sapphire and rubies ($36,000).

The second Verdura lot was made from a striking natural orange lion’s paw shell with deep blue cabochon sapphires and round-cut diamonds set in frothy lines of resembling sea foam. In a matter of moments, the price quickly shot past the estimate of $10,000 to $15,000, settling at $96,000.

Not to be overshadowed by the success of the Verdura, a Harry Winston necklace featuring a 24-carat certified natural Ceylon sapphire surrounded by diamonds and cultured pearls drove the buyer to $138,000.

Additional highlights featuring sapphires included a ring by Van Cleef & Arpels, and a sapphire, diamond and white gold bracelet that found new owners at $7,800 and $3,300, respectively.

Animal-form jewelry also proved popular with bidders. A circa 1890 silver-topped gold snake brooch set with demantoid garnets and rubies realized $960. A diamond and

Pale green jade French compact, featuring ruby accents fetched $7,800. (Photo courtesy John Moran Auctioneers)

Pale green jade French compact, featuring ruby accents fetched $7,800. (Photo courtesy John Moran Auctioneers)

platinum moth brooch found a buyer at $3,000. A diamond and gold teddy bear charm bracelet, set with 177 diamonds and oval sapphire accents on the eyes, nose and foot pads was a breakout highlight, climbing to a selling price of $7,200. A diamond and gold spider-motif pendant-brooch realized $6,000.

A French compact of pale green jade set with ruby accents brought $7,800 despite some minimal condition issues. A jadeite, diamond, and gold collection featuring a pair of earrings and a carved vegetal-form pendant realized $1,845. A pair of jadeite and gold rings brought $2,040, while a lot comprising a carved butterfly brooch and horse pendant sold at $1,968.

For more information on John Moran Auctioneers, contact info@johnmoran.com or 626-798-1833, or visit www.johnmoran.com.

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