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Vintage Van Cleef & Arpels and Tiffany jewelry highlight of $6M auction

Pieces from notable collections fetched a record-setting $6 million during the Fine Jewelry and Timepieces April 6-8 at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’. Leading all lots was a .06 carat emerald cut diamond which realized $464,500, against a presale estimate of $250,000 to $300,000.

CHICAGO — Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ April 6-8 auctions of Fine Jewelry and Timepieces grossed over $6 million. The highly successful sales included highlights of signed pieces from firms such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co., and Ruser among others.

Reflecting the fervent demand for vintage Van Cleef & Arpels, the Olton Estate jewels met

Emerald cut diamond

6.06 carat Emerald Cut Diamond, rare Type IIa D color, Van Cleef & Arpels, sold for $464,500 - making it the top lot of the sale. (Photo courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers)

with tremendous success in the sale, exceeding all pre-sale expectations and achieving an impressive 100% sold for the collection. The strong interest and incredible results perfectly exhibit the potent combination of marquee names and private estate collections.

As a frequent world traveler and consummate collector of fine art, the jewelry of Elise Reeder Olton exhibits a refined taste for design and quality. An exquisite 6.06 carat emerald cut diamond of rare Type IIa D color and potentially flawless clarity brought $464,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $250,000-300,000 amidst spirited bidding. The session was highlighted by several important examples of Van Cleef & Arpels earrings, such as the invisibly set ruby and diamond earclips ($60,000 realized) and an elegant pair of channel set turquoise and diamond earclips ($45,000 realized). Specially commissioned works by Van Cleef & Arpels also prominently featured a fine, unheated Burmese sapphire within a classic diamond surround ring setting which incited intense bidding, driving it to a final price $122,500 from the pre-sale estimate of $40,000-60,000.

Though Van Cleef & Arpels figured strongly in her collection, Mrs. Olton’s eclectic selection also included many fine pieces from other top jewelers which resonated with collectors. A meticulously color-matched sapphire and diamond bracelet by Oscar Heyman Brothers for Ruser was a favorite, achieving $40,000 from an estimate of $15,000-20,000. An unusual star sapphire and diamond articulated ring by Tiffany brought $30,000 while an elegant pair of diamond spray earrings by Ruser hammered at $25,000.

The eclectic, colorful and whimsical collection of Gerard L. Cafesjian proved extremely popular amongst collectors during the single-owner session on April 8th. Mr. Cafesjian’s taste for bold color combinations and fanciful design spread across an incredible array of mediums including the glass works of Dale Chihuly and his important Fine Art collection to name just two. The joyful nature of his jewelry was met with an eager response. Featuring an incredibly diverse group of jewels ranging from antique to modern, conservative to avante garde, the sale exceeded all expectations and achieved 93% sell-through amidst an exciting auction day.

Emerald and Green Beryl compact

18 Karat Yellow Gold, Emerald and Green Beryl Compact, by Suzanne Belperron, fetched $55,000 during the April 6-8, 2014 auction. (Photo courtesy Leslie Hindman Auctioneers)

Several notably rare and important pieces changed hands during the sale. A highly unusual gold, emerald and green beryl compact attributed to Suzanne Belperron sold for $55,000, well over double the previous auction result from 1998 and evidence of her ever-increasing importance amongst collectors. An exquisite and complex carved coral and gem bracelet by Lorenz Bäumer brought $35,000 while a bold fire opal and colored diamond necklace by Michael Youssoufian also achieved $35,000. Traditional classics such as a fancy deep yellow diamond and diamond necklace ($79,300 realized) were also offered to the eager audience.

Leading a strong session notable for its large selection of Patek Philippe, the ref. 3448 for Tiffany well exceeded expectations by achieving a remarkable $187,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $70,000-90,000. The Patek timepiece, consigned by a collector in Florida, combines all of the elements inherent in a truly fine, collectible watch. Rounding out the auction was a fine single-owner collection highlighted by a number of contemporary commemorative Patek Philippe pieces. The group, offered in very fine condition and impeccably complete with all accompanying materials, was embraced with confidence by discerning collectors and proved highly successful.

For more information about upcoming auctions and consignment process offered by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, visit or call 312-280-1212.


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