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Christie’s May Auction

May 30, 2009 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

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Thomas Mulier in Geneva reports for Bloomberg.com that Christie’s auction house raised 15.1 million Swiss francs ($14 million) in a watch auction in Geneva yesterday, after a rival Sotheby’s auction missed the low end of its estimated range. The top lot was a pre-owned Patek Philippe watch with a calendar that automatically adjusts to leap years that sold for $1.8 million, according to the London-based auctioneer.

The entire sale was estimated to raise 8.9 million francs to 12.8 million francs. A Sotheby’s auction of timepieces in the same Swiss city on May 10 raised 3.75 million francs, missing the low end of the sale’s estimated range by about 50,000 francs.

Christie’s sold a brass telescope given to Napoleon Bonaparte in 1800 as he traveled via Geneva to join a battle in Genoa for 147,000 francs, about triple its top estimate. The auction house also sold a Breguet carriage clock originally made for the Queen of Naples for 723,000 francs, exceeding its high estimate. It will be displayed in the Breguet museum, according to Aurel Bacs, co-head of Christie’s global watch unit.

Estimates don’t include the buyer’s premium, reports Mulier, which for Christie’s were 25 percent of the price for the first 60,000 francs, 20 percent from there to 1.2 million francs, and 12 percent of any amount in excess of that.

If you have a valuable timepiece, don’t forget to check out the San Diego Luxury Pawn Shop Report’s tips for selling a used watch.

Burma Ruby Ban Now In Force

October 6, 2008 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

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San Diego buyers and sellers of antique jewelry and estate jewelry should be informed that last week a long-expected U.S. ban on gemstones from Burma (Myanmar) took effect—some two months after President Bush signed into law the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008. Read more

Catherine The Great’s Pearl Necklace?

September 10, 2008 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

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A mysterious pearl necklace that may have once belonged to Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, is this week’s featured jewel. Automotive billionaire Horace Elgin Dodge purchased the necklace from Cartier in Paris in 1920 for his wife Anna Thomson Dodge at the astonishing price of $825,000 – about $8 million in today’s dollars.

The original Cartier invoice states that the “five row pearl necklace, consisting of 389 pearls weighing 4305 grains” was accompanied by an “enamel clasp representing Catherine, Empress of Russia” and “two diamond alternate clasps.” Several newspaper accounts from the ’20s suggested that the pearls did indeed once belong to Catherine; Anna Thomson Dodge’s heirs maintain that Horace bought the pearls from Cartier on that basis.

Now reduced to three strands comprised of 224 pearls and two Cartier diamond clasps, the necklace (above) is estimated at $500,000- $700,000 – a hefty sum, to be sure, but far less than Horace originally paid. The reason for the depreciation has less to do with the reduction in strands than with changing fashion and an evolving jewelry marketplace.

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Come to the San Diego Luxury Pawn Shop Report for all your news on watch and jewelry auctions. Read articles like this: Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Auction Expects $64 M.

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