On Friday 1st September as part of Batemans’ specialist bi-monthly Jewellery & Watches, Silver & Gold, Coins & Banknotes Sale a particularly desirable set of pearls were offered for sale as lot 211. Desirable because they were made by the stellar jewellery 'Maison' - Cartier, and also desirable because they were both vintage and in good condition.
The beautifully matched single row of fifty cultured pearls, each between 8.4 and 8.1mm diameter, was finished by a clasp of flower form with ten petals, set about with small diamonds and centred by a round brilliant cut diamond. The pearls had a slight variation in colour with some blushed a slight pink and others a glorious pearly white. Presented in their original box they were signed to the clasp and hallmarked for the year 1985.
The necklace was offered with pre-sale estimates of £1,000 - £2,000
However it sold for a new auction house record of £39,680 (including 24% Buyer’s Premium)!
Bidding opened at £800 and six different bidders fought it out against a sizable absentee bid taking things up beyond £3,000 - already a sum that would have been triple the low estimate! Then things really started to take off... two bidders emerged to battle it out. One based in London and the other in New York, it was to be an Atlantic sized fight!
For a further 78 BIDS and ELEVEN minutes of action the two traded blows, until finally the American bidder was forced to concede. Auctioneer David Palmer brought the gavel down on a new Auction House Record for Batemans at a staggering £32,000!
Managing Director Greg Bateman said “It was a complete shock to have sold this beautiful Cartier pearl necklace for such an unexpectedly enormous sum of money! I anticipated it selling well, but my expectations were completely blown away - frankly it was a real treat to be so wrong!”
The last piece of vintage Cartier jewellery that Batemans sold for a five-figure sum also set a new Auction House Record at the time - a hammer price of £27,000 (£33,480 including 24% Buyer’s Premium) was paid for a pair of spectacular Art Deco Cartier diamond ear clips in October 2017.