Auctions

Cartier aquamarine line bracelet fetches £52k at auction

The bracelet is mounted in platinum, signed ‘Cartier’, and is set with approximately 45 carats of “beautifully matched” step-cut aquamarines

An aquamarine line bracelet by Cartier has sold for £52,080 at Dix Noonan Webb in its Jewellery, Watches and Objects of Vertu auction in Mayfair this week.

Dating from the 1940s, the bracelet was initially expected to fetch between £12,000-15,000. However, after “intense” bidding between two telephone bidders, the bracelet was sold to an overseas buyer.

The bracelet is mounted in platinum, signed ‘Cartier’, and is set with approximately 45 carats of “beautifully matched” step-cut aquamarines. 

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Frances Noble, head of the jewellery department and associate director at Dix Noonan Webb, said: “From 1932 onwards, much of Cartier’s aquamarine jewellery was produced by the company’s London branch. During the economic depression of this period Cartier started using semi-precious stones such as aquamarine and topaz as a more affordable alternative for their clientele. 

“Demand was so high for these gem-set creations that correspondence between the London and New York offices in 1936 refers to long delays in commissions owing to ‘the difficulty of obtaining a supply of good colour aquamarines.”

She added: “Although economic difficulties also gave rise to a decline in the use of platinum during this period, Cartier continued to use the metal for their finer creations. Platinum settings in particular were known to enhance coloured gemstones of exceptional quality and aquamarines, with their flawless clarity, were often reserved for such pieces. 

“The simple and refined design of a line bracelet, as shown with this lot, enabled Cartier to showcase their finesse through simple homogeneity of colour and clarity. The bracelet is as fashionable today as it was when it was made, and illustrates the purity of design that typifies Cartier’s finest creations. We were thrilled with the strong sale result.”

The sale also included several other pieces by Cartier, including a yellow diamond and onyx lovebirds brooch, circa 1960, which was sold to a German buyer over the telephone for £21,080 against an estimate of £5,000-7,000.

In addition, a diamond and sapphire owl brooch, circa 1950, realised £9,920 and was bought by a London buyer over the phone.  

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