‘Historic’ Australian brooch auctioned for almost £10,000

A rare, colonial Australian brooch has been sold for just under £10,000 at Fellows Auctioneers in Birmingham last week (24 January 2019).

According to the group, pieces with “aboriginal detail” are infrequently offered for sale at auction, and the item depicts an emu and kangaroo amongst native flora – a common theme in Australian jewellery.

Fellows said the piece garnered “a lot of interest” before the sale and, against an estimate of £500 – £700, the brooch sold for over 10 times its estimate for a hammer price of £7,300 (£9,314.80 including fees).

A statement by the group read: “After frantic bidding over two telephone lines, bidders in the room and online. The bids kept rising until the fascinating piece of jewellery was bought over the internet by an Australian buyer.”

Alex Duffy, jewellery specialist at Fellows Auctioneers, added: “The brooch is a beautifully crafted example of Australian colonial jewellery, a rare commodity for which modern day Australians show a wonderful appreciation.

“Among the more common motifs of the emu and kangaroo, this particular piece features an Aboriginal person seated among the flora and fauna. This is something I personally have never previously come across in jewellery of this period.”

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