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Fred Leighton's Personal Jewellery Collection Fetches Nearly $3m

Items from the personal collection of Fred Leighton went under the hammer at Sotheby’s New York on Tuesday - with many of his iconic jewellery pieces...

Items from the personal collection of Fred Leighton went under the hammer at Sotheby’s New York on Tuesday - with many of his iconic jewellery pieces selling for far beyond their estimate, eventually totalling 2,783,438 USD.

123-45679Photo Credit: Sotheby's

Leighton was famous for his red-carpet jewellery; his pieces being sought out by star after star, knowing that wearing Leighton jewellery would help them stand out in a sea of stars on the red carpet. Leighton spent much of his life identifying and transforming heirloom and period jewels into the coveted baubles of society and celebrity clients alike. An early proponent of Art Deco-style jewellery and decorative arts - which were well-represented in his personal collection on offer - Mr Leighton’s fascination with various periods reinvigorated the market for antique pieces that had fallen out of style.

This collection represented the last group of objects and jewels to be personally curated by Mr. Leighton. It reflects his passion for the eclectic and a celebration of his eye for beauty.

Top of the lot was the 1930’s Diamond Necklace-Bracelet Combination. The geometric links are set with old European, single-cut and baguette diamonds, length 15¼ inches, detachable into five segments for variety of wear, with French assay and partial maker's marks for Chaumet – the estimate was $80,000 and sold for $112,500 USD.

And while the top selling lot was made up of white diamonds – it was the coloured stones that set the auction room alight with some coloured stone jewellery lots selling for nearly twice their estimate. For example, the Pair of Aquamarine and Diamond Pendant-Earrings. Pear-shaped aquamarines bordered by calibré-cut aquamarines, suspended within foliate and floral frames of single-cut diamonds, the surmounts each set with an old European-cut diamond. Estimate $12-15,000 USD, sold for $23,750 USD.

fred collectionPhoto Credit: Sotheby's

Red Spinel and Diamond Ring, Bulgari, set with an oval-shaped red spinel weighing 3.73 carats accented with baguette and round diamonds, signed Bulgari estimate 10,000 USD, sold for 25,000 USD. 

red spinelPhoto Credit: Sotheby's

Even with an emerald missing – the 1925 Sapphire, Emerald and Diamond Bracelet still sold for twice its estimate. The bracelet is set with three square-cut sapphires, accented by calibré-cut emeralds, further embellished with old European-cut diamonds. Estimate $8,000 USD, sold for $17,500 USD.

bracelet fredPhoto Credit: Sotheby's

   
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