Select offering includes Bulgari, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany, Boivin, Buccellati and many other prestigious names
Auction Zero, London's newest and most exclusive boutique auction house specializing in fine jewels, estate and designer jewelry, watches, gold bullion and coins, has chosen a name that quite succinctly describes its business model. They charge no commission whatsoever to consignors - zero. And there are no additional charges for photography, marketing, online exposure or unsold lots, either.
"We are taking a different approach in the marketplace. Whatever an item sells for on the hammer in our sales, that is exactly what the vendor receives. Our commission comes from the buyer's premium," explained Keith MacRae, the specialist consultant who is cataloguing the firm's July 17 auction of all-signed designer jewelry. Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Each and every piece of jewelry accepted for Auction Zero's "Signed, Special and Affordable" sale is a genuine article, signed by its designer. The dizzying array of names represented includes literally all of the most desired luxury brands: Bulgari, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Gucci, Dior, Hermes and Rene Boivin. The list goes on to include Buccellati, De Vroomen, Boucheron, Stephen Webster, Georg Jensen, Patek Philippe, David Webb and so many more.
"Collectors love the superior quality and imaginative designs from these distinguished design houses, and they love them even more when the pieces are signed," said MacRae. "The items we've chosen for the July 17th auction are the ultimate in good taste and reflect the jewelry styles that people want today."
A top lot in the sale is a pair of exquisite ruby and diamond earrings by David Morris. Designed as tapered hoops with two rows of alternately set gems, the earrings have a total ruby weight of 10.35 carats and a diamond weight of 7.11 carats. Originally purchased in 1986 from David Morris' New Bond Street atelier in London, the earrings are accompanied by a copy of the store invoice.
Crescent-shape 18-carat gold earrings covered overall in round, brilliant-cut diamonds bespeak heirloom quality and are presented in a Garrard and Co., velvet-lined box. Known for their superb craftsmanship and utmost attention to detail, Garrard is a favorite of royalty the world over.
Several pieces by Bulgari have been consigned, including a pair of 1989 multi-gem Gancio ear hoops, a gold Tubogas band-style bracelet with pave-set diamonds in a double-heart shape, and a pair of ruby and diamond ear clips.
No woman can resist the allure of long, embellished chains, especially when they are adorned with gems like those used in Marina B's design interspersing polished spheres between chalcedony and onyx beads. For decades, Marina B's distinctive style attracted a client list that included Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco and film stars Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and Julia Roberts.
Another name favored by style icons for well over a century is Van Cleef and Arpels. A spectacular platinum ring from the revered French firm features a 13.4mm South Sea pearl at the center, surrounded by two rows of undulating pave-set diamond petals. "In terms of eye appeal and quality, it's a 10-plus," said MacRae.
From the island of Capri comes a stunning ladies' ring by Chantecler, a design house whose loyal admirers included Jacqueline Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn and numerous other trendsetters. Its brilliantly hued pink sapphires, diamonds and emerald-green stones form a wonderful dragonfly with wings opened as though in flight.
Another Italian name synonymous with creativity and originality is that of the noble Milanese design house Buccellati. Auction Zero will offer a beautiful Buccellati necklace with a heart-shape jadeite drop, textured palmette spacers and diminutive cabochon-ruby accents. Measuring 41.5cm in length, it is a refined choice that combines a European aesthetic with gems long favored by Chinese jewelry buyers. Another auction lot suggestive of China's rich and ancient culture is an 18K yellow gold, diamond and red-enamel lion's-head bangle by Kutchinsky.
Entered as two consecutive lots are an 18K gold ring and pair of matching earrings by De Vroomen. Each piece is set with an oval Burmese cabochon ruby. Ultra chic in its simplicity, the suite displays all of the fine qualities and trademark look that result from De Vroomen's painstaking hand-hammered technique.
An especially fine selection of jewelry by Tiffany and Co., is led by an unusual platinum and diamond necklace. Its design consists of a series of articulated geometric and floral-motif links set with circular- and square-cut diamonds. Fit for a princess, it is marked T&Co. PT 950, for "platinum" and its gross weight of 50 grams.
"Truly, our online catalogue is meant to be browsed through and enjoyed, as each piece is, as the auction title states, signed, special and affordable when compared to the prices one might see elsewhere," said MacRae.
Bidders will be in good company buying from Auction Zero. The firm is located in Hatton Garden, London's prestigious fine-jewelry hub, but their clientele is a global one, with bidders participating in their sales from as far afield as China and Australia. Those wishing to preview auction items in person may do so by appointment during the four days leading up to the sale.
The July 17 auction welcomes phone and absentee bidders, as well as live-online bidders through LiveAuctioneers. For information on any piece in the sale, or to discuss consigning an item to Auction Zero's planned August sale, tel. 011 44 207 9938368 (from USA) or 0207 9938368 (within UK); or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the company online at www.auctionzero.co.uk and view the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.