Wednesday, 1 December 2010

ART DECO Coral and onix earrings sold at record prices

As beautiful as they are, I cannot help but wonder... what is the matter with coral and onix art deco earrings?

This pair has been sold today at Christies for £67,250!, it is not signed by Cartier although it comes from a workshop that worked for Cartier at the time and Christies is quite sure they must be his, but they cannot be guaranteed. I only mention this fact because the piece has achieved a price of ten times the estimate. Auction houses usually do not get the value wrong when they set the estimates, the reason why something would skyrocket in the end lies in the amount of interest for that particular item, and that is driven by an unusual concentration of collectors that go after that piece for its historical value, rarity, provenance etc...

These earrings, most likely by Cartier, are undoubtedly rare, because there are very few like them but most importantly their design represents a complete breakthrough in the context of the time when they were made. Pure geometry, irrelevant diamonds and the entire weight of the piece lying on the onix and coral elements. They represent to perfection Art Deco.

But the dilemma is not only about this piece. Last July, Sotheby's auctioned another onix and coral art deco pair of earrings, signed by Van Cleef and Arpels that also reached a multiple of more than twenty times the estimate.

So this is not about Cartier or Van Cleef collectors, this is wider. This is about pure art deco earrings being one of the most sought after pieces nowadays just for their design and historical value, regardless of the stones. I most certainly concur!.