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Wednesday, 23 October 2019
THE old adage “ you learn something new every day” could have been written for the world of valuers and auctioneers.
“We never know what each day will bring,” says Frances Noble, the head of the jewellery department at specialist Mayfair auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb.
“I love the pieces that require further research and the opportunity to learn something new. Just this week, a beautiful French floral diamond spray brooch, circa 1880s, was brought in for sale.
“Contained in its original maroon leather and gilt tooled fitted case, the brooch was still with the original range of fittings that would enabled the piece to be worn in numerous ways.
“The leather case even contained the designer’s hand-drawn pen and ink sketch.
“The diamond brooch is mounted ‘en tremblant’ — a technique whereby each flowerhead is held on a spiral spring, making them ‘tremble’ when worn, as if to simulate flowers dancing in the breeze.
“The brooch was made by a little known Parisian jewel house, Debacq & Cie. Not a name that is familiar to many, indeed I can’t remember ever handling a piece by this particular maker. So it was a delight to learn more about this jewel house.”
Debacq & Cie first opened its doors for business in Paris in 1812, manufacturing and trading in gold jewellery.
By its heyday of the 1860s to 1880s, the company, based at 40, rue Réaumur, was employing 12 diamond polishers alongside the jewellery workshops and sales offices, and specialised in exquisite diamond floral brooches and large corsage sprays, made as convertible jewels that could be changed to suit the occasion, and worn as brooches, hair decorations, bangles and pendants, etc.
Frances added: “This brooch will be included in our September 4 jewellery auction in our Mayfair auction rooms, at a guide estimate of £4,000 to £6,000.”
Meanwhile, Dix Noonan Webb will be returning to Phyllis Court for its next jewellery, coins and medals valuation day, on Tuesday, July 24, from 10am to 4pm, where the firm’s specialists will be available to offer free and confidential valuations.
Please call for an appointment on 0207 016 1700. For more information, visit www.dnw.co.uk
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