10 June 2020
Six items from the personal collection of the famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) fetched more than five times their pre-sale estimate, realising £10,000 in a LIVE ONLINE AUCTION of Jewellery, Watches and Objects of Vertu yesterday (Tuesday, June 9, 2020) at International coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists Dix Noonan Webb.
The highest price was paid for a silver dressing table pot incorporating Sarah Bernhardt’s monogram which sold for £3,968 against an estimate of £150-200 and was bought by a London trade buyer [lot 153], while a French emerald and diamond set oval locket pendant sold for £2,976. Estimated at £400-£600, the locket enclosing a small lock of blond hair from Bernhardt’s son, Maurice was also bought by the London trade [lot 150].
The selection of lots was being sold on behalf of Sarah Bernhardt's great-great-granddaughter, Michele Gross, who lives in the UK. She said: “I inherited the items from my mother and father – my father was the great grandson of Sarah Bernhardt. I have cherished the pieces for many years and wore the locket occasionally. I have decided to sell the items as I am the last of the English part of the family and for the past few years they have been in my jewellery box for safe keeping.”
The other interesting collection in the sale was the Culling Collection of Military Watches Part 1 which comprised 33 lots including examples from the German, American and British military, from WWI pocket watches to 1990s quartz wristwatches. The collection fetched
£25,643 - almost double its pre-sale estimate, notable pieces being the iconic 1940s German B-Uhr pilot’s wristwatch (est: £1,800-2,400) and the classic RAF pilot’s Lemania mono pusher (est: £1,500-2,000) which each sold for £3,224 [lots 207 and 223].
The sale also included three lots relating to the Duke of Wellington. A 19th century gold watch key, circa 1820s/1830s, and engraved with an intaglio crest and initials ‘A W’ below, for Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington sold for £2,108 to a member of the trade. It was estimated at £700-900 [lot 183].
Dix Noonan Webb are donating 5% of their Buyer’s Premium to NHS Charities Together, and a total of £28,386 is being donated to the charity from the auctions since the lockdown due to COVID-19. The ongoing total can be seen on the homepage of DNW’s website. NHS Charities Together works with over 250 charities across the UK helping the NHS do more to look after people. For more information about NHS Charities Together and the outstanding work they do, click here to visit their website.
***Please note that these prices include Buyers Premium (24%)***
FORTHCOMING SALES AT DNW
THURSDAY, JUNE 18 - ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24 - BRITISH, IRISH AND WORLD BANKNOTES
WEDNESDAY, JULY 8 – COINS & HISTORICAL MEDALS
THURSDAY, JULY 16 - ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA
THURSDAY, AUGUST 20 - ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 – JEWELLERY, WATCHES, ANTIQUITIES
AND OBJECTS OF VERTU
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 – COINS & HISTORICAL MEDALS
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 - ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
Dix Noonan Webb – a brief history
In 1991, its first year of trading, the company held three medal auctions and sold 1,200 lots for a total hammer price of £553,000. Two years later it opened a coin department which also auctions commemorative medals and tokens and in 2015 DNW added jewellery to its sales calendar. In 2018, it set up a standalone banknotes department and expanded into premises next door. In the same year, DNW achieved a total hammer price of £11,676,580 and the total number of lots across all departments was 20,273. To date the company has sold in excess of 300,000 lots totalling £155 million.
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