Smiths Antiques & Collectables Auction on April 4-5 included a wide selection of very desirable antique jewellery which ensured some extremely exciting results throughout the entire jewellery section. 

Although the top price of the sale was predictably taken by a gentleman’s Rolex Oyster chronograph wristwatch at £2,000 it was closely followed by some amazing jewellery results, many of which left their estimates far behind. The fantastic range of antique jewellery items entered from a variety of vendors ensured that there was a good spread of enthusiastic buyers from around the world - including online bidders from America, Canada, Germany, China and Australia. 

A fine Victorian gold and citrine necklace attracted significant attention and sold for £1,950 to an American telephone bidder, despite missing an optional pendant drop which could be suspended from a small, hinged loop at the base.

Victorian Citrine Necklace
Victorian Citrine Necklace (Smiths)

Even more amazing was a similar styled Art Deco costume necklace made of green paste and white metal which sold to a London trade buyer for £1,500 against a pre-sale estimate of just £30/£50. Antique paste jewellery can prove to be surprisingly valuable on occasion, but this example just seemed to tick all the boxes and came in good condition with its original box.

Art Deco Paste Necklace
An Art Deco Paste Necklace (Smiths)

Other surprising results included a pair of Victorian citrine pendant earrings which made £820 against an £80/£120 estimate and an Art Nouveau silver plated and enamel dragonfly brooch which made £560 against a seemingly bullish estimate for a costume piece of £200/£300. Once again this was bought by the London trade who can afford to pay top prices on behalf of their affluent customers. 

More predictable results included a fine sapphire and diamond bracelet which sold to a German buyer bang on estimate at £1,200 and a pretty Edwardian peridot and pearl necklace which sold for £1,000.

Peridot & Pearl Necklace.
Peridot & Pearl Necklace. (smiths)

A good range of antique rings and mourning jewellery also all sold consistently well - leaving their estimates far behind, as buyers were forced to work hard in an extremely competitive market. Antique silver jewellery also sold strongly with a stunning Scandinavian large blue enamel butterfly brooch by Marius Hammer making £180 and a silver moonstone bracelet and necklace making £190 and £150, respectively. 

Blue Butterfly Enamel Brooch
Blue Butterfly Enamel Brooch (smiths)

This all goes to prove that a good sort out through ‘Granny’s old jewellery box’ could turn out to be a worthwhile exercise, especially since much of this older jewellery appears old fashioned to most people - and not the sort of thing one would ever wear!

The ceramics and glass section also sold buoyantly with good results for vintage and antique tea wares as well as some pleasant surprises - such as a Victorian Staffordshire figure of Mr Punch making £250 against a £40/£60 estimate.

Victorian Figure of Mr Punch.
Victorian Figure of Mr Punch. (Smiths)

A Villeroy & Bosch Majolica jardiniere sold for £240 despite a nasty chip to the base and a set of six Dresden floral painted teacups and saucers made £200. 

The silver section likewise performed consistently well, but with only one significant surprise when an Ottoman silver scribe’s pen box and inkwell made £960 against a £300/£500 estimate. The smaller silver collectables such as small boxes, caddy spoons, scent bottles etc all sold with gusto, with many doubling and tripling their estimates in mere moments as the computers flashed up the bidding lot after lot.

The second day of the sale also sold consistently with few unsold lots but also with fewer surprises. A Spratt’s small enamel bird food sign brought in by a local farming couple sold for £700 against a £200/£400 and a Welsh carved love spoon made £180 despite extensive damage.

Spratt's Enamel Sign
Spratt's Enamel Sign (Smiths)
18th Century Welsh Love Spoon
An 18th Century Welsh Love Spoon (smiths)

More of an eye opener though was a group of rather tatty and torn punk posters one client had kept from her son’s bedroom wall. Complete with Blutack, they dated from the early 1980’s, and included icons such as Johnny Rotton and The Sex Pistols – estimated at just £20/£40 they sold for £260. Three boxes of ‘proper’ rock, punk and pop records from the same client and the same era made £200 each. 

Other interesting collectables included a percussion pistol form table lighter which made £240 against a £30/£50 estimate and an antique Gibbs Victorian sewing machine which sold for £240 against a £150/£200 estimate. 

Willow & Gibbs Sewing Machine
Willow & Gibbs Sewing Machine (Smiths)

Smiths are inviting good quality antiques and collectables for their 16th & 17th of May antiques sale. The sale includes a wide variety of items including ceramics, glass, silver, jewellery, furniture, pictures and collectables as well as a specialist section for Oriental items such as Chinese and Japanese ceramics and works of art. Entries are invited by appointment from the 15th to the 29th of April. Please telephone 01531 821776 or visit for further information.