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All that glitters; Sally Hoban looks at some of the prize pieces of antique jewellery gracing a forthcoming auction.

Byline: Sally Hoban

Who can resist the charms of antique and vintage jewellery? Visit any antique fair and you will no doubt come across glittering diamonds, multi-coloured glass beads like little sweets, strings of pearls and colourful 1920s Art Deco bracelets studied with jewels.

You will find many of the biggest names in quality jewellery and watches in what promises to be a sparkling sale at Hall's Auctioneers in Shropshire next week.

Wartski and Rolex are just a few of the big names featured in the sale.

Diamond jewellery worth pounds 50,000 and retailed by Wartski has been consigned to the auction by a Shropshire vendor.

The collection includes a fabulous three stone diamond brooch valued at around pounds 30,000, a pair of diamond set drop earrings which are expected to sell for pounds 15,000, a beautiful coloured and white diamond set butterfly brooch valued at pounds 8,000 and a diamond set Art Deco bracelet worth around pounds 6,000.

Other quality lots include a 1950s multi-gem set floral spray in the style of Cartier and a diamond set pendant/ brooch contained in a presentation box, which are each valued at up to pounds 4,000.

A fabulous Belle Epoque diamond and untested pearl set caduceus brooch is valued at up to pounds 2,000.

The rings section includes a solitaire worth up to pounds 6,000 and a sapphire and diamond three stone ring and an old brilliant cut diamond ring, each valued at around pounds 3,000.

The sale includes five Rolex watches, including a lady's 18-carat gold oyster perpetual datejust wristwatch worth pounds 4,000 and a 1940 steel and red lacquer duo-dial Sporting Princess purse watch which could be yours for pounds 3,200. Other famous names in the watches section include Omega, Gigandet, Gruen, Cuervo Y Sobrinos - Habana and Favre Leuba..

Christina Trevanion, who is Head of the Jewellery Department at Halls said: "We have managed to put together a fantastic sale with something for everyone.

Prices range from pounds 100 to pounds 30,000 in the jewellery section. I think that people are really beginning to realise the benefits of buying and selling at auction and I'm really looking forward to seeing old and new faces in the saleroom on 1, July." It goes without saying that if you want to invest in expensive jewellery always buy from a reputable auction house or a specialist antique jewellery dealer. To find your nearest dealer, consult the 2009/10 LAPADA (The Association of Art and Antiques Dealers) members directory.

This is a complete list of members in the UK and abroad and entries are listed geographically to help you find a member near by or to plan buying trips in different parts of the country. All LAPADA members must abide by a code of practice, which gives you the confidence that you are buying from a professional dealer.

As traditional antique jewellery has become rarer, more desirable and more expensive, fine quality 20th century costume jewellery is becoming increasingly collectable and valuable.

The vogue for producing and wearing costume jewellery began in the 19th century when the middle classes wanted affordable jewellery in the latest fashions and styles. New materials became popular including silver, enamel and glass.

Marcasite stones also began to be used in place of diamonds. But these new materials allowed designers to be just as inventive with their styles as they had been when using gold and precious metals and stones.

By the 1920s and 1930s, costume jewellery was utilising new materials such as the early plastics Bakelite, Celluloid and Galalith. These colourful pieces are very representative of their time and have become extremely collectable (and wearable) today.

Prices start at just a few pounds for a small bakelite brooch and can go into the low hundreds for a particularly stylish bakelite necklace, more if it is by a well known designer. Some of the finest, but still affordable, examples of these necklaces were made by Jakob Bengel in Germany.

You can recognise Bengel pieces by their originality, fine workmanship and stylish designs, which often combine chrome with red or green plastic. Some of the finest pieces of this type of jewellery have been bought together in Art Deco Jewellery, written by Christianne Weber-Stober and published by Arnoldsche.

This fabulous and mouth-watering book is an essential reference guide if you would like to collect chrome and plastic jewellery from this period. The necklaces and bracelets illustrated will show you exactly what styles, shapes and colours to buy as well as introducing you to the key designers to look out for.

Celluloid was a versatile material and the more extravagant the use of stones and the brighter the colour of the celluloid, the more collectable pieces will be.

As with all plastic jewellery, including early bakelite pieces, check carefully for cracks and stains as these imperfections will affect the value.

It is also worth investing in a good general reference book on antique jewellery if you are starting to collect. Look for one where you can find out about individual designers, the materials used in jewellery and manufacturers' marks.

Starting to Collect Antique Jewellery and Gemstones - Understanding, Identifying, and Buying are both published by the Antique Collectors Club and are excellent introductory guides. You will also find a pocket guide to hallmarks very useful in helping you to date a piece of gold or silver jewellery and check its authenticity..

WEB: For further information about the sale visit www.hallsestateagents.

co.uk The LAPADA directory has just been published and is available free of charge from www.lapada.co.uk.

CAPTION(S):

A Wartski coloured and white diamond set butterfly brooch which is valued at up to pounds 8,000 in the Hall's sale Above: A 1950s floral spray brooch in the style of Cartier, valued at pounds 4,000
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 26, 2009
Words:980
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