Brooch salvaged from a shipwreck goes under the hammer at North Yorkshire auctioneers

A Victorian Garnet and Split Pearl Brooch, reportedly salvaged from a shipwreck, is one of the highlights of Tennants Auctioneers’ Jewellery, Watches and Silver Sale on January 15.

On offer with an estimate of £400-600 plus buyer’s premium, the brooch was reportedly salvaged from the wreck of the General Abbatucci, a French steamship that was sunk off the north coast of Corsica on May 7, 1869 on its way from Marseilles to Italy.

A quantity of jewellery was salvaged from the wreckage in 1996 and sold at Christie’s London on October 7, 1997, when the present brooch was lot 259.

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Further highlights of the jewellery section of the sale include a two row cultured pearl necklace with diamond and sapphire clasp (estimate: £800-1,200), a pair of diamond solitaire earrings (estimate: £3,000- 5,000), a Peridot bracelet circa 1900-1925 (estimate: £300-500), a diamond pin modelled as the letter ‘R’ (estimate: £300-500), and a diamond double cluster ring dating to the early 20th Century (estimate: £250- 350).

Of note to collectors too are a silver brooch depicting a deer and a squirrel designed by Arno Malinowski for Georg Jensen (estimate: £100-150), and a fancy link chain designed by Henry Pilstrup for Georg Jensen (estimate: £100-150).

With sporting interest are a pair of Reverse Intaglio ‘Essex Crystal’ double cufflinks painted to depict fox heads (estimate: £500-700), and two Fishing Fly diamond brooches, with hooks set with diamond and dressed with feathers. Amongst a good offering of vintage and collectable watches in the sale is one of the so-called ‘Dirty Dozen’ World War II military watches, a Cyma calibre 234 watch offered with an estimate of £500-700.

Also of interest is a circa 1998 Oris Automatic Calendar Wristwatch (estimate: £350-450), a circa 1975 Omega Chronostop Chronograph Wristwatch (estimate: £300-400), and a Must de Cartier Travel Alarm Clock (estimate: £300-500).

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The silver section of the sale will include a charming collection of silver boxes and vinaigrettes, such as a George III Silver Vinaigrette by John Death of London, 1806, which has a hinged grille inside engraved with musical instruments and sheet music (estimate: £200-300).

Further highlights from the section include an Edward VII gold-mounted glass and tortoiseshell dressing table service, the glass pieces by Charles and George Asprey and the tortoiseshell pieces possibly by Henry Atkin. The set was made in London in 1904 and is inlaid with initials (estimate: £3,000-5,000).

A German silver model of a twelve point Royal stag, probably made by Neresheimer of Hanau, is offered with an estimate of £3,000-5,000 and Silver-Gilt Dallah-style coffee pot made in 2001 by Grant MacDonald Silversmiths, engraved with the coat-of-arms of Qatar, is offered with an estimate of £600-800.

Also on offer is an Edward VII Silver-Gilt Cup and Cover made by Carrington and Co., in London, 1907 (estimate: £1,500-2,500). The trophy was awarded to Jonquil, the 1960 winner of the Waterloo Cup run at Altcar. The cup is sold with two menus for a dinner hosted by Mrs Basil Kerr to celebrate the win.

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The sale is already on public view, and an illustrated catalogue is available at

NB: Prices quoted are an estimated hammer price, which is subject to 22 per cent buyer’s premium plus VAT. Estimates are subject to change.

Tennants Auctioneers is one of the UK’s largest international Antiques and Fine Art auctioneers. Situated in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, the venue is one of the region’s largest event spaces with a capacity of over 600 people and holds more than 80 sales a year.

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