Provenance proves its worth at Tennants jewellery sale in North Yorkshire

Provenance once again proved its worth in Tennants Auctioneers’ Jewellery, Watches and Silver Sale on April 23, when an interesting family collection of jewellery piqued the interest of buyers to sell well above estimate.

By Gemma Jimmison
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 10:13 am

The jewellery related to the Rickards family of North Berwick and Old Radnor and included a circa 1918 enamel and diamond portrait miniature pendant on a chain with a locket and seal that sold for £600 (plus buyer’s premium). The miniature depicted Lt. Com. Arthur Scott Horace Pitt Rickards, R.N., of Rock End, North Berwick, who was Coxwain of the North Berwick Lifeboat and Captain of the Glen Golf Club and the 19th century locket belonged to Edward Henry Rickards D.L. and was engraved to his wife Ester.

A signet ring with an armorial engraving to the Rickards family of Evenjobb, Old Radnor sold for £1,450, and a collection of three 18 carat gold enamel memorial rings dedicated to those connected to the Rickards family sold for £1,700. The memorial rings were for Anthony Harman (died 1845 aged 84), Harriett Perkins (died 1852, aged 77) and Luana Catherine Rickards (died 1873, aged 28).

Coral and amber jewellery sold particularly well, too, with a group of three coral cameo brooches and a hardstone cameo pendant selling for £850, and an amber bead necklace selling for £800. The demand for aquamarines continues to produce strong prices, and two good examples of aquamarine rings in the sale both sold for £1,500. The top lot in the sale, however, was a cameo brooch depicting a figure in profile and a split pearl crescent brooch, which sold for £3,200. Hardstone cameos have been performing well at auction of late.

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The silver section of the sale saw good selling rates, and a strong total hammer price against estimate. Highlights included an Edward VIII silver centrepiece made by Walker and Hall of Sheffield in 1902 (sold for £3,800), a Victorian silver claret jug made by Edward and John Barnard of London in 1866 (sold for £1,300), and a Victorian silver and enamel Vesta-case made by Lawrence Emanuel of Birmingham in 1887, decorated with an enamelled scene of a reclining nude in a landscape (sold for £1,100).

Also of note was an Edward VII silver and enamel porringer made by William Snelling Hadaway of London in 1904, which is decorated with an enamel plaque of a stylised fish (sold for £900) and an Art Deco four-piece George V silver tea service by Thomas Bradbury and Sons Ltd. of Sheffield (sold for £1,100).

A section of Chinese silver, mostly from two collections, performed well too. Highlights included a Chinese export silver tray with Chinese character artisan mark for Yi Tai, decorated with engraved chrysanthemum flowers and foliage (sold for £2,600) and a three piece Chinese export silver tea service by the same maker (sold for £2,500).

Watches continue to sell strongly, with good, clean examples with original patina most in demand. Examples by Omega and Oris with original boxes and paperwork sold well with notable results achieved for the likes of a 1970 Omega Constellation Electro Quartz watch that sold well above the £200-300 estimate at £1,200. Selling well throughout was a private collection of trench watches, which were developed during the First World War to replace cumbersome pocket watches and offer accurate timekeeping for both officers and soldiers.

The top lot of the collection was an unusual 1916 silver Full Hunter example, which had a hinged silver front cover and sold for £420. Amongst the lady’s watches in the sale, a smart Tiffany & Co. Atlas white gold and diamond set wristwatch doubled the bottom estimate to sell for £1,200. The sale saw a total hammer price of £195,750 for the 450 lots and achieved an 85% sold rate.

Full sale results are available online at: