John Moran Auctioneers realized strong prices for quality makers and vintage jewels at May auctions

• The first jewelry auctions of 2018 proved robust for Antique and Art Deco pieces
• Strong prices realized for quality makers including Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, and David Webb

MONROVIA, CA – John Moran Auctioneers continues to achieve strong prices realized for quality jewelry across a variety of design styles in both their Fine and Studio Jewelry Auctions. Moran’s Fine Jewelry catalogues comprise a curated selection of fine jewelry and timepieces consigned from private collections. Introduced last December, the Studio Jewelry Auction is populated by jewelry and timepieces at more approachable price-points and May’s sale proved to be a resounding success with a high sell-through rate.

Starting out the Fine Jewelry & Timepieces Auction were several stunning gold fob seals consigned from a single Southern California collection, each designed with intricate gold work and many with elaborate crests and monograms. Lot 15, a stunning musical fob with delicate openwork depicting a resting stag, kicked off a bidding war between a determined floor bidder and an online bidder, ultimately surpassing its $1500-2000 estimate to sell for $5937.50 (all prices include Moran’s buyer’s premium).

In addition to the seal fobs, a number of fine Antique pieces were consigned from local collections. One of the sleeper hits of the sale was an Antique emerald and gold bracelet designed with links decorated with flowering urns; one alert buyer took the bracelet home for $1400 (est. $400-600).

Among the fine timepieces on offer was an American Watch Co. gold hunter’s case pocket watch dating to 1872-1874 which quickly outstripped its conservative $600-900 estimate to sell at $2700. A stunning 19th century 18K gold and enamel pocketwatch by LeRoy Paris, fitted with unusual Turkish hour markers, sold to an online bidder for $1750 (est.: $800-1200). Jumping forward in time to more modern timepieces, a Jaeger Le Coultre Geographique gold wristwatch sold to a determined floor bidder for $5100 (est.: $3500-4500).

One of the most popular lots leading up to the sale was a beautifully designed Art Deco diamond and sapphire ring centering an Old European-cut diamond weighing 2.99 cts. which sold to an absentee bidder after a protracted bidding war for $13,200 (est. $10,000-15,000). The enduring popularity of classic Art Deco design proved true with lot 65, a darling diamond ring with an intricate platinum band, which sold within the $5000-7000 estimate for $6,600, just in time for wedding season.

Moran’s was pleased to offer several pieces by Modernist jewelry designer George Brooks consigned from the estate of Warner Bros. family member Betty Warner Sheinbaum, an artist and philanthropist. Known for his fine collection of opals, it is perhaps no surprise that Brooks’ playful opal and 18K yellow gold ring sold for $2000 at the auction (est. $800-1200). Rounding out the modern items on offer was a striking Van Cleef & Arpels carved emerald and diamond ring. Consigned from a local collection, the ring was one of the most sought-after pieces in the auction inspiring a bidding war between a determined phone bidder and a floor bidder, earning the ring a fine selling price of $20,400 (est.: $5000-7000).

The Studio Jewelry auction kept the fun rolling with an additional 232 lots consigned from local collections and estates. A trendy “Love” necklace from famed jeweler Cartier was one of the most highly anticipated lots in the auction, selling well above the conservative $500-700 estimate at $1576.80. A set of keys with gold playing card-motif toppers (also from Cartier) inspired a bidding war between the floor and phone bidders selling on the phone for $3900 and far outshining its $300-500 estimate.

Moran’s is starting the summer auction season next month with two auctions on June 19th. First is the Turn of the Century Design auction at 12 pm featuring over 100 lots of Arts & Crafts furniture and American pottery, glass and objects d’art consigned from important local collections. The Art of the American West Auction is to follow at 2 pm, and comprises over 400 Western-genre paintings, American landscapes, Native American textiles, pottery, baskets, and other Western art spanning the 19th and 20th centuries.

For inquiries regarding catalogues, bidder registration or consignment to future auctions, contact John Moran Auctioneers via their website:, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone: (626) 793-1833.

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