Season Cheng

Jewellery

Why are you working within the auction world?

Where should I start… My childhood dream was to become the next-generation Indiana Jones / Lara Croft - to find lost artefacts! I stumbled across jewellery as it plays numerous roles within cultures and societies, and possibly is one of the earliest forms of art. My fascination transformed into pursuing a jewellery making degree. However, after exploring the concepts and craftsmanship of the subject in a contemporary context, I realised I am more of an appreciator rather than a creator, which has led me to the auction world – where my adventure continues.

 

Within your career to date, which item would you class as your favourite?

Being a relative ‘newborn’ in the auction world, I would have to choose the Kutchinsky flower bracelet that we sold in our May Jewellery sale. It was a piece with an immaculate design which demonstrated a high level of craftsmanship - the placement of the fittings and hinges, lively looking petals and sophisticatedly set gems... When the hammer went down, I was very excited for the buyer to own such amazing piece.

 

What should a potential collector/buyer look to purchase and why?

Always follow your heart and spend within your means. I personally would look into unusual gemstones, but anything that gains your interest really! Modernists such as the late Andrew Grima, often embraced the organic form of less common gem materials like Dioptase, Adamite and Tourmaline for jewellery, and cleverly incorporated them into their designs.

A client recently brought in a colour-changing Garnet dress ring thinking it was an Alexandrite. In terms of value the Garnet wouldn't make as much as an Alexandrite would do, however, it is still an attractive stone with a striking optical phenomenon that many people may not be aware of... So, despite a lesser value, I believe it is worth purchasing.

 

 

 

Season Cheng BA(Hons) FGA

Jewellery Expert

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What first attracted you to your speciality?

Obtaining qualifications in gemmology was a natural step for me to take after getting a degree in Jewellery Design. Even though I have always had an interest, I did not expect I would be completely blown away by colour theories, optical phenomena, how certain cuts affect the pleochroism and body colours… even how our human eyes get easily tricked by imitation stones – it really is a fascinating field to work within.

 

"Doing the detective work whilst investigating a piece, acquiring knowledge during the process, and revealing the stories behind them so people can have a deeper level of understanding of the pieces… It all brings me such pleasure and joy."

What aspect of your job do you find most satisfying?

I am a simple being, and sometimes just managing to identify the tiniest of hallmarks can really make my day! Doing the detective work whilst investigating a piece, acquiring knowledge during the process, and revealing the stories behind them so people can have a deeper level of understanding of the pieces… It all brings me such pleasure and joy. 

If money were no object, what would you most like to buy?

Pieces by Wallace Chan will always hold a special place in my heart. The way he fabricates materials is revolutionary… who doesn't love a technically challenging piece? I also find French jewellers specialising in the Japonisme movement have an interesting use of palettes, such as René Lalique and Lucien Gaillard. The artistry of pairing semi-precious stones with organic materials is absolutely delightful… Oh how wonderful it would be if I were able to buy the whole collection from Albion Art Jewellery Institute!

 

What are the best items to sell via an auction house?

Trends come and go. I believe jewellery is made to be appreciated and worn, rather than sit in a forgotten corner collecting dust. I would advise you to consider re-homing pieces that you don’t want to wear anymore – someone else may well love them. It is worth noting that some gem materials will actually lose their shine if they are being kept in a place that is too dry and dusty. So why not get them valued? You might be sitting on valuable jewellery that you can sell at auction in order to buy jewellery that you do want to wear!

 

Kutchinsky flower bracelet
A Kutchinsky Flower Bracelet

Sold for £14,000

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