An exquisite late 19th century Tiffany Tiger Orchid brooch that sold for £50,000 was one of several lots that achieved spectacularly high prices at our April online auction. 

Modelled in the shape of a Tiger Orchid, the piece (pictured) is dated from circa. 1890 and bore the famous Tiffany & Co signature. The flowerhead itself is applied with yellow, brown and orange enamels with rose-cut diamond highlights and the stem is set with circular-cut emeralds and rubies. 

Twenty-five such brooches were showcased by the renowned American jewellery company at the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle. They were perfect reproductions of species found in New Mexico, Brazil and Guatemala, and at the Exposition real life specimens were displayed alongside the jewels. 

These brooches - thought to have been designed by Paul Farnham (1859 to 1929) - were hugely popular amongst Tiffany’s clientele at the time and are much sought after as a collector’s item today. Indeed a piece of almost identical appearance was included in Tiffany's 'Epic Vision & Virtuosity' exhibition.

Another great result at the sale was a rare gentleman’s 1961 Omega Speedmaster bracelet watch that sold for £15,000, way above its guide price of £10,000 to £12,000. 

Originally launched in 1959, the lot was a fine example of a “Pre-Moon” Speedmaster, so called by collectors because it pre-dates the first moon landing of 1969. The model is the second generation of Speedmaster and became the first to be worn in space on the wrist of Wally Schirra during the Mercury-Atlas (Sigma 7) mission on 3 October 1962. It was subsequently certified by NASA for use by astronauts in 1965. 

The Omega Speedmaster has become an iconic watch and it became the first watch worn during an extra vehicular spacewalk by Ed White on 3 June, 1965. It has since been used in all manned space flights. 

More items like this will be included in our specialist jewellery sale on Thursday 28 May at 2pm. The deadline for entering an item in the sale is 1 May.

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