Wednesday, September 18, 2013
It's certainly eye-catching - but it's price might bring a tear to your eye.
This three-inch long piece of jewellery in the shape of a human eye, designed by surrealist artist Salvador Dali, has just been sold for £96,000 ($150.000.00)
Called The Eye of Time, the exquisite brooch is made from diamonds and platinum that form the eye lids and a small gold watch in blue enamel that makes up the eye ball.
The original brooch, made by famed jewellers Alemany & Ertman in New York, was a gift for Dali's wife in 1949.
But, with the artist's permission, the company made several copies from his original designs.
The one for sale was bought by an Italian man in the 1950s and it has been passed down through his family ever since.
The artists did not design that many pieces of jewellery
The piece went up for sale at auctioneers Dreweatts of Newbury, Berkshire, and had been expected to sell for £12,000.
But such was the interest in the extremely rare item, went for eight times that amount and was bought by a private watch collector from the US.
James Nicholson, head of jewellery at Dreweatts, said: 'Privately owned pieces of this calibre which have never been on the market before arouse considerable interest globally.
'The Dali brooch is a fantastic piece. He didn't design that many pieces of jewellery, probably about 20 in all, so whenever one comes on the market it is very rare.
'We don't know how many pieces like this were made but this is the first time one of this large size has come up for auction.
'I knew there would be a lot of interest in the piece but because it was so unusual there was no precedent for me to go on.
'It was very exciting in the sale room and moved very, very fast, everybody was shouting down the telephones trying to get their bids in, it was an electric atmosphere.
'There were people bidding from all over the world, from the USA, Europe, the UK and the far East.
'There was a lot of interest because some collectors specifically look for artist's jewellery.
'Eventually it sold to a private collector in the US and the vendor was absolutely thrilled and amazed.'