Santa baby, slip something from Adam’s Fine Jewellery and Watches sale under the tree

From collectable brands to covetable pieces, there are plenty of sparkling choices for festive gift-giving

The best way to view Adam’s Fine Jewellery and Watches catalogue is to play Eartha Kitt’s Santa Baby while flicking through the covetable 261 lots. The online wishlist button is there for a reason, though you might need some stronger hints, so prepare to bribe the children. Of course, if you’re buying for yourself, just turn up your favourite female empowerment song and remind yourself that you’re worth it.

For closer inspections, viewing is taking place this weekend alongside its Irish Art sale offering at the Adam’s saleroom on St Stephen’s Green.

So, for a wishlist, lot 215 is the most delicate sautoir necklace - it’s almost ethereal. Using a loupe for closer inspection, you will see that the diamonds are actually set into the body of the chain, so despite its diaphanous appearance, it’s a sturdy enough piece - but better viewed in person as it does not photograph well. What is lovely about it is the fact that is has 13 carats of diamonds in total, but will be worn close to the skin – a bit like a silk negligee – so it can be for everyday wear without attracting attention (€5,000-€6,000).

Now if attention doesn’t bother you, and you’re after a statement tennis or line bracelet, have a look at lot 166. Essentially it’s 15 line bracelets together that fall beautifully on narrower wrists than mine. Listed at €45,000-€55,000 it has a whopping 56 carats of diamonds.


Staying with diamonds, lot 154, an important pair of pendant earrings, is just the ticket if you want contemporary-looking triple-linked hoops with about 17 carats of sparklers between them (€10,000-€15,000). Another pair of covetable earrings is the early-20th century sapphire-and-diamond pendant drops with rather large unheated sapphires (lot 53, €10,000-€15,000).

As always, the sale has big names in the world of collectable jewellery. Lot 14 is a diamond “tubogas” serpenti ring by Bulgari – a rare enough item at auction – which may go well above its €3,500-€4,500 estimate, as one sold last year through Adam’s for €6,000.

Works by Van Cleef & Arpels, Chopard and Vacheron Constantin are also listed.

Lot 139 is a fine 18k gold- and diamond-set “Arceau, Le Temps Suspendu” watch by Hermès. It is from 2022 and, to be honest, it looks like it has never been worn. It comes with a suede-lined case, as big as a jewellery box, so you really could gift it as new. Estimated at €18,000-€22,000, these pieces cost €32,200 in Hermès stores.

There’s a great selection of pearls to suit all tastes, including a cool pair of Verdura ear clips that can be detached and worn without the black-and-white drop pearls (lot 136, €5,000-€7,000); a cultured black pearl necklace (lot 189, €3,500-€4,000) and a funky cultured pearl dress ring (lot 257, €700-€900).

Rings come in many sizes, shapes and formats, with some really unusual offerings, including a tsavorite and demantoid “Onde” rose gold cocktail ring by de Grisogono (lot 203, €5,000-€6,000) and a fabulous, weighty Cartier gold dress ring from the 1960s (lot 77, €4,000-€5,000).

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables