Colonial gold bracelet sells for more than $120,000 at an UK auction

21 Sep 2016 1:17 PM | Anonymous

On Tuesday, this week, a gold bracelet by Christian Ludwig Qwist (active Sydney 1863-65) sold at an auction in the UK for more than $120,000, inclusive of buyers premium (IBP). 

The bracelet was one of three pieces consigned to the UK auction house by a vendor associated with the descendants of Hugh Hamilton (1822 - 1900), a pioneer who arrived in 1841 and settled on land next to the Lachlan River in NSW. He established the Tomanbil and Boyd cattle stations but a severe drought in 1849 forced the closure of the stations. He then worked as the assistant gold commissioner in Ophir before finally returning to farming. Hugh Hamilton was the younger son of the Hamiltons of Sundrum in Ayshire, UK. 

The gold bracelet was decorated with oxidised figures of an Aborigine, kangaroo and emu surrounded by finely engraved scrollwork and engraved with the initials AMD. The catalogue entry speculated that the initials belonged to Hugh Hamilton's first cousin Anna Maria Dundas, daughter of James Dundas of Dundas and his wife Lady Mary Duncan, daughter of Viscount Camperdown, the celebrated Admiral.

The second piece was a gold brooch attributed to Hogarth and Erichsen, circa 1860, oval shaped with kangaroo, emu and native flora. The brooch sold for approximately $30,000 IBP (a similar brooch, slightly smaller, with only a kangaroo and flora, sold for $13,640 in November 2014). 

The lowest priced item at approximately $4,000 IBP was a pair of gold ear pendants, attributed to Hogarth, Erichsen & Co., one pendant decorated with kangaroo and flora and the other with emu and flora.

All three pieces came with what appeared to be the original boxes and the strong provenance no doubt adding to the desirability.