The queen’s intricate diamond and turquoise brooch was handed down from an ancestor who established the playbook for how royals respond to a crisis. Her Majesty wore it during her address to the Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis | Source: Getty Images

The Power of the Brooch: Sotheby’s Brilliant Menagerie Collection Goes Under the Hammer

Closely associated with royalty, brooches have adorned the dresses and lapels of the upper echelons of society over the years including Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and, of course, Her Majesty the Queen. And while brooches continue to make a comeback across worthy wardrobes and runways –throughout history brooches have most importantly served to capture and eternalise the spirit of the time.

Through the Summer Jewels: A Brilliant Menagerie Collection, renowned auction house Sotheby’s has sold some of the most precious and unique brooches from luxury jewellery houses like Graff and Cartier.

Graff Coloured Diamond and Diamond Brooch

Crafted by a London-based high jewellery house, Graff, this peacock brooch was the most expensive of the collection, selling at approximately A$198,900. Set with marquise, pear-shaped and brilliant-cut diamonds as well as pink tint diamonds, this bedazzled brooch embodies the flashiness of a real peacock in all its 32.40 carats worth of glory.

Graff Coloured Diamond, Onyx and Sapphire Brooch

In France during World War II, the bird became the aspirational symbol of hope and freedom that was eternalised in art and jewellery. With a total of 21.20 carats, this pair of diamond parrots in love has onyx beaks, pear-shaped sapphire eyes and marquise, pear-shaped and brilliant-cut diamonds. These parrots fetched close to A$177,000 at auction.

Cartier Gem Set and Shell Brooch

In response to the fishing frenzy of the 1920s and 30s, many jewellery makers created fish inspired pieces. While the manufacture date is unknown, this Cartier fish brooch encapsulates the fish inspired jewellery trend of the time. With a natural sea shell body, onyx rim and cabochon ruby eyes, this brooch sold for around A$10,600.

Graff Coloured Diamond and Brooch

This fish design brooch is set with brilliant-cut and marquise-shaped diamonds. Mounted in 18 carat pink and white gold, this incredible brooch sold for around A$53,000 at auction.

Gem Set and Diamond Brooch

Moonstones, tourmalines, rubies, sapphire, tsavorite garnets and diamonds depict an angelfish swimming through a coral reef in this brooch. The real centrepiece of this brooch is its sphere opal weighing in at 20 carats.

Sapphire and Diamond Brooch

Selling for approximately A$16,600, this sapphire and diamond brooch has been crafted into a mystical three-headed dragon mounted in 18 karats yellow gold. Depicting a Russian zmei, a many-headed dragon, the piece has historical ties to Russian folklore and poems.

Sapphire and Diamond Brooch

Crafted with circular-cut sapphires and brilliant-cut diamond plumes, this bird-shaped brooch fetching for around A$16,600.

Rubellite, Sapphire and Diamond Brooch

Perched on an oval rubellite weighing more than 13 carats, this peacock piece is embellished with pink sapphires and sapphires and doubles as a pendant.

Art Deco Rock Crystal, Ruby, Enamel and Diamond Brooch 

Leaping through a frosted rock crystal hoop is a dog created with ruby eyes and brilliant-cut diamonds. This brooch fetched more than A$12,00 at auction.

Antique Tiger’s Eye Brooch

Dated as a late 19th-century brooch, this antique, textured gold tiger’s eye brooch sold for approximately A$4,400.

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