Harrogate jewellery expert sells rare brooch for £80,000
Last updated Jul 8, 2022
The 1850 Castellani brooch, depicting Bacchus

Harrogate jewellery expert, Susan Rumfitt, has sold a rare brooch at auction for around three times its guide price.

Ms Rumfitt, who has written a column for the Stray Ferret and is an expert for the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, sold an intricate micro-mosaic theatrical mask brooch by Castellani of Rome for £80,600.

The piece had been listed under a guide price of £20,000 to £30,000.

Ms Rumfitt said:

“Items crafted by Castellani are a few and far between at auction, so our sale presented a very rare opportunity for collectors to acquire this delightful brooch.

“The house of Castellani is famed for its archaeological-revival designs in gold, gemstone and mosaic, and it was a privilege to share this brooch. The auction saw passionate bidding, with clients from across the globe taking part.”

Made in around 1850 and depicting Bacchus, the brooch reproduces part of a 3rd Century AD mosaic now in the Capitoline Museums portraying theatrical masks which decorated the Thermae Decianae.

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Susan Rumfitt

For the past decade Ms Rumfitt has focussed on her showroom in Harrogate. Her return to the auction house is in collaboration with Dore & Rees auctioneers in Frome, Somerset.

Ms Rumfitt said:

“The first sale this week was vibrant and exciting, and I’m absolutely thrilled with the results, especially the fabulous price we achieved for the Castellani brooch.

“The sale as a whole was strong with great interest in Victorian jewellery and also the emerald pieces proved very popular. We are now gathering for our next sale in December with some beautiful pieces already consigned.”


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