Michele della Valle Online Results: How Sotheby’s Fared in this New Venture

Sotheby’s first online auction dedicated to a single designer, Michele della Valle ended last Monday. In this post I will look at the results of the auction and what can be learned.

Non si può mai attraversare l’oceano se non si ha il coraggio di perdere di vista la riva.

The above saying in English is: You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.  That saying feels right when talking about the recent online fine jewelry auction held by Sotheby’s.  I will look at the sold versus unsold items and their statistics as a whole, then break it down by type and finally look at some individual pieces that did well at the auction. Also read my predictions and thoughts before the results here.

Sold vs. Unsold (All)

Out of the 111 items designed by Michele della Valle for this online auction only 66 sold. The percentage was 59% sold, 41% unsold. So over half meet the reserve and were sold. The items bid on meet reserve, but what were some of the basic statistics like average dollars of the sold item or number of bids? Below is a table answering that. Note dollars in Swiss Francs (CHF).

The average item sold for 7,884 and had about 6 bids. The most frequent price that sold was 7,500 and the lot had only 2 bids.

To get more detailed we need to look at the results by type.

Sold vs. Unsold (by type)

Above is a table with the counts of lots by type. Earrings were the biggest category at 44 out of 111 lots, next were brooches, then rings. Rings did very well, all but one lot were sold. A table below looks at it by percentage.

Only 38% of brooches sold, earrings saw 32% of their lots unsold. I’m looking more closely at types with ten or more lots to get a better feel of the category. I also looked at the min/max dollars for the sold lots.

Earrings had the largest range, going for as low as 3,000 CHF up to 27,500 CHF.

So, what were some of these high priced items?

Lot with the highest bid

That was a pair of earrings, lot 22, that sold for 27,500 CHF

Lot with the most bids

Lot 14 that had 24 bids, a blue topaz ring.

Piece highest above estimate

There are pieces that are unexpected in what they go for. In this auction a few types did better than others. A table with the break out below.

The rings did the best overall, being 1.6 times higher than the estimates. Earrings were next at 1.33 times. The piece that did better than estimated was lot 97, a pair of earrings that sold for 8.2 times above what Sotheby’s estimated. The final price sold was 21,500 CHF. The estimate was between 1800-2600.

Final thoughts

Obviously, the sale could have gone better, more pieces sold, bids higher, etc. Sotheby’s did a lot right in promoting this auction; they put the auction in their emails and had a video highlighting some pieces. What do I think they could have done better? Educating people on who Michele della Valle is and why his work is something that should be collected. Town and Country just put out about designers to collect, giving some context to where the market is going.

 

From my quote above, somethings you take those risks and swim out alone. Sometimes those risks work out and other times you need a life guard to steer you to a better path. If you are looking for some guidance in your small business strategy send me an email (data.inthe.rough@gmail.com). Let me know what you’re thinking of trying or challenges you are facing. Until then thank you for reading and I hope you return soon for more Data in the Rough!

Sotheby’s holds First Online-Only Auction of Michele della Valle Jewelry

If you follow my Instagram you probably have noticed I skew a little to the Italian designers. When I saw this auction of one of my favorite Italian jewelry designers, Michele della Valle I knew I would need to share it on my blog. I’m going to focus on what is being offered and what this type of auction means for the future of online auctions.

The Designer

Michele della Valle, opened his first shop in 1978 located in Rome. He work some with Bulgari before moving to Geneva in 1987. His work is frequently found in auction houses. I learned about him from seeing his work first hand at Christie’s and Sotheby’s. His work is not only inspired by nature but he likes to feature modern icons and pop culture references, like the Facebook ‘like’ pin below.

Lapis lazuli, enamel and diamond brooch, ‘I Like’

His jewelry is fun and bright. I imagine the designer as fun and not taking himself or his jewelry too seriously. Below are a few pieces from the auction that caught my eye. All photos from Sothebys.

Pair of cultured pearl, tsavorite garnet and ruby ear clips
Pair of tsavorite garnet and ruby ear clips, ‘Frogs’
Ruby and diamond ring
Pair of gem set and diamond pendent ear clips, ‘Fragoline’

The Auction

This is not only the first online-auction of Michele della Valle at Sotheby’s but I can not recall an auction dedicated to one designer. There are auctions of celebrities and personal collections of prominent people but not of a lone designer. Not only is this the first one dedicated to a designer, the auction house collaborated with him to create pieces to sell in this online auction.  I find that interesting. Sotheby’s has really been trying new ideas to get more interest in auctions. They even have had auctions with no buyer’s premium, which I love that idea. I’m not sure what the process was for picking Michele della Valle for this trial run in the online market, but I am excited to see how the auction turns out.

Gem set and diamond pendant, ‘Cat’

I have done a little analysis on what is being offered. I am only looking at lots and estimates, the auction does not close until October 1. Below is a table with the type of jewelry, number of lots, and minimum/maximum estimates. As you see earrings top the number of lots at 44 of 111 offered. I think this makes sense earrings are easier to fit than a ring. The prices range from $630-$21,000.  The currency is actually in Swiss Francs (CHF) but I converted to USD for this post.

 

 

Future Trends for Auctions

This auction I think will be the beginning of more collaborations between designers and auction houses. What does this mean to a designer that wishes to be involved in something like this? One, branding will be more important to a designer and an auction house wanting to entice collectors. Designers will need a strong social media presence and clearer branding to stand out from this saturated industry. Second, a better understanding of the customer in mind. I don’t know what went into creating and designing these pieces for the auction, but I guess that Sotheby’s and Michele della Valle had a sense of who they were designing for. If you do not know who your customer is selling to them will be very difficult and many resources will be wasted.

Opal, tsavorite and diamond brooch, ‘Koala’

If you need a better social media strategy or content to present, then send me an email to talk about ways to improve your business. I will follow up on this auction to see how these pieces fared. Have you heard of this designer? Has anyone read the book that came out in 2014 on his jewelry? If you are interested in bidding or seeing more Lots click here. Until then thank you for reading Data in the Rough!

Summertime Jewels: Analysis of Sotheby’s Online Auction

Summertime Jewels: Analysis of Sotheby’s Online Auction

Summer has its moments but I’m excited for the Fall auction season to begin! While I wait there are a few auctions happening now. I ran across an article the other day on Sotheby’s website about their Specialist Picks: 10 Stand Outs from Jewels Online. The jewels on auction belonged to Marjorie S. Fisher. For this post, I want to look at a few key points to learn more about the items on auction. Look at Sotheby’s top picks and then give you 5 of my favorites.

The auction as a whole

What to know:

  • 99 lots total
  • 18 are marked by a designer
  • 81 do not have a designer identified with it
  • Over 60% are estimating to sell between $5,000 -$12,000
  • Range of estimates $3,000-$60,000

Graph breaking down the types of jewelry by count of lots.

The biggest surprise is that only 1 ring is for sale. A colored diamond ring that is a top pick of Sotheby’s. Not sure if that is intentional or not. Besides that, the variety is very good in my opinion. Mrs. Fisher had an amazing collection so it is not hard to pick a great piece from all the options. So let’s see what the specialist picked!

Sotheby’s Picks

A nice variety of pieces but a little heavy on the diamonds and price. Two of the picks are estimating to go as high as $60,000 (the 2 lots at the end, 96 & 99). It is a good start for building a solid collection but Mrs. Fisher had some fun pieces that should also be considered.

My Picks

I went for more warm colors. It is summer! Corals, citrine and gold caught my eye. The Michele Della Valle coral and diamond necklace (lot 2) is all you need with a great summer dress to go out for evening events. My favorite piece is at the end, Lot 40 the Egyptian inspired ruby, emerald, sapphire, enamel and diamond brooch! Very unique even among Mrs. Fisher’s items.

The auction ends tomorrow so bid now! If you saw another item that you really liked but is not listed above please comment below and return soon for more Data in the Rough!