By Richard Brewster, on 02-Mar-2017

After 165 years, Australia’s oldest jeweller Kozminsky has closed while owner Kirsten Albrecht considers the next chapter in the company’s business development.

The forthcoming on site auction – from 11am Saturday March 4 at 421 Bourke Street, Melbourne – will be the largest single owner jewellery sale in Australia since the 1981 auction of the Claire McKinnon collection, with a conservative auction estimate of $1 million.

Amongst the offerings as leading Melbourne jeweller Kozminsky is farewelled is a Victorian Etruscan-style revival gold necklace with an $18,000-$24,000 estimate.

Amongst the offerings as leading Melbourne jeweller Kozminsky is farewelled is a Victorian Etruscan-style revival gold necklace with an $18,000-$24,000 estimate.

Organised through Leonard Joel (of which Kirsten’s brother John Albrecht is managing director), the auction has attracted widespread interest – particularly among long-standing Kozminsky clients.

Many of these had come to value the emphasis in recent years on individual handmade bespoke jewellery creations and antique pieces after the company had spent decades on a multi-faceted approach to general jewellery, art and objet d’art over the building’s three floors.

According to jewellery head John D’Agata, who spent 10 years working for Kozminksy before joining Leonard Joel, several days before the auction registrations had already reached the levels of a normal sale.

“Buyers are seriously questioning where they will now be able to obtain high quality bespoke jewellery,” he said.

D’Agata expects passionate and competitive bidding for the 600 lots on offer and strong hammer prices as buyers scramble to obtain a piece of Australian jewellery history.

“The public will want to buy a piece because they have grown up with the Kozminsky name,” he said.

There are plenty of fine quality pieces from which to choose including a Victorian Etruscan-style revival gold necklace with an $18,000-$24,000 catalogue estimate.

Other attractions include a Belle Epoch cameo brooch, a vintage aquamarine and diamond ring, a Tahitian pearl and diamond pendant, and a spinel and diamond ring.

Buyers also should be interested a star sapphire and diamond ring, a Victorian amethyst and gold riviere, a pair of antique diamond pendant earrings, a pair of vintage diamond and amethyst pendant earrings, and a suffragette amethyst, pearl and enamel ring.

Among the other creations is a golden sapphire and diamond ring, a vintage sapphire and diamond cluster ring, an important antique Australian gold buckle brooch, a pair of Jadette diamond, onyx and coral pendant earrings, and an impressive antique diamond fringe necklace with a $20,000-$30,000 catalogue estimate. 

Sale Referenced: The Kozminsky Collection, Leonard Joel Pty. Ltd., Melbourne, 04/03/2017

About The Author

Richard Brewster has been writing about the antiques and art auction industry for almost 20 years, first in a regular weekly column for Fairfax's The Age newspaper and also in more recent times for his own website Australian Auction Review. With 45 years experience as a journalist and public relations consultant, in 1990 Richard established his own business Brewster & Associates in Melbourne, handling a wide range of clients in the building, financial, antiques and art auction industries.