Charles de Temple was born in Mexico in 1929 and was brought up as part of the famous Ringling Brothers Circus, touring across America. 

Having initially become a nightclub singer, he became a jeweller based in Massachusetts. In 1957 he moved to London, and during the 1960s he grew to become one of the pioneers of the modern British jewellery movement. De Temple was known for his unique designs and technical ability to handcraft gold.

De Temple's jewels are often large, flamboyant and sculptural statement pieces – as evident in the lots offered in this sale. This style led to high demand for his work in 'swinging' London from the 1960s, resulting in notable high-profile commissions. These included two one off commissions for James Bond films: he made the goldfinger that Honour Blackman wore at the Goldfinger (1962) premiere, and he also designed the ring Bond (George Lazenby) gave to Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).

The pieces by De Temple offered in this sale were collected in the 1980s and include some of his signature designs, such as the 'wrapped' pearl necklace (Lot 153), and reflect how the modern British jewellery movement progressed.


Lot 150. A cultured pearl, seed pearl, diamond and gold bracelet/watch, by Charles de Temple, 1987. Estimate £ 3,000 - 5,000 (€ 3,500 - 5,800)© Bonhams 2001-2019.

The graduating series of bicoloured 18 carat gold plaques decorated with paisley-motifs, baroque-shaped pearls and brilliant-cut diamonds, beadwork detail throughout, the central case opening to reveal a rectangular dial, with baton numerals, on a multi-strand seed pearl bracelet, diamonds approximately 2.30 carats total, clasp signed CdeT and with London hallmark, case with European convention mark and Swiss assay mark, length 18.0cm.


Lot 151. A cultured mabé pearl and diamond brooch, by Charles de Temple, circa 1980. Estimate £ 1,500 - 2,500 (1,700 - 2,900)© Bonhams 2001-2019.

The openwork cartouche of astrological inspiration, set with a cultured mabé pearl, brilliant-cut diamonds, with beadwork detail and a textured bicoloured finish, unsigned, length 5.5cm.


Lot 152. An onyx, emerald and diamond brooch/pendant, by Charles de Temple, circa 1985. Estimate £ 3,000 - 4,000 (€ 1,700 - 2,900)© Bonhams 2001-2019.

The bicoloured v-shaped pendant of mesh design, set with buff-top onyx in quatrefoil surrounds, cabochon emeralds and onyx and marquise-cut diamonds, suspending a pear-shaped onyx and pear-shaped emerald drop, the sculptural shoulders highlighted with brilliant-cut diamonds and pear-shaped and marquise-cut emeralds, accompanied by pendant and brooch fittings, signed Charles de Temple, length 10.2cm.


Lot 153. A cultured pearl, onyx and diamond necklace, by Charles de Temple, circa 1980Estimate £ 4,000 - 6,000 (4,600 - 6,900)© Bonhams 2001-2019.

The collar necklace designed as four strands of cultured pearls, varying from cream to silver tints, alternating with onyx and pavé-set brilliant-cut diamond roundels, each 'wrapped' in textured abstract mounts, with additional link fitting, unsigned, length shortest strand 31.6cm, additional link 4.1cm.


Lot 154. Two cultured pearl necklaces, by Charles de Temple, circa 1985. Estimate £ 4,000 - 6,000 (€ 4,600 - 6,900)© Bonhams 2001-2019.

Each designed as a row of 'wrapped' baroque cultured pearls interspersed by trios of baroque shaped cultured pearl clusters secured with 'tendrils' and beaded detail, unsigned, lengths: 57.2cm, 37.8cm, maker's case.



Lot 155. A 16.50 carats Sri Lankan sapphire and diamond ring, and a diamond-set ring, by Charles de Temple, 1985. Estimate £ 8,000 - 12,000 (9,300 - 14,000)© Bonhams 2001-2019.

The detachable collet-set oval-cut sapphire within a pear-shaped and brilliant-cut diamond and pear-shaped sapphire tassel surround, the shank with beadwork detail; together with a separate ring mount of arched design formed of overlaid bicoloured batons with brilliant-cut diamond highlights, and a brilliant-cut diamond tassel, principal sapphire approximately 16.50 carats, diamonds approximately 2.55 carats total, one ring signed CdeT, London hallmark, ring size I½ and J, maker's case.

Accompanied by a screwdriver for detaching the principal sapphire fitting which can be interchanged with the fittings in Lots 156 and 157.

Accompanied by a report from The Gem & Pearl Laboratory stating that the sapphire is of Sri Lankan origin, with no evidence of heat treatment. Report number 16873, dated 19 February 2019.



Lot 156. A gold, sapphire and diamond brooch/pendant, by Charles de Temple, circa 1985. Estimate £ 4,000 - 6,000 (€ 4,600 - 6,900)© Bonhams 2001-2019.

Formed of bicoloured overlapping batons, highlighted with oval-cut and cabochon sapphires, suspending three pear-shaped diamond drops, with scattered brilliant-cut diamonds and beadwork detail, diamonds approximately 2.80 carats total, signed Charles de Temple, length 7.6cm.

The central oval fitting is detachable and can be interchanged with the fittings in Lots 155 and 157.



Lot 157. A gold and diamond necklace, by Charles de Temple, 1985. Estimate £ 5,000 - 7,000 (€ 5,800 - 8,100)© Bonhams 2001-2019.

The undulating collar composed of a series of graduating overlaid bicoloured 18 carat gold 'baton' link sprays, the front section suspending pear-shaped diamond drops, each link alternating between triangular shaped spacers, with scattered marquise-cut and brilliant-cut diamond highlights and beadwork detail throughout, diamonds approximately 5.00 carats total, signed CdeT, London hallmark, length 16.5cm, maker's case.

Note: The oval fitting in the central plaque is detachable and can be interchanged with the fittings in Lots 155 and 156.

This necklace is part of a series Charles de Temple called 'nervous jewels', that were prickly sculptural constructions created from bicoloured gold wire. 

A similar example can be found in the collection of The National Museum of Scotland.


Lot 158. Three gold necklaces, by Charles de Temple, circa 1983. Estimate £ 1,500 - 2,000 (€ 1,700 - 2,300)© Bonhams 2001-2019.

Each of similar bicoloured paisley design, the first single chain set with marquise-cut diamond highlights, the second a single chain, the third a three-row chain, together with an additional link joining the two single chains into a longchain, two signed CdeT, London hallmarks, three-row chain unmarked, lengths: first 41.2cm, second 45.0cm, third 35.7cm, additional link 9.8cm.


Lot 159. A diamond and sapphire pendant, by Charles de Temple, 1977. Estimate £ 8,000 - 12,000 (€ 9,300 - 14,000)© Bonhams 2001-2019.

The circular openwork pendant depicting flora and fauna, set with a brilliant-cut diamond, weighing 3.41 carats, and pavé-set circular-cut sapphires and brilliant-cut diamonds, mounted in 18 carat bicoloured gold of matte, polished, and granulated finish, signed CdeT, London hallmark, length 8.4cm.

Accompanied by a report from IIDGR stating that the diamond is E colour, SI2 clarity. Report number 010000206458, dated 7 March 2019.

Bonhams. LONDON JEWELS, 30 Apr 2019, 13:00 BST - LONDON, NEW BOND STREET