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Fine Jewelry & Timepieces

James H. Winn
14K yellow gold pendant necklace on an original chain with black opal, seed pearls, and chrysoprase

The Fine Jewelry & Timepieces Department offers antique, vintage, modern, and contemporary fine jewelry and timepieces in many of its auctions. The department has a particular interest in early 20th Century Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau jewelry and has sold many items bringing record prices in this collecting category. Vice President and Senior Specialist John Walcher has lectured on Chicago Arts & Crafts Movement jewelry, focusing on The Kalo Shop and its contemporaries.

As part of the former Treadway Toomey Auctions partnership, the Fine Jewelry and Timepieces Department helped curate two single-owner auctions in 2016 entitled A Passion for Collecting: Fine Timepieces, Erotica and Decorative Arts from the Estate of Candice B. Groot, Parts I and II. The two sales combined realized over $2M, with an 18th-century pocket watch by the celebrated English watchmaker James Cox selling for $73,200.

On May 5, 2019, Toomey & Co. offered items fromĀ The Paul & Terry Somerson Collection of 20th and 21st Century Metalwork and Jewelry. This carefully curated, single-owner catalog sale drew on the largest private collection of American Arts & Crafts metalwork and jewelry. The auction achieved over $650K in 500 lots of a relatively niche collecting category with an astounding 93% sell-through rate. Among several highlights, a pendant necklace (pictured) by Chicago’s renowned Kalo Shop made of 14K yellow gold, blister pearl, and dog tooth pearl realized $20,000.

Contact a Specialist

John P. Walcher

Vice President
Senior Specialist

[email protected]


John P. Walcher, a Vice President of Toomey & Co. Auctioneers, is a Senior Specialist in the Fine Jewelry & Timepieces Department and joined the company in 2013. John was raised in Springfield, Illinois and holds a degree in Biology from Western Illinois University. Prior to and since joining the company, he has assisted with numerous consignments from important private collections, estates, and institutions.

While at Toomey & Co., John has helped oversee many important collections including: the Robert and Elaine Dillof Collection, the Warshawsky Collection, the Estate of Candice B. Groot, the Estate of Robert E. Beck, the collection of Governor Jim Thompson, and the Estate of Robert E. “Butch” McGuire, among others. He also managed the sale of deaccessioned objects from the Art Institute of Chicago.

John has been in the auction industry since 2000 and long held a passion for the fine and performing arts. He is currently a member in the following organizations: Sustaining Fellows at the Art Institute of Chicago, Antiquarian Society at the Art Institute of Chicago, New York Silver Society, Irish Georgian Society, Joffrey Auxiliary Board (chairman emeritus), Advisory Board of Common Threads, Central Illinois Numismatic Association (life member), and the Illinois State Museum Society (life member).

In addition to being a Vice President and Senior Specialist, John is a licensed auctioneer and acts as the primary auctioneer for Toomey & Co. He also regularly assists many charitable organizations by offering his services as a professional auctioneer.

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