By Brecken Branstrator
This gem silica chrysocolla and malachite carving of seahorses from master carver Gerd Dreher could sell for as much as $30,000 at Bonhams this month.
Los Angeles--Buyers will get a rare chance to own pieces from master gemstone carver Gerd Dreher this month.

The carvings will be featured as part of the Lapidary Works of Art, Gemstones, Minerals and Natural History auction scheduled to take place at Bonhams Los Angeles on May 17.

Dreher’s carvings are among the most sought-after in the lapidary world, Bonhams said, as he creates fewer than 10 carvings per year.

A gem silica chrysocolla carving of seahorses could sell for between $25,000 and $30,000. In addition to the green malachite and milky quartz that are exposed on the reverse side of the carved seahorses, the dorsal fins of the animals are set with 18-karat gold and small cabochon sapphires for the eyes.

Another Dreher piece featured in the sale is a four-color tourmaline carving of a tropical fish on a rock crystal quartz base. The fish measures eight inches across (roughly the size of a small dinner plate), Bonhams said, and has 18-karat gold fins.

It can be removed from the rock crystal quartz backdrop, which is of near-optical quality and reverse intaglio carved to depict a coral.

In addition to Dreher’s works, there will be a number of other significant gems and mineral in the sale.

The top lot of the auction is expected to be an exceptional pair of large non-nacreous orange pearls from the South China Seas. Weighing approximately 30.75 carats (16.01 by 15.96 mm) and 29.85 carats (15.82 by 15.62 mm), they could garner as much as $130,000.

There also will be a large rubellite tourmaline from Mozambique weighing 116.83 carats that is expected to sell for between $100,000 and $120,000.

Click through the slideshow to see the two Dreher pieces as well as some of the top overall lots of the sale.

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