The Melbourne-based business ceased trading on 10 February after 165 years of operation.According to owner Kirsten Albrecht, the decision to close was based on ‘unforseen’ circumstances, including the rapidly changing retail market and the end of a 40-year lease on the Bourke Street store.
All remaining stock sold for AU$1.23 million at an auction conducted by Leonard Joel on 4 March.
Leonard Joel national head of jewellery John D’Agata said the sale, whereby 95 per cent of the pieces were purchased, was the most valuable single-owner jewellery auction held in Australia.
D’Agata attributed the auction’s success to the role that Kozminsky played in the Australian jewellery landscape.
“Kozminsky is Melbourne’s oldest registered business and Australia’s oldest continuously running jeweller,” he said. “The auction success was due to the high regard and respect that clients and buyers have for this iconic business and also the sentiment of owning a piece from this historic auction.”
The highest selling items included a sapphire and diamond ring and an art deco diamond riviere necklace, which both sold for AU$27,280.
Where to next?
According to D’Agata, a ‘revamped’ Kozminsky bricks-and-mortar store with a stronger online presence would launch later this year.
“The sell-down of the entire stock and trade of Kozminsky will pave the way for a new era for this Melbourne establishment,” D’Agata said.
Albrecht stated although the business’ social media platforms would continue, she was taking a sabbatical to ‘refresh and rethink’ what Kozminsky’s ‘next iteration’ would be.
She indicated that a physical store was still an important factor in selling jewellery.
“Our society needs beauty, and jewellery needs to be touched and felt,” Albrecht said, adding, “People need to share these joys and memories – online cannot replace that experience and trust.”
Polish immigrant Simon Kozminsky established Kozminsky in 1851. It was owned and operated by the Kozminsky family for more than 100 years until Albrecht’s father, Kurt Albrecht, purchased the business in the late 1960s.
A family affair
Past and present