Auctions season is having a momentum with Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction which will take place in Geneva next November 11.
Featuring over 390 lots, this auctions includes top quality gemstones, together with fascinating jewels of historical provenance, natural pearls and a number of creations by JAR. Here for the joy of you eyes, the auctions’ highlights.
One of the most outstanding pieces to be auctioned is A Bulgari Masterpiece: a pair of pear-shaped coloured diamond ear-pendants, set with a 6.95 carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond and a 6.79 carat Fancy Vivid pink diamond. The estimate here is of US$ 12,000,000-15,000,000.
The auction will also feature the forth largest faceted sapphire in the world the Blue Belle of Asia: a cushion shaped Ceylon sapphire of 392.52 carats (estimate US$ 7,000,000-10,000,000). This exceptional gemstone deserves a little bit of history.
Discovered in 1926 at Pelmadula, Ratnapura, in Ceylon, this splendid sapphire was then sold to the British motor magnate Lord Nuffield (1877-1963), founder of Morris Motor Limited, in 1937. The reasons behind his purchase of the sapphire was to be presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, on her Coronation Day on 12 May 1937.
Another exceptionally rare coloured stone which will be presented at the auction is the Queen of Burma, an impressive Burmese ruby of 23.66 carats, mounted by Cartier (estimate US$ 5,250,000-6,650,000).
Purchased at Cartier in London in November 1937 by His Highness the Maharao of Cutch (1866-1942), the present setting highlights once again the relationship between the European jeweller and the Indian Royalty of the time. This ruby does encompass the most cherished qualities one can look for in a gemstone: an attractive vivid pinkish red colour, an excellent purity, an impressive size and the finest origin.
An additional highlight in the exceptionally rare coloured gemstones includes this pear-shaped Very Light Pink diamond necklace of 40.48 carats – enchanting pale pink hues indeed:
Pearls will also have their relevant place at this auction.
The first jewel is this Art Deco diamond necklace suspending two natural pearls of great quality and exceptional cluster, measuring 16.0mm each:
Formerly in the collection of Baroness Edouard de Rothschild, this necklace features a pair of matching pearls of such a size and quality almost impossible to find. Estimate US$ 700,000-1,000,000).
A perfect match to this necklace would be this pair of diamond ear pendants, with two magnificent drop-shaped natural pearls weighing more than 100 grains each (estimate US$ 2,800,000-3,500,000):
Tops are signed HW for Harry Winston.
Let us end this glittering highlights gallery with a couple of historically important jewels.
The first one, and to me the most remarkable, is the legendary “Feuilles de Groseillier” brooch (estimate US$ 1,900,000-2,900,000):
The Feuilles de Groseillier brooch, part of one of the most beautiful parures of the 19th century, was commissioned by Empress Eugenie to Bapst Jewellers in 1855. It is designed as a cluster of three openwork currant leaves centering upon a larger cushion-shaped diamond, suspending three detachable articulated pampilles, set throughout with old mine-cut diamonds. Of exquisite design, this jewel is a stunning example of the exceptional quality of the creations of Bapst Jewellers.
The French Crown Jewels once constituted one of the largest jewellery collections in the world, but very few examples in original condition survived to this day. It is therefore extremely rare for a jewel of such historic importance to be offered for sale.
Finally, one of the best examples of Cartier’s iconic style: a Tiger bangle and brooch, now property of Sarah Brightman, and formerly in the legendary collection of the Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson. The two jewels are offered as one lot, with an estimate of US$ 1,800,000-2,500,000. Parts of the proceed will benefit the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.
To say it with Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Christie’s Jewellery:
With one of the largest and most important sapphires in the world from private hands, A Bulgari Masterpiece, iconic Cartier jewels from the Duchess of Windsor, natural pearls that were once in the collection of Baroness Edouard de Rothschild, and Empress Eugenie’s Feuilles de Groseillier brooch, Christie’s Geneva is proud to present the finest and best jewels in the world on November 11
To be continued, with my personal selection from the auction’s catalogue.
Material courtesy of Christie’s Press Office.
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Beautiful painting of the empress