In a night where the big sale highlights failed, jewels with noble provenance and Art Deco treasures confirmed their charm.
The Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Geneva on 15 November: quite a fun event.
Following the excitement after the results obtained by Christie’s Magnificent Jewels the day before, with both de Grisogono Creation I (sold for $33,705,994) and Le Grand Mazarin diamond (sold for “only” $14,463,393, to my disappointment), I was personally expecting this auction’s highlights to excel.
Well, that was not the case. Sadly, three significant lots did not make it. The Raj Pink (estimated to fetch between $20 and $30 million) and the historical and fascinating Donnersmarck Diamonds (estimated at $9-14 million) did not take off.
It is quite difficult to understand what happened to the collectors who gathered from 50 Countries, and why these lots remained unsold. Commenting on the Raj Pink, Eden Rachminov, founder of the Fancy Color Research Foundation, who attended the auction, said: “The stone has a strong blue fluorescence, meaning it gives a glowing effect under ultraviolet light that reduces its popularity among some Chinese buyers.”
Out of the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels’ highlights, however, one star shone brightly.
It was a light pink diamond, full of grace, to set the world auction record.
The Superb Fancy Light Pink Diamond Ring by Harry Winston, circa 1970, weighing 33.63 carats and of Type IIa, went for $12,818,240 ($381,154 per carat). An exquisite gemstone, treasured by the same European noble family for over 45 years – which adds an aura of a fairy tale.
Among the highlights, another remarkable coloured diamond was this oval-modified Fancy Vivid Blue Internally Flawless diamond mounted as a ring by Moussaieff which, although not sold during the auction, was sold privately immediately after the session.
Jewels fit for a princess shining as the absolute sale protagonists
As Sotheby’s celebrates ten years of dedicated sales of jewels with royal and aristocratic provenance, the sale saw strong results for Noble Jewels.
Among notable highlights, two majestic jewels stood out. The first was a striking emerald and diamond necklace and earrings from the first half of the 19th century, formerly in the collection of the Duchess de Berry (1798-1870). It went for $1,657,138.
A second royal jewel was the magnificent emerald and diamond necklace from the collection of the Italian princely family Odescalchi, which totalled $1,085,501.
Art Deco keeps its glorious momentum
It is a moment of glory for Art Déco jewels, adored and sought after by collectors and connoisseurs worldwide.
To prove this, they featured strongly at Sotheby’s last Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels. Special mention goes to this beautiful ruby and diamond bracelet of geometric design by Cartier, circa 1935, which doubled the pre-sale estimate for $927,389.
A second superlative jewel was a stunning necklace created by Cartier around 1930, composed of a line of geometric motifs and supporting two richly coloured emerald briolettes. The necklace soared above estimate to $878,739.
Following the sale, David Bennet, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said:
“Today’s results show the strong and continued appetite from international collectors for jewels with aristocratic provenance, a category we launched ten years ago and which has gone from strength to strength since then. I am delighted to have set a new auction record this evening for a Fancy Light Pink diamond, exactly one year after the previous record, set here at Sotheby’s in Geneva. This is an exceptionally elegant stone, whose noble provenance also enhanced its value.”
Images courtesy of Sotheby’s