Christie’s to sell exquisite pearls and diamonds at Geneva auction
GENEVA, April 13, 2009 – Christie’s will hold its 85th jewellery sale in Switzerland on 13 May at the Four Seasons, Hotel des Bergues, featuring a fine selection of over 200 lots including unique natural pearls, carefully selected diamonds, as well as beautiful jewels signed by the renowned jewellery houses throughout Europe during the most sought after periods of the 1920s to the modern day.
Pearls of wisdom
Natural pearls have long been appreciated and sought after for their mystery and beauty, and this May Christie’s will offer a rare selection.
A stunning natural black pearl necklace with a diamond clasp by Cartier is a rarity both as a strand of natural pearls, and particularly for pearls of their colour (estimate SFr. 150,000-225,000).
Christie’s has a long history associated with selling natural coloured and black pearls. The most historic black pearl necklace ever to come under the hammer was the three rows of pearls belonging to Nina Dyer, wife of Baron Heinrich Thyssen, and sold by Christie’s in 1969 and again in 1997, latterly for $900,000.
A three-row white natural pearl necklace, also on a Cartier clasp (estimate: SFr 125,000 -190,000), exhibits the finest lustre, while a Belle Epoque bandeau set throughout with natural pearls is a true jewel (estimate: SFr. 32,000-42,000).
Of slightly later date, a pair of pearl and diamond ear pendants exhibit a triangular geometry characteristic of the Art Deco period to which they date (estimate: SFr. 75,000-100,000).
Christie’s will offer an exquisite rectangular-cut diamond ring weighing 30.52 carats. It is the most desirable D colour and is flawless in clarity, of excellent symmetry and polish and no fluorescence (estimate on request).
Another diamond offered for sale weighing over 30 carats, is a pear-shaped, D colour, internally flawless clarity stone set also as a ring, but this time by Cartier (estimate: SFr. 2,500,000-3,000,000).
The sale also includes two important diamonds both in the 20 carat-range. One is a 20.46 cts, rectangular-cut and D color diamond ring (estimate: SFr. 1,250,000-1,750,000) which is accompanied by a note from the Gemological Institute of America that this diamond is a Type II a, the ‘ Golconda ‘ type, labelling it as the purest diamond type known.
The second highly desirable stone is a 20.02 cts oval-shaped fancy vivid yellow diamond set as a pendant which can be also worn as a brooch (estimate: SFr. 1,200,000-1,600,000).
The Mystery of VC&A
The great French maison Van Cleef & Arpels is renowned for its technical ingenuity.
Established over a century ago, the famous jewellery house has received many accolades for innovation, including a ‘mystery setting’ technique developed during the early 1920s and eventually patented by the company in 1933.
The technique uses an extremely fine platinum net which acts as a railing for the gems so that there are no visible claws clinging to the stones, resulting in a perfect and seamless ripple of rubies or sapphires.
The mystery setting is one of Van Cleef & Arpels’ signature creations, and as part of Two Fine Collections of Van Cleef & Arpels, Christie’s Geneva offers two of these highly sought after masterpieces.
The ruby and diamond ‘Pavot’ clip brooch appears almost animated with movement (estimate: SFr. 90,000-120,000), whilst the sophisticated diamond and sapphire
‘Deux Feuilles’ brooch curls round at the edges with a life-like quality (estimate: SFr. 50,000-80,000).