Gina Lollobrigida’s jewels steal the show at Sotheby’s Geneva
GENEVA, May 18, 2013 – In an electric atmosphere at Sotheby’s Geneva on May 14, outstanding pieces from the collection of international screen legend Gina Lollobrigida sold for a combined total of CHF 4,741,500 ($4,962,122) (est. CHF 1.8-3.1 million/ $1.9-3.2 million).
An exceptional pair of natural pearl and diamond pendant earrings – said to have belonged to the historic collection of the House of Habsburg – which the actress wore on numerous landmark occasions in her career, sold for CHF 2,285,000 ($2,391,321) – an auction record for a pair of natural pearl ear pendants, beating the figure set by Elizabeth Taylor’s pearl earrings in 2011.
Buyers from around the world also clamoured for seminal pieces from the 1950s and 1960s by Bulgari. Ms Lollobrigida’s collection was the centrepiece of an epic auction of Magnificent and Noble Jewels which saw nearly 650 lots selling for a combined total of CHF 74,751,375 ($78,229,556) (est. CHF 46,982,000- 69,900,500 / $49,168,072- 73,152,970).
A 74.53 carat cushion shaped fancy yellow diamond formerly in the collection of the Persian Shah, Ahmed Shah Qajar also sold for CHF 2,853,000 ($2,985,750), establishing an auction record for a fancy yellow diamond and a record price per carat for a fancy yellow diamond ($40,061 per carat).
Speaking after the sale, Gina Lollobrigida said: “Jewels are meant to give pleasure and for many years I had enormous pleasure wearing mine. Many people tried to persuade me to sell them, but for a very long time I was unwilling.
“What changed, was seeing a little girl called Sofia suffering from a disorder, which could only be helped by stem cell treatment – treatment which she is unable to receive in Italy. Selling my jewels to help raise awareness of stem cell therapy, which can cure so many illnesses, seems to me a wonderful use to which to put them.
“It is my hope that the Italian parliament will approve this ground-breaking treatment, so that children and adults in Italy should have free access to it without having to travel abroad at great expense.
“It now gives me great pleasure to see that these jewels will create a legacy which will live on after me and continue to do good.”