Christie’s to present two exceptional historic jewels at NY sale
Catherine the Great Emerald and Diamond Brooch
March 19, 2010 – Christie’s will present two exceptional historic jewels at a sale in New York on April 22 – the Emperor Maximilian Diamond and the Catherine the Great Emerald and Diamond Brooch.
“This April we will present two legendary gems not seen in public for decades – the Emperor Maximilian Diamond of 39.55 carats and the Catherine the Great Emerald and Diamond Brooch, set with a Colombian emerald of over 60 carats,” said Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewellery at Christie’s New York.
The Emperor Maximilian Diamond (estimate: $1-1.5 million) is one of two large diamonds the Archduke Maximilian acquired in Brazil in 1860, in the years just before he was named Emperor of Mexico at Napoleon’s urging.
In 1866, under pressure from the United States, Napoleon backed away from financial and military support for Maximilian, effectively abandoning him. Soon thereafter, republican forces captured and court-marshalled the young emperor and sent him before the firing squad.
Emperor Maximilian Diamond
Legend holds that Maximilian was wearing the Emperor Maximilian Diamond in a small satchel tied around his neck when he was executed.
Also highlighting the April 22 sale is the stunning Catherine the Great Emerald and Diamond Brooch (estimate: $1-1.5 million).
The brooch centres on a hexagonal-cut Colombian emerald of exceptional quality weighing between 60 and 70 carats. Uniquely precious and suited for imperial elegance, the emerald is set within rows of rose and old mine-cut diamonds and mounted in silver-topped gold.
This Imperial gem originally belonged to Catherine II of Russia, who ascended to the Russian throne in 1762.