Sotheby’s Geneva reports world record various-owner jewel sale
GENEVA, May 16, 2012 – Sotheby’s set a new world record of $108,377,219 for a various-owner jewellery sale on May 15, with the conclusion of its two-day Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels Sale, surpassing the record set by Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2010 of $105 million. Over the two days 24 lots sold for over $1 million.
The Beau Sancy, one of the most important royal diamonds ever to come to auction, sold for CHF 9,042,500 ($9,699,618). Together with the CHF 3,224,950 ($3,459,307) achieved by the jewels from the personal collection of Suzanne Belperron, the total for the May Jewellery auctions was CHF 104,298,625 ($111,836,526), almost doubling the pre?sale low estimate of CHF 54?85 million.
Marie de Medici wearing the Beau Sancy at her coronation in 1610 Frans II Pourbus the Younger © RMN-GP (Musée du Louvre) / Thierry Le Mage
Speaking after the sale, David Bennett, Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Department in Europe and the Middle East and Co?Chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland, said, “The legendary Beau
Sancy is a truly magical stone that has entranced generations of royal owners and continues to exert a powerful influence over all who see it.
“Its supreme historical importance was reflected tonight in the strength of the bidding and the remarkable result realised.”
The Beau Sancy
No less than five bidders competed for The Beau Sancy, driving the price to CHF 9,042,500 / $9,699,618, almost five times the pre?sale low estimate of CHF 1,850,000?3,650,000 ($2?4 million).
After a battle lasting nearly eight minutes, the celebrated jewel was finally bought by an anonymous buyer bidding over the telephone.
The Beau Sancy
The Beau Sancy has been the witness of 400 years of European history.
Passed down through the royal families of France, England, Prussia, and the House of Orange, the celebrated stone was worn by Marie de Medici in 1610 at her coronation as Queen Consort of Henri IV.
The 34.98 carat modified pear double rose cut diamond would have come from the area of Golconda in India, the sole source of diamonds until the discoveries in Brazil in the 1720s.
Continuing Sotheby’s distinguished history of offering jewels with aristocratic provenance, Sotheby’s sixth annual sale of Noble Jewels in Geneva brought a combined total of CHF 23,196,025 ($24,881,680), tripling the pre-sale low estimate of CHF 7,022,500?11,705,000 ($7.532.825?12,555,602).
In addition to the Beau Sancy, the Noble Jewels section was highlighted by The Murat Tiara which realised CHF 3,610,500 ($3,872,875), in an 11-minute bidding battle between three telephone bidders, roughly double its pre?sale low estimate of CHF 1,375,000?2,285,000 ($1,500,000?2,500,000).
This pearl and diamond jewel was created in 1920 by Joseph Chaumet for the marriage of Prince Alexandre Murat (1889 –1926) to Yvonne Gillois (1894 – 1961). The diadem boasts one of the largest natural pearls ever recorded, at 303.37 grains.
As stated by the SSEF laboratory, “the main pearl in the center is outstanding in its size and one of the most important pearls certified so far at the SSEF” and “natural pearls of this size, quality and with a documented historic provenance are very rare and thus the described tiara with three large pearls represents a very exceptional treasure”.
Among the other gems of great historical significance which belonged to prestigious European families was a diamond brooch set with a 7.33 carat Fancy deep yellow diamond coming from the collection of Prince Filippo Corsini, which fetched CHF 902,500 ($968,085), (est. CHF 275,000?460,000/ $300,000?500,000).
The central diamond was offered to the Corsini family by Charles Edward Stuart (1720 – 1788), commonly known as “Bonnie Prince Charlie” in the 1770s, most certainly in gratitude for their support during his years of exile.
From the Estate of the late Prince Kinsky, an Important natural pearl and diamond necklace made circa 1880 achieved CHF 1,142,500 ($1,225,525), quadrupling its pre?sale low estimate of CHF 275,000–460,000 / $300,000–500,000).
Enjoying a similarly illustrious provenance, a selection of jewels coming from the
collection of a member of the Princely Family of Thurn und Taxis was highlighted by a very fine emerald and diamond demi?parure, composed of a necklace and a pair of earrings, which was purchased by Albert, 8th Prince of Thurn und Taxis around 1890.
Estimated at CHF 200,000?300,000/ $220,000?330,000, these superb jewels were sold for CHF 962,500 ($1,032,445).
A fine sapphire and diamond brooch/pendant circa 1910, which belonged to the Italian Countess Adriana Guillichini della Gherardesca, was sold for CHF 386,500 ($414,587) (est. CHF 185,000?370,000/$200,000?400,000)
The Magnificent Jewels section was led by two necklaces from a royal collection. The first, a necklace suspending a detachable pear?shaped D colour diamond weighing 41.40 carats (lot 734) achieved CHF 4,050,000 ($4,344,314) against an estimate of CHF 2,750,000?4,550,000 ($3,000,000?5,000,000).
The necklace was purchased by Amer Radwan who has named it “Dubai Vision”.
The second, a magnificent emerald and diamond necklace designed by Bulgari circa 1970, sold for CHF 2,200,000 ($2,359,874) against an estimate of CHF 1,400,000?2,800,000 ($1,500,000?3,000,000).
The sale comprised a group of white diamonds which were D Colour ? the finest colour grading for white diamonds.
An exceptional diamond ring by Harry Winston set with a 36.43 carat internally flawless diamond, achieved CHF 3,834,500 ($4,113,153) (est. CHF 3,200,000?5,000,000/ $3,550,000?5,500,000).
This stone had been found to be part of the rare Type IIa subgroup comprising less than 2 percent of all gem diamonds.
Diamonds of this group are chemically the purest of all diamond crystals and often have extraordinary optical transparency.
The offering of coloured diamonds included an important ring centering on a fancy intense purple?pink brilliant?cut diamond weighing 3.71 carats, between shoulders set with marquise?shaped rubies , which fetched CHF 5,122,500 ($5,494,752 USD) against an estimate of CHF 1,850,000?3,650,000/ $ 2,000,000?4,000,000).
A Superb Private Collection of Gems and Jewels
At the core of the sale was also a superb private collection of gems and jewels which brought a combined total of CHF 17,648,325 ($18,889,002) almost doubling the pre?sale low estimate of CHF 9,059,000?14,288,500 ($9,695,848?15,292,982).Comprising over 80 pieces, this exceptional collection has been assembled by two
generations of a family, from the mid?1960s until the present day.
Reflecting the passion for gemstones that animated the family for 50 years was a pair of impressive Kashmir sapphire clips, which sold for CHF 1,482,500 ($1,586,720) (est. CHF 825,000?1,370,000/ $900,000?1,500,000), a ring set with a cabochon Burmese sapphire weighing 58.56 carats , which made CHF 1,314,500 ($1,406,909) (est. CHF 730,000?1,275,000/ $800,000?1,400,000) and a very rare multi?coloured sapphire and diamond suite which surpassed its estimate of CHF 550,000?910,000 and sold for CHF 1,482,500 ($1,586,720).
“White Glove” Sale for the Personal Collection of Suzanne Belperron
On May 14th all 60 Jewels from the Personal Collection of Suzanne Belperron (1900?1983), one of the most important jewellers of the 20th Century, sold for the outstanding total of CHF 3,224,950 ($3,459,307), more than tripling the pre?sale expectation of CHF 902,000?1,365,000.The sale – the most significant collection of jewels by Suzanne Belperron ever presented at auction ? was a “white glove sale”, with 100 percent sold by lot and value.
Demand for seminal pieces from Belperron’s oeuvre was intense with international bidding driving prices well above estimates.