Sotheby’s Geneva sale sets world auction record for a ruby
GENEVA, November 13, 2014 – Sotheby’s Geneva sale of Magnificent & Noble Jewels on November 12 was led by the “Graff Ruby” from the Collection of Dimitri Mavrommatis.
The 8.62 carat cushion-shaped gemstone soared above estimate and set a world auction record for a ruby at CHF 8,285,000 ($8,600,410), as well as a record price per carat for a ruby at $997,727* when it sold to Laurence Graff (lot 470, est. CHF 6.5 – 8.56 million / $6.8 – 9 million)*.
This spectacular gemstone displayed the coveted “pigeon blood” red colour associated with the finest rubies from Mogok in Burma, arguably the rarest of all gemstones.
Another highlight of the evening was a natural pearl and diamond necklace formerly in the collection of Joséphine de Beauharnais, Queen of Sweden and Norway (1807-1876) and likely once the property of Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763-1814), first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte and Empress of the French. Comprising 111 pearls, the necklace achieved CHF 3,301,000 ($3,426,669) (lot 431, est. CHF 765,000-1,340,000 / $800,000-1,400,000).
David Bennett auctioneering the Graff Ruby
This result demonstrates the extraordinary appeal of natural pearls which often sold for many multiples of their estimates at the November 12 sale.
The sale also saw exceptional prices for fine diamonds, coloured gemstones and jewels signed by the world’s greatest makers, which brought the total to CHF 91,778,750 ($95,272,767), with 90.2% lots sold (est. CHF 59.2 – 90.2 million / $61.4 – 93.6 million).
Commenting on the results, David Bennett, Chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland and of the Jewellery Department for Europe and the Middle East, said: “The Graff Ruby mesmerizes all who view it. It is truly a gem among gems, and quite simply the greatest ruby of its size I have ever seen. The record price achieved tonight is also a tribute to the discerning eye of Dimitri Mavrommatis and his intense passion for beauty in all its forms.”
Shortly after the sale, Laurence Graff made the following statement: “It was a natural thing to do. Graff deals in the finest gemstones in the world and this is the finest ruby in the world. We are very proud to have it in our possession for the second time.”
Rare Gemstones & Spectacular Jewels from the Dimitri Mavrommatis Collection
At the heart of the sale was an ensemble of rare gemstones & beautiful jewels from the Dimitri Mavrommatis Collection.
All 16 lots found buyers and realised a combined total of CHF 26,840,000 ($27,861,799) (est. CHF 17.8-27.3 million / $18.5-28.3 million).
In addition to the Graff Ruby, the offering included a rare 27.54 carat step-cut Kashmir sapphire which exhibited a rich, saturated velvety blue colour and achieved CHF 5,765,000 ($5,984,474), a world auction record for a Kashmir sapphire (lot 468, est. CHF 2,86-5,71 million/ $3-6 million).
Testament to the collector’s educated eye were also several beautiful creations by two of the most respected contemporary jewellers, Graff and JAR.
JAR, the leading art jeweller of the last 50 years and an unrivalled master of colour, was represented by a pair of superb sapphire, ruby and diamond earrings which sold for CHF 557,000 ($578,205) (lot 463, est. CHF 385,000-670,000 / $400,000-700,000).
Jewels with Royal Provenance
The auction confirmed the strong demand for jewels of noble provenance and great historical importance among international collectors. In addition to Joséphine de Beauharnais’s necklace, the sale featured The “English Rose” diamond pendant, circa 1876, once the property of Queen Victoria of Great Britain, which made CHF 68,750 ($71,367) (lot 368, est. CHF 50,000-70,000 / $52,000-73,000).
An important Cartier Art Deco Collection
Vintage jewels drew attention thanks to a stunning collection of Art Deco jewels, objects and clocks by Cartier which surpassed pre-sale expectations. All 23 lots sold for a combined total CHF 3,037,000 ($3,152,619) (est. CHF 1.2-2.2 million / $1.3-2.3 million).Made in 1927, a rock crystal, mother-of-pearl, onyx and diamond “Model A” Mystery Clock found a buyer for CHF 605,000 ($628,032) (lot 453, est. CHF 240,000-430,000 / $250,000-450,000).
Records set on November 12, 2014:
World auction record price for a ruby
The ‘Graff Ruby’, Exceptionally Important Burmese Ruby weighing 8.62 carats (lot 470)
Sold for CHF 8,285,000 ($8,600,410)
Previous record set by a 29.62 carat oval Burmese ruby
Sold for $7,338,462 ($247,754 per carat) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in April 2014
World auction record price per carat for a ruby
The ‘Graff Ruby’, exceptionally important Burmese Ruby weighing 8.62 carats (lot 470)
Sold for CHF 8,285,000 ($8,600,410) ($997,727 per carat)
Previous record set by a 6.04 carat cushion-cut Burmese ruby
Sold for $3,331,380 ($551,553 per carat) at Christie’s Hong Kong in May 2012
World auction record price for a Kashmir sapphire
A rare and exceptional Kashmir sapphire weighing 27.54 carats (lot 468)
Sold for CHF 5,765,000 ($5,984,474)
Previous record set by a Kashmir sapphire weighing 28.18 carats
Sold for $5,093,000 ($180,731 per carat) at Sotheby’s New York in April 2014
World auction record for a Mystery Clock “Model A” by Cartier
A rock crystal, mother-of-pearl, onyx and diamond “Model A” Mystery Clock by Cartier (lot 453)
Sold for CHF 605,000 ($628,032)
Previous record set by an art Deco “Model A” Mystery Clock by Cartier
Sold for CHF 545,000 ($567,114) at Christie’s Geneva, 11 November 2014