Christie's announces highlights included in the Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale

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Christie's announces highlights included in the Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale
Van Cleef & Arpels Coral and Chrysoprase Sautoir, Ring and Earrings Suite, Estimate: CHF60,000-90,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2022.

GENEVA.- Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale on 11 May 2022 will offer a superb selection of historic and modern jewellery, alongside two diamonds that are each considered among the most exceptional gemstones to ever appear at auction.

Headlining the sale at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues is THE ROCK (estimate: CHF19,000,000-30,000,000), at 228.31 carats, it is the largest white diamond ever seen throughout auction market history.

Returning to Christie’s saleroom for a third time since its mining in 1901 is The Red Cross Diamond (estimate on request). This diamond was first sold at Christie’s in 1918, when the intense yellow cushion-shaped diamond weighing 205.07 carats first captivated collectors by being offered as part of the Red Cross Appeal. The Red Cross Diamond lives up to its celebrated history by once again being offered to benefit the International Committee of the Red Cross.

“For nearly half a century, our family has had the privilege of safeguarding the Red Cross diamond. Since it was first brought to market in 1918, the legacy of this symbol of humanity has always been the support of communities ravaged by war, famine and other hardships endured by people across the world. At this auspicious moment in history, we honour the call others have made before us. In collaboration with Christie’s, we are pleased to offer The Red Cross Diamond for sale with a share of the proceeds to be donated to the great institution whose name it bears. We further dedicate this sale to the tireless efforts of the volunteers of the International Committee of the Red Cross and are privileged to support their cause”, added the consignor of The Red Cross Diamond.

Max Fawcett, Head of Department, Jewellery, Geneva: “We are delighted to present the Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction led by THE ROCK, the largest ever white diamond to be offered at auction and a landmark moment in the market. Alongside this the legendary Red Cross Diamond, which has supported those enduring hardships since it was sold at Christie’s Red Cross Appeal in 1918, is offered with a share of the proceeds to be donated to the International Committee of the Red Cross. With the very best quality gemstones, jewels from noble provenance and iconic designs, the auction represents an exciting opportunity for our international collectors this season.”

The sale includes exceptional tiaras from the 19th and 20th centuries, among them the Fürstenberg Tiara (estimate: CHF400,000-600,000), a pearl and diamond tiara bearing the mark of the famous Austrian jeweller Gustav Flach. This exemplary piece of jewellery craftsmanship belonged to H.S.H. The Princess of Fürstenberg, née Countess Irma of Schönborn Buchheim (1867-1948), a member of one of the pre-eminent aristocratic families in the Habsburg Empire. A letter in the Fürstenberg archives, headed by jeweller Flach Mediansky & Paltscho, explains the many ways in which the tiara can be transformed, from a complete tiara appropriate for the court balls of Viennese high society to more moderate styling of the pearls, while the diamond motives can be worn as a necklace, brooch or hair pins.

Also presented is a Belle Epoque emerald and diamond tiara, attributed to Marzo (estimate: CHF150,000-200,000). Born in Spain, Lorenzo Marzo moved to Paris and registered his own jewellery brand in 1901. Located first in Rue Saint-Honoré and later Rue de la Paix, his Belle Epoque creations are distinguished by their elegance and fashionable taste.

An important selection of Jewels by JAR showcase Mr. Rosenthal’s superior craftsmanship and passion for innovation and design including a sapphire bracelet of 27.37 carats (estimate: CHF60,000-80,000) and a pair of multi-gem 'disc' pendent earrings (estimate: CHF120,000 – 150,000). In 2013 the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art held a retrospective of Mr. Rosenthal’s work, marking the first time a living jeweller has been granted this honour. A pair of sphalerite and diamond 'hard-boiled egg' earrings, 2011, (estimate: CHF160,000-220,000), which were included in the exhibition, will highlight the auction offering.

Signed jewels include a Harry Winston necklace featuring a Columbian emerald of 40.41 carats surrounded by pear-shaped and brilliant-cut diamonds (estimate: CHF1,900,000-3,000,000), a Bulgari emerald, diamond and gold ‘Serpenti’ bracelet-watch (circa 1965, estimate: CHF290,000-350,000) and a pair of sapphire and diamond earrings by Mouawad, comprising two cushion-shaped sapphires of 6.54 and 6.24 carats (estimate: CHF500,000-700,000). An exceptional Cartier Art Deco diamond bracelet (circa 1928, estimate: CHF2,000,000-3,000,000) will also be presented. The 1920s and 1930s are synonymous with timeless elegance, and the use of platinum in jewellery making at the beginning of the 20th century allowed for more freedom in design and was highly appreciated for its beauty and durability. At the time of the creation of this jewel, platinum had only been used in jewellery for approximately fifteen years; however Cartier’s workshop, one of the finest in Paris, quickly mastered the technique. The bracelet features the maker’s mark Henri Picq, one of Cartier’s most famous craftsman.

Jewels Online: The Geneva Edit | 4 to 18 May

Christie’s Jewels Online: The Geneva Edit features a broad selection of fine jewels and sought-after designs by renowned jewellers including Van Cleef & Arpels, Graff, Cartier, Boucheron and more. Offering a total of 249 lots, with estimates ranging from CHF400 to 120,000, the sale presents an exciting opportunity for collectors to acquire antique jewels, bold contemporary designs and vibrant gemstones.

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