On May 18, Christies
will hold its Spring auction of Magnificent Jewels at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. More than 280 lots estimated in excess of CHF 110 million will be offered in Geneva, including the spectacular Oppenheimer Blue diamond and the Superb Jewels from the collection of H.S.H. Gabriela Princess zu Leiningen. Exceptional jewels from noble, private and important collections, as well as prestigious examples of 19th Century, Belle Epoque, Art Déco, Rétro and Contemporary jewellery designs will dominate the sale.
Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Jewellery: It is a privilege to offer jewellery spanning from spectacular 19th Century examples to more contemporary designs. To present together a selection of the Superb Jewels from the Collection of H.S.H. Gabriela Princess zu Leiningen, alongside the largest fancy vivid blue diamond to be offered at auction and a private collection of 36 jewels mainly by Van Cleef & Arpels, is incredibly rare and the perfect start to the 250th anniversary of Christies.
THE ORIENTAL SUNRISE
Fancy Vivid Orange-Yellow 12.20 & 11.96 carat
A rough diamond displaying promising orange coloration is rare and elusive. As a result, when such a diamond is uncovered, its identity and origin are often held as closely guarded secrets. Historically however, orange diamonds have been known to occur in localities producing other fancy-color diamonds, such as Brazil, India, various African sources, and the island of Borne in Indonesia. The magical occurrence of a perfectly matched pair with vivid orange-yellow color and saturation makes these diamonds incredibly unique (estimate: CHF 9,500,000-12,500,000).
It is believed that diamond mining in India began during the 4th century BC and was the only source of diamonds for about 2000 years, until new mines were discovered in Brazil in 1725 and then in South Africa in 1866. Chemically pure, Golconda diamonds are limpid and have a very high degree of transparency and brilliance, setting them apart from all other diamonds. The pink diamond, weighing approximately 11.49 carats, is a fine example of the charming and beautiful stones that came from this Golconda region (estimate: CHF 1,000,000-1,500,000).
Other outstanding diamonds includes a pair of fancy intense blue rectangular-cut diamonds weighing approximately 3.02 and 2.50 carats (estimate: CHF 3,500,000-5,500,000) and a fancy bluish-green diamond ring of 7.58 carats (estimate: CHF 1,300,000-1,800,000).
WITH NOBLE PROVENANCE
In addition to the 46 jewels from the collection of H.S.H Gabriela Princess zu Leiningen the auction offers several further exceptional lots with Royal provenance.
Formerly in the collection of Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain is this beautiful ruby and diamond brooch which formed part of a splendid parure (estimate CHF 50,000-80,000). Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain was the daughter of Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, youngest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. It is interesting to note that Queen Victoria recalls in her journal receiving the ruby and diamond parure from Prince Albert in 1849.
The superb Art Déco tiara by Cartier is the property of a noble Lady. Every time an Art Déco Cartier jewel comes up at auction, it shines with its refinement and elegance. As well as being the golden age of Cartier design, the 1920s and 1930s are synonymous with timeless elegance. What is striking in this jewel is the strong design of stylized fountains. The diamond-set graduated arches are representative of the elegant repetitive style that characterized the Art Déco period (estimate: CHF 200,000-300,000).
A 128.10 carat inscribed Mughal Spinel Bead has been consigned for sale by a Royal Family. In India pearls and spinels tended to be worn by the ruler and his most intimate circle. Many of these stones were inscribed with the names of Mughal emperors, some bearing personalized inscriptions in the names of Jahangir, his son Shah Jahan or later owners. It is known that Jahangir was a great connoisseur of gems and his passion for gems was continued by his son, Shah Jahan. The Spinel Bead presented here is a true treasure of nature due to its size, shape and natural pinkish-red colour as well as excellent purity, and its great historical provenance dating all the way back to 1609 and Jahangir Shah Akbar Shah, before being passed on to his son Shah Jahan (estimate: CHF 200,000-300,000).
An important private collection made up of 36 pieces predominantely by Van Cleef & Arpels showcases a wide variety of spectacular jewels from affordable cocktail rings (estimate: CHF 15,000-20,000) to a breathtaking D-colour diamond ring of 25.94 carats (estimate: CHF 2,500,000-3,000,000), amongst many other classical and timeless designs.
Another private collector fascinated by Cartier Panthers will offer seven pieces from her collection. The highlight of this group is a diamond and onyx double panther bangle entirely pavé-set with diamonds (estimate: CHF 250,000-350,000).
A unique Tutti-Frutti Inde Mystérieuse bracelet is offered on behalf of a Lady. It is based upon the Cartier Tutti-Frutti production of the 1920s and whilst this bracelet is a later model from 2007, it epitomizes the classic Cartier design (estimate CHF 550,000-650,000).
THE MAKERS OF THE 19th CENTURY
The Belgian goldsmith Louis Wolfers founded Wolfers Frères in 1834. Only 131 unique pieces were made and one of these, a glycines tour-de-cou, by Philippe Wolfers, made in 1900 and designed as five alternating carved watermelon tourmaline and opal wisterias, between purple and green plique-àjour enamel scrolling leaf clusters will be offered for sale with an estimate of CHF 50,000-80,000.
Gustave Baugrand was pivotal in the first Egyptian Revival of the 19th century. The exquisite Egyptian revival pendant offered for sale is a very fine example of Egyptian inspired jewellery produced by the house, and has been referenced many times since it was first presented at the Paris World Fair of 1867. The magnificent enamel work and craftsmanship makes it an extremely rare piece of exceptional quality that would be worthy of any museum (estimate: CHF 150,000-250,000).