Fine Jewelry to be Offered at Auction in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York – Bonhams & Butterfields, international fine arts auctioneers, bring exquisite diamonds and period jewelry to auction in Los Angeles and San Francisco on December 17, 2007. The firm’s Winter Fine Jewelry sale comprises nearly 200-lots and will be simulcast to the Bonhams New York salesroom.

Highlighting the December sale is a highly desirable French diamond and platinum rivière necklace (est. $350,000/550,000). The rivière necklace is considered a timeless design, of interest to collectors and those with classic tastes. The simplicity of the arrangement creates the aesthetic of a ring of floating diamonds around the wearer’s neck and directs a viewer’s focus on the diamonds themselves. The piece features 41 round brilliant-cut diamonds, each prong-set, with the central diamonds weighing as much as 5.51carats. The remainder of the diamonds taper in size and weight to an estimated 0.75 carats. The necklace has an estimated total diamond weight 53.50 carats with French assay marks. It comes to auction from the collection of Douce Isabelle François-Freitas.

Michael Larson, G.G., jewelry specialist in Bonhams & Butterfields’ Los Angeles salesrooms, said, “The necklace is an impressive collection of more than 40 very fine quality diamonds, and we do expect the interest to be international in this wonderful example.”

The late Douce Isabelle François-Freitas led a cosmopolitan life. Of Chilean and Argentinean descent, she was niece of Arturo and Patricia Lopez. She had an intense interest in the arts, artists and life in general, moving in exclusive yet ever-expanding social circles from Paris to London, to New York, Santiago and Buenos Aires.

She had met her husband Joseph Freitas in the 1970s through her good friend Rudolph Nureyev, and after two decades together they were married in Paris in 1993. According to press reports, the wedding was attended by “art world luminaries, pillars of society and dignitaries from across the globe.”

Joseph Freitas, Jr., was born and raised in California. As a young man, he became a White House Fellow and a rising star in the Democratic Party. In 1975 he was elected as District Attorney in San Francisco and during his tenure his office tried and convicted a City Supervisor who’d murdered San Francisco’s Mayor George Moscone and another City Supervisor. The conviction and sentencing that followed that case stands as one of California’s most significant rulings. It was followed by days and nights of civil unrest with a myriad of civil and social impacts. Mr. Freitas’ career as a public servant ended with his loss for reelection. He later ran a respected law office, living with his wife and his four children in Paris and San Francisco. She passed away in 2005, he in 2006.

Mrs. François-Freitas was Vice President of the Fundación A. López Pérez, in Santiago Chile, an organization dedicated to helping those with cancer. Her necklace had been a gift from Arturo Lopez to his wife Patricia, who later bequeathed the dazzler to Douce Isabelle François-Freitas after her husband’s death.

The sale’s illustrated catalog will be available online for review and purchase at