SOTHEBYS DECEMBER 2007 SALE OF MAGNIFICENT JEWELS TOTALS A RECORD $49,827,926

AuctionPublicity.com – Applause filled Sotheby’s salesroom tonight as the hammer fell on the final session of the auction of Magnificent Jewels, which achieved an outstanding total of $49,827,926, the highest-total ever for a Jewelry sale at Sotheby’s New York (est. $28.2/37.4 million).

Determined bidders on the phone and in the room competed for the many historic and extraordinary jewels, remarkable for their rarity, quality, design and provenance, driving nearly 80% of the sold lots above their high estimate, with eight lots selling for more than $1 million, with three lots selling for more than $3 million. Highlighting the sale was a spectacular Pair of Diamond Pendant-Earrings by Harry Winston, the cover lot of today’s auction catalogue, which soared past their high estimate of $2 million to sell for $3,961,000. The offering of Natural Pearls from the Collection of Kelly and Calvin Klein brought $4,820,000, above the high estimate of 3.1 million, with the Single-Strand Natural Pearl and Diamond 1 The previous record for a Magnificent Jewelry sale at Sotheby’s New York was $33,486,641 achieved in October 1994
Necklace, Cartier, Paris, alone selling for a remarkable $3,625,000.

Leading off this evening’s session was the FDR Victory Clock, which exceeded its high estimate of $1 million, to sell to an American Private Collector for $1,609,000, a record for a Cartier clock at auction. Lisa Hubbard, Chairman, North & South America, International Jewelry Division, commented, “We are thrilled with the results of tonight’s sale. The market is hungry for fabulous pieces from private collections, be they great designer jewels or great stones. Today’s sale was almost 90% sold by lot and 93% sold by value. Bidders came from virtually all continents, confirming that the market for Magnificent Jewels is truly global.”

Among the top lots of today’s auction were the magnificent natural pearls from the collection of Kelly & Calvin Klein, formerly from the collection of the Duchess of Windsor. Both the Single-Strand Natural Pearl and Diamond Necklace, Cartier, Paris, and the Natural Pearl and Diamond Pendant, Cartier, Paris, circa 1950, which brought $505,000, were purchased by a Private European Collector. The Pair of Black and White Natural Pearl and Diamond Earclips, Van Cleef & Arpels, 1957 sold for $690,600 to a unique buyer. About the Klein collection, Lisa Hubbard said, “Sotheby’s was honored to handle the Klein pearls. They attracted incredible interest during the worldwide traveling exhibition, and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to bring such iconic pieces, so steeped in history, romance and style, to the market once again.”

The evening session of Magnificent Jewels began with the offering of a unique and historic presidential Cartier clock dating from WWII. This Silver, Onyx and Nephrite Eight-Day Five-Time-Zone Desk Clock, Cartier, European Watch & Clock Co., circa 1943 (lot 226, est. $600,000/1 million), given as a personal gift by Pierre Cartier to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1943, was the subject of an intense battle between two bidders on the telephone finally selling to an American Private Collector for $1,609,000, a record for a Cartier clock at auction. That price, which elicited a round of applause with the fall of the hammer, eclipsed the previous record of $1.54 million set more than 15 years ago. Eight splendid jewels, Property from a Distinguished Lady, fetched a spectacular total of $9,605,200 (est. $4/5 million).

The highlight of this collection, a spectacular Pair of Diamond Pendant-Earrings by Harry Winston soared past the high estimate to bring $3,961,000 (lot 363, est. $1.6/2 million). From the same collection, a Diamond Ring by Harry Winston, set with a pear-shaped D color, VVS2 clarity diamond weighing 32.16 carats (lot 362, est. $1.3/1.5 million) sold for $3,289,000 and a wreath motif Diamond Necklace-Bracelet Combination also by Harry Winston fetched $529,000 (lot 360, est. $275,000/375,000).
Following Sotheby’s record-breaking sale in Geneva of the “Chloe diamond,” the largest, purest white flawless brilliant-cut diamond ever to be offered at auction, the interest in white diamonds seen in today’s sale reinforced the strength of the market for these high quality stones.

The Harry Winston Liberator II Diamond Ring, offered by a California Estate, weighing 18.13 carats (lot 345, est. $350,000/450,000), brought $1,060,200. This diamond, which commanded bids from as many as six different clients both in the room and on the phone, was one of four cut from a 155 carat rough diamond discovered in Venezuela named Liberator in honor of Simon Bolivar. Also from a California Estate, an elegant Diamond Necklace-Bracelet Combination made by Harry Winston in 1956 (lot 344, est. $200,000/300,000) fetched $541,000. A marquise-shaped Diamond Ring from a Washington, D.C. Estate weighing 12.33 carats, also inspired competitive bidding, surpassing the high estimate to sell for $858,600 (lot 297, est. $300/400,000). Gary Schuler, Head of the Jewelry Department in New York, said, “Across the board, diamonds of all sizes and qualities performed remarkably well, proving that the diamond market remains robust. We are particularly pleased with the results we achieved today for works coming from private collections.”

Among the major gemstones in the sale, a Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond Pendant (lot 330, est. $1,750,000/2 million), set with a 50.40 carat step-cut fancy intense yellow diamond, sold for $2,001,000, and a stunning Diamond Rivière Necklace, with a graduating row set with 46 round diamonds of light yellow color weighing a total of approximately 100.00 carats, also exceeded expectations selling for $881,000 (lot 305, est. $250/350,000). The array of one-of-a-kind Cartier jewels included the Diamond Bandeau, Cartier, Paris, 1912, which brought $612,200 after an extended battle between at least six different bidders, finally selling to a client on the telephone (lot 331, est. $150,000/200,000).

Two impressive Art Deco designs beautifully executed by Cartier craftsmen also were highly sought after in this evening’s session. Dating from 1923, an Egyptian-Revival Jeweled Fan Brooch, Cartier, London (lot 273, est. $150,000/200,000) was desired by at least three different bidders, selling for $601,000, more than triple the high estimate, and the Art Deco Emerald, Sapphire and Diamond Belt Brooch, Cartier, Paris, 1922 (lot 352, est. $700,000/1 million) achieved $813,800.

Other highlights from the sale included an important group of antique and period pieces from the Collection of Charlotte Ford including an exquisite Ruby and Diamond Bracelet, Cartier, 1935, featuring two Burmese rubies weighing 8.03 and 12.97 carats, which fetched a remarkable $1,553,000, more than three times the high estimate (lot 293, est. $400,000/500,000). Pieces from the esteemed Collection of Mr. Gordon Getty, which brought a total of $1,393,000, were led by an Amethyst and Diamond Necklace, circa 1900, previously in the collection of Queen Alexandra, which brought $115,000 (lot 348, est. $50,000/70,000). Today’s sale also included a selection of works

Top