Sotheby’s New York Sale of Magnificent Jewels

Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent Jewels in New York on 9 December will offer stellar examples from every important segment of the jewelry market, including flawless white diamonds, artistic works by master jewelers such as Cartier, Louis Comfort Tiffany and JAR, and a magnificent Estate collection influenced by fashion icons of the 20th century. The sale is estimated to bring in excess of $20 million*.

Lisa Hubbard, Chairman, North and South America, of Sotheby’s International Jewelry Department said, ‘‘From the perfection of flawless diamonds and the rarity of natural pearls to the originality of one-of-a-kind pieces, our sale this season presents a captivating array of jewels that can only be found at auction.’’

She continued, ‘‘At the core of every great jewelry collection is a beautiful white diamond, and this auction comprises a selection of stones that will appeal to every woman’s unique style. After the success of our recent sales in Hong Kong and New York, it’s clear that buyers are actively seeking diamonds with that extra something special, whether it’s the stone’s inherent charm, its rare shape or its perfect quality.’’

Magnificent JewelsImportant White Diamonds Featured among a remarkable selection of important white diamonds is a Magnificent and Rare Oval Diamond, weighing 30.48 carats, D color, with flawless clarity and type IIa ‘‘Golconda-like’’ classification, which is estimated to sell for more than $3.3 million. The diamond, perfect in every way — whiter than white, highly transparent, an ideal weight, and a rare shape — is offered un-mounted, and the buyer will have the privilege of not only mounting the stone to his or her own specifications, but also naming it.

In addition to the oval-shaped diamond, the auction offers bidders an array of stones of varying shape, size and estimates that will appeal to every connoisseur. An Important Round Diamond, weighing 18.11 carats, is H color and graded triple-X with excellent cut, polish and symmetry. Offered unmounted, this flawless round stone may be worn or simply appreciated as an object of desire (est. $750,000/1 million).

An elegant Pear-Shaped Diamond cut for candlelight, weighing 13.85 carats, D color, VS2 clarity from a Distinguished Private Collection will also be featured (est. $400/500,000) as will a Square Emerald-Cut Diamond of 9.69 carats set as a ring that is both the highly desirable Asscher-cut and certified type IIa, the most transparent of diamonds. Offered from an Estate, this beautiful stone is E color, VVS2 clarity and potentially flawless (est. $350/450,000).

Image Courtesy of the Estate of Lúcia Moreira Salles

Magnificent Jewels from the Collection of Lúcia Moreira Salles Sotheby’s is also privileged to offer magnificent jewels from the collection of former Brazilian model and philanthropist Lúcia Moreira Salles. Salles’ career began in Paris at the end of the 1950s, and in the 1960s-70s she became a muse for both Valentino and Coco Chanel, at one point working as Chanel’s exclusive house model. In addition to her successful modeling career, Salles was also a dedicated philanthropist, recognized for her efforts from Brazil to New York. (separate release available)

Lisa Hubbard commented, ‘‘Lúcia Moreira Salles’ very personal collection offers a window into the innate style and elegance for which she was revered. Each piece reflects her refined aesthetic, from the timeless diamond bracelet to one magnificent example of each precious gemstone to the jeweled Cartier handbags. She did not collect to impress; these are pieces that she loved to wear and which were part of the remarkable style that enabled her to work for two of the most influential fashion designers of all time during a legendary era in Paris.’’

Among the highlights of the collection are three gemstone rings exquisitely mounted by Paris designer JAR: an Emerald and Diamond Ring, set with a cabochon Colombian emerald weighing approximately 27 carats mounted in platinum and purportedly formerly in the private collection of King Farouk of Egypt (est. $400/600,000); a Ruby and Diamond Ring set with a sugarloaf cabochon Burmese ruby weighing approximately

16.30 carats mounted in platinum (est. $150/200,000); and a Diamond ‘‘String’’ Ring set with an oval diamond weighing 16.04 carats, F color, SI1 clarity, and type IIa, within a platinum and diamond mounting (est. $350/450,000).

Salles’ collection also contains a wonderful selection of pearls, both natural and cultured, which she would wear in varying combinations, suggesting the influence of Coco Chanel herself. Featured amongst the many pearl jewels is the Natural Pearl and Diamond Necklace composed of 59 natural pearls measuring approximately 12.20 to 6.30 mm completed with a marquise-shaped diamond clasp (est. $250/350,000) and the Natural Pearl and Diamond Ring set with a rare greyish rosé natural pearl mounted in platinum (est. $30/50,000).

Works of Art by 20th Century Master Jewelers The sale will also comprise rare examples of miniature works of art by 20th century master jewelers. Two seminal pieces from Cartier’s most creative period in the 1920’s will be featured — an Egyptian-Style Jeweled Scarab Belt Buckle created in Paris in 1926 (est. $250/350,000) and an Egyptian-Style Lapis Lazuli

Turquoise, Diamond, Black Onyx and Enamel Bracelet made in Paris and dating to 1929 (est. $75/100,000). Both pieces reflect the world’s obsession with all things Egyptian following the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922. In 2009, the belt buckle was prominently featured by Cartier in their retrospective exhibition celebrating their 100th anniversary in America.

Lisa Hubbard commented about the Cartier jewels, ‘‘The exceptional design and quality of these pieces is matched only by their wonderful American and Russian provenance.’’ The belt buckle was purchased in 1926 by Mrs. Cole Porter and the bracelet was made by special order for her in 1929. Linda Porter was known for her avant-garde taste in jewels, and several pieces of hers are now in Cartier’s permanent collection. Prior to her death in 1954, Mrs. Porter gave the two jewels to one of her closest friends, Princess Natalie Paley (Mrs. John Chapman Wilson), in whose family collection the jewels have remained to present day. Born Countess Natalia Pavlovna von Hohenfelsen in 1905, she was the daughter of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich, uncle of the last Russian Czar, Nicholas II. As a young girl, Natalie escaped Russia and lived in exile in Paris in the 1920s, where she was first married to the French couturier Lucien
Lelong. Natalie moved on to London, became a successful Vogue model photographed by Steichen, Horst and Beaton, and was later remarried to accomplished Broadway producer and director John C. Wilson.

A Rare and Important Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond and Emerald Ring, Tiffany & Co., designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany circa 1915-1920 will also be featured (est. $200/300,000). Recently exhibited at the Cleveland Museum of Art and at the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums Legion of Honor, the iconic American jewel is set with an oval fancy intense yellow diamond weighing 11.05 carats within a gold filigree mounting decorated with calibre-cut emeralds; the detailed filigree work was most likely inspired by decorative items in Laurelton Hall, the home of Louis Comfort Tiffany.

A Colored Stone and Diamond Bracelet designed by Van Cleef & Arpels, dates to 1930 and incorporates old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 11.25 carats (est. $100/150,000). The pictorial jewel is decorated with a beautiful array of buff-top sapphires, rubies, emeralds and onyx mounted in platinum and echoes the Mughal influence seen in many jeweled works of art from that time. In the same way that Cartier’s famed Tutti Frutti jewels incorporated a pattern of colored stones, the Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet features diamonds and gem stones fashioned to create a mosaic depicting the classic ‘Tree of Life’ motif.

A Spectrum of Colored Precious Stones A superb array of colored precious stones on offer will include two exceptional Cartier bracelets from a Distinguished Private Collection: A Cabochon Emerald and Diamond Bracelet, Cartier, New York, 1923 featuring Colombian cabochon emeralds weighing approximately 70 carats and old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 9.50 carats, mounted in 18 karat gold and platinum (est. $250/350,000); and a Ruby and Diamond Bracelet, Cartier, circa 1925, reminiscent of jewels from the collections of the Duchess of Windsor and Helene Beaumont, set with cushion-shaped and oval Burmese rubies weighing approximately 62 carats and diamonds weighing almost 10 carats (est. $200/300,000).

Also among the splendid precious stones featured is a Pair of Emerald and Diamond Pendant-Earrings with pear-shaped Colombian emeralds weighing 17.07 and 15.15 carats and cushion-shaped diamonds weighing 4.75 carats (est. $500/600,000). Two important sapphire rings are sure to dazzle collectors. A Sapphire and Diamond Ring from the estate of Lúcia Moreira Salles features a cushion-shaped Burmese sapphire weighing 26.24 carats (est. $250/350,000). Another Sapphire and Diamond Ring centering a cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire weighing 5.07 carats framed by pavé-set round diamonds is mounted in platinum (est. $140/160,000). Prior to the December pre-sale viewing, highlights will be exhibited in Geneva, Hong Kong and Los Angeles:

Geneva: 14-16 November
Los Angeles: 23 November
Hong Kong: 28-29 November
New York: 4-9 December

Magnificent Jewels in Geneva, 17 November 2009

Sotheby’s next sale of Magnificent Jewels will be held 17 November in Geneva and will feature a stunning array of rare and unique fancy coloured diamonds – including the largest vivid green diamond ever to appear at auction. The sale will also present signed jewelry by the world’s greatest jewelry houses such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co, Boucheron, Bulgari and M. Gérard.