Sotheby’s in Geneva is about to attract jewellery collectors from around the world as it hosts some spectacular showstoppers amongst its forthcoming Magnificent Jewels auction.
An eclectic mix, from rare coloured diamonds and gemstones to signed jewels, there are over 700 extraordinary pieces in the sale. Some of the highlights from the sale are:
Lot 372: The Pink Star, one of the world’s great natural treasures. Estimate: in excess of £37.62 million. The Pink Star is a 59.60-carat internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond. The Gemmological Institute of America states that, according to their records, it is the largest flawless or internally flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond they have ever graded to date. It is a Type IIa stone, the most chemically pure type of diamond. Mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999, the stone weighed 132.5cts in the rough. Steinmetz Diamonds spent two years cutting and polishing the stone and in 2003 it was unveiled to the press in Monaco, then in 2007 it was subsequently sold.
Lot 373: The “Walska Briolette Diamond” brooch, Van Cleef & Arpels, 1971. Estimate: in excess of £5.02 million. This amazing design of a Phoenix in flight, carrying in its beak a detachable fancy vivid yellow diamond briolette weighing 96.62cts. The briolette was purchased in 1971 at Sotheby’s from the collection of fabulous Van Cleef & Arpels jewels owned by Madame Ganna Walska, the Polish opera and concert star. In 1972 an American collector commissioned Van Cleef & Arpels to remount the briolette as a gift for his wife. The brooch can be ingeniously dismantled so that you can wear the detachable briolette as a pendant, the wings as a pair of ear-clips and the tail as a smaller brooch.
Lot 371: The Richelieu Sapphires, a pair of rare and magnificent sapphire and diamond earrings. Estimate: £1,581,412 – £2,887,796. These natural stones, each weighing 26.66cts and 20.88cts, are from Kashmir where the world’s most sought after sapphires are found. The mines were discovered by chance as a result of a landslide between 1879-1882, but at 4,500m above sea level and for much of the year covered in snow, mining operations were limited to three months of the year. To find a matching pair of this size is very rare indeed.
Lot 348: Important diamond choker, Cartier, circa 1905. Estimate: £250,963 – £374,726. This elegant “collier de chien” was the height of fashion in Paris during the Belle Epoque. With the introduction of platinum at the beginning of the 20th century (replacing the 19th century fashion of gold and silver) goldsmiths were able to design and make jewels that were delicate and light in appearance. Very few chokers have survived from this period, which makes this piece very desirable.
Lot 308: Amethyst, turquoise and diamond brooch, Cartier, circa 1960 Estimate: £32,316 – £44,692 This orchid brooch has so much style and movement. The colour combination of purple and blue highlights Cartier’s boldness in juxtaposing semi-precious stones to maximum effect.
Lot 143: Gold, enamel, glass and amethyst brooch/pendant, René Lalique, 1900s Estimate: £30,078 – £41,015 Amethyst is a stone used through out the history of jewellery. It has adorned kings and queens and has been worn to represent sobriety and holiness. Lalique used the amethyst often in his magical jewels, complemented here with enamel and carved glass anemone flower heads.
Lot 347: Turquoise and diamond Parure, Schlumberger, 1960s Estimate: £63,256 – £94,885 This polished, yet spiky gold decoration is typical Schlumberger and demonstrates a certain boldness using turquoise with diamonds.