Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels live auction coming up on November 10, 2021 promises to be a memorable event featuring a variety of historic and iconic pieces from renowned jewelry houses such as Bulgari, Cartier, Chopard, Graff, Harry Winston, Mouwad, Van Cleef & Arpels etc. consisting of exquisitely crafted bandeau, bracelets, brooches, earclips, earrings, pendant earclips and earrings, reviere necklace, choker necklace, sautoir necklace, pendant necklaces, serpenti necklace, parures, demi-parures, pendants, rings and tiaras. A total of 97 lots varying in Lot Numbers from 201 to 297 will be on offer at this auction.
An interesting feature of this auction is the appearance of a lot with enormous historic significance bearing Lot No 279 titled “Historically Important Sapphire and Diamond Brooch and a Pair of Ear Clips, Circa 1900,” with an estimate of CHF 280,000 – 480,000 (USD 305,656 – 523,982). This historic set of jewels was part of the Royal Jewels belonging to the Romanov Family, smuggled out of Russia during the 1917 revolution.
The jewels belonged to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, the aunt of Czar Nicholas II, the last Czar of Russia, who was ousted during the 1917 October Revolution. The Grand Duchess entrusted the jewels to her friend, the British antiques dealer and aristocrat, Albert Henry Stopford to smuggle them out of Russia into Great Britain. Stopford, dressed in ordinary workman’s clothes, collected the jewels from the Grand Duchess’ home, dismantled them, wrapped them in old newspapers and carried them together with 241 other pieces of Pavlovna’s jewelry, on a ten-day journey across the North Sea to the safe custody of a British Bank. The Grand Duchess never made it to London to collect the jewels and died in Paris, France, on her way to Britain through a circuitous route through the Caucasus and several European countries. Pavlovna’s jewelry eventually became the possession of her daughter, Princess Elena of Greece and Denmark.
Top Lot of the sale based on estimates is Lot No. 287 – A Superb and Perfectly Matched Pair of Diamond Earrings, with a pre-sale estimate of CHF4,100,000 – CHF5,000,000 equivalent to USD4,457,508 – USD5,435,985. Each of the pair of earrings is set with a square-cut colorless diamond, each weighing 25.88 carats and suspended from a similarly cut diamond surmount, each weighing 1.04 carats, the linear suspension of each earring set with brilliant-cut diamonds.
The Lot is accompanied by GIA report Nos. 5212015453 and 2215723788 stating the diamonds each weighing 25.88 carats are D-color and Flawless, together with Type IaA and Type IIa classification letters and additional two reports in respect of diamonds weighing 1.04 carats each, bearing Nos. 5356087281 and 7348933461, stating that the diamonds are D and F color, and VVS1 and VVS2 clarity respectively.
The next most-valued lot of the sale is Lot No. 297 – Mouawad, Magnificent Diamond Bracelet, with a pre-sale estimate of CHF3,625,000 – CHF 4,200,000, equivalent to USD3,945,214 – USD4,571,007. The 17 cm bracelet from a Royal Collection, with Italian assay mark for gold and maker’s mark for Mouwad, is set with a 59.00 carat, pear-shaped, colorless diamond as centerpiece and the strap of the bracelet set with rows of step-cut, oval-cut and square-cut diamonds. One side of the strap has three rows, a central square-cut diamond row and an oval-cut diamond row on either side. The other side of the strap has five rows, a central square-cut diamond row, followed by an oval-cut diamond row outer to the central row, and a rectangular step-cut diamond row outer to the oval-cut rows.
GIA report No. 5182642746 states that the central 59-carat diamond is D-color, VVS1-clarity, and an accompanying working diagram states that the diamond is potentially Internally Flawless after minor repolishing.
The next most valued lot of the sale is Lot 292 – Rare and Impressive Fancy Orangy Pink Diamond Ring, with a pre-sale estimate of CHF3,600,000 – CHF5,380,000 (USD3,948,494 – USD5,900,806). Ring size 52, white and pink gold ring is claw-set with a cut-cornered, rectangular modfied brilliant-cut, fancy orangy-pink diamond, weighing 25.62 carats, flanked by shield-shaped colorless diamonds weighing 1.06 and 1.18 carats on the shoulders of the ring.
GIA report No. 6217032822 accompanying the lot, states that the fancy orangy-pink diamond is of natural color and VS2 clarity. Two other GIA reports bearing Nos. 1327450409 and 6331851069, state the diamonds weighing 1.06 and 1.18 carats are D-Color and Internally Flawless. Two diamond type classification letters accopanying the reports also state that the diamonds are Type IIa.
The next highlight of the sale is an attractive diamond ring by Chopard, bearing Lot No – 241 and titled Chopard – Attractive Fancy-Intense Pink Diamond Ring – with a pre-sale estimate of CHF2,540,000 – CHF3,800,000 (USD2,785,867 – USD4,167,832).
Ring Size 48, pink metal ring, signed Chopard and numbered, is claw-set with a pear-shaped, fancy intense pink diamond weighing 4.53 carats. The mount and the prongs of the ring are set with pink and near-colorless tint, brilliant-cut diamonds.
Copy of GIA report bearing No. 2165242997 states that the 4.53-carat pear-shaped diamond is Fancy Intense Pink, Natural Color and VVS1 Clarity.
Lot 289 – Harry Winston, Magnificent Emerald and Diamond Pendant, with an estimate of CHF1,910,000 – CHF2,800,000 (USD2,085,833 – USD3,057,765) is the next highlight of the sale.
The centerpiece of the pendant is a double claw-set step-cut, cut-cornered emerald, weighing 55.16 carats, surrounded by a double frame of an inner layer of baguette-cut diamonds and an outer layer of round brilliant-cut diamonds, the upper end set with two pear-shaped diamonds and the lower end set with five pear-shaped diamonds and a terminal marquise-shaped diamond, and the inner triangular space just above the central emerald, set with a triangular-shaped diamond. The pendant is signed Harry Winston, and bears maker’s mark for Jacques Timey, and stamped PT 950 for Platinum.
Lab reports by SSEF bearing No. 114495, GGL bearing No.17102101 and AGL bearing Nos. 1090860 and 1086908, each state that the emerald is of Colombian origin, with no clarity enhancement.
Among some of the other highlights of the sale are Lots 288, 280, 270, 279, 224 and 278.
Lot 288 titled “Monture Cartier, Impressive Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond Ring” with an estimate of CHF1,700,000 – CHF2,100,000 (USD1,856,500 – USD2,293,324) iis another significant highlight of the sale.
Size 52, platinum and yellow-gold ring, signed Cartier is claw-set with a cut-cornered step-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing 43.35 carats flanked by trapeze-shaped, colorless diamonds on the shoulders of the ring. The lower part of the ring is made of platinum and upper part inclunding the mount and the claws are made of yellow-gold.
GIA report No. 14312328 states the diamond measuring 20.84 x 19.08 x 12-89 mm and weighing 43.35 carats is fancy vivid yellow, natural color, VS2-clarity. The trapeze-shaped diamonds weighing 1.82 and 1.65 carats are G-H color, SI – I clarity, as gauged and graded in the mount.
Lot 280 – Cartier, Impressive Emerald and Diamond Sautoir, Circa 1930, is another siignificant lot of the sale, with an estimate of CHF575,000 – CHF800,000 (USD628,656 – USD874,652)
The 77 cm sautoir length necklace, which can also be dismantled and worn as four bracelets, each of length 18 cm, signed Cartier, numbered with French assay marks for platinum, has as its centrepiece an octagonal plaque, set in the center with a sugar-loaf emerald, surrounded by two rows of circular-cut diamonds, from which are suspended two detachable pendants, each terminating in an emerald bead, and highlighted with circular-cut and rose-cut diamonds, The 77 cm long neckchain is composed of single circular links alternating with double square links, set with circular and single-cur diamonds
SSEF report bearing No. 102822, states that the cabochon emerald of dimensions 15.25 x 12.40 x 7.70 mm is of Colombian origin, with minor amount of oil in fissures.
Lot 270 – Important Ruby and Diamond Ring, 1930s – is a significant colored gemstone lot, with an estimate of CHF380,000 – CHF560,000 (USD417,863 – USD615,798). The lot dating back to the 1930s is formerly from the collection of His Highness Sir Chandra Shumshere Jung Bahadur Rana, the Maharaja of Kaski and Lamjung of Nepal.
Ring size 50, platinum ring is double-claw set with a cushio-shaped ruby weighing 12.04 carats flanked by baguette-cut diamonds on the shoulders of the ring.
SSEF report bearing No. 118805, accompanying the lot, states that the ruby is of Burmese origin, with no evidence of hear treatment.
Lot 279 – Historically Important Sapphire and Diamond Brooch and a Pair of Ear Clips, Circa 1900 – formerly from an European Imperial Family is the historic Royal Jewels belonging to the Romanov Family, that was smuggled out of Russia in 1917 and eventually came into the possession of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna’s daughter Princess Elena of Greece and Denmark, about which we dealt with earlier.
The Brooch of Plaque design is claw-set at the center with an oval-shaped blue sapphire of Ceylon origin, weighing 26.80 carats, surrounded by two rows of cushion-shaped and rose-cut colorless diamonds. The brooch carries maker’s mark for Sophia Schwann, probably for Bolin, St. Petersburgh, 1899 -1908 and Russian assay marks.
The pair of earclips are each set with a step-cut blue sapphire of Ceylon origin, weighing respectively 6.69 and 9.36 carats, surrounded by a border rose-cut and cushion shaped colorless diamonds. The lot is accompanied by a later fitted case by Cartier, stamped with the crown of the Royal House of Greece, King of the Hellenes.
SSEF report bearing No. 118097 states the sapphires are of Ceylon origin with no indications of heating.
Lot 224 – Bulgari, Emerald and Diamond Necklace, Serpenti – wiith an estimate of CHF220,000 – CHF325,000 (USD240,497 – USD355,265) is another significant lot of the sale. The necklace of length 42 cm, signed Bulgari, numbered 265506 with Italian maker’s mark and assay mark AU750 for 18k gold, is designed as a serpent, with pear-shaped emerald eyes and the scales enhanced with brilliant-cut diamonds. Estimated weight of diamonds approximately 65.00 – 75.00 carats, average color F to G, and VS clarity as gauged and graded in the mount.
Lot 278 – Impressive Sapphire and Diamond Tiara, Mid 19 th Century – with an estimate of CHF70,000 – CHF120,000 (USD76,516 – USD131,170) is another important historical lot of the sale. The historic tiara is from the collection of Johanna Loisinger, the Countess Von Hartenau.
The silver and 18k gold Tiara is designed as five detachable graduated palmettes. Each palmette is set with a cushion-shaped sapphire enhanced with cushion, circular and single-cut diamonds. Inner circumference of tiara 26 cm.