SOTHEBY’S GENEVA BRINGS $108,377,219
A WORLD RECORD FOR A VARIOUS OWNER JEWELLERY SALE
MAGNIFICENT JEWELS AND NOBLE JEWELS SALE
The Private Collection of Suzanne Belperron
Totals $3,459,307 - More Than Tripling the Pre‐Sale Expectation
THE BEAU SANCY
One of the Most Important Royal Diamonds
Ever to Come to Auction Sells For CHF 9,042,500 / $9,699,618
Over the two days 24 lots sold for over $1 million. The Beau Sancy, one of the most important royal diamonds to ever come to auction, sold for CHF 9,042,500 ($9,699,618). The result achieved by the celebrated jewel brought the total for the May Jewellery auctions to an outstanding total of CHF 104,298,625 ($111,836,526), almost doubling the pre‐sale low estimate of CHF 54 ‐85 million*.
Speaking after the sale, David Bennett, Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Department in Europe and the Middle East and Co‐Chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland commented: “The legendary Beau Sancy is a truly magical stone that has entranced generations of royal owners and continues to exert a powerful influence over all who see it. Its supreme historical importance was reflected tonight in the strength of the bidding and the remarkable result realized. The two days of sales of jewellery at Sotheby’s this week achieved a record total with 94% of lots finding buyers and doubling the pre‐sale estimate: proof that privately sourced jewels, many with noble provenance are highly sought after.”
The Beau Sancy
No less than five bidders competed for The Beau Sancy (lot 595), driving the price to an outstanding CHF 9,042,500 / $9,699,618 almost five times the pre‐sale low estimate of CHF 1,850,000‐3,650,000 ($2‐4 million).
After a battle of nearly eight minutes, the celebrated jewel was finally bought by an anonymous buyer bidding over the telephone.
The Beau Sancy has been the privileged witness of 400 years of European history. Passed down through the Royal Families of France, England, Prussia, and the House of Orange, the celebrated stone was worn by Marie de Medici in 1610 at her coronation as Queen Consort of Henri IV. The 34.98 carat modified pear double rose cut diamond would have come from the area of Golconda in India, the sole source of diamonds until the discoveries in Brazil in the 1720s.
Continuing Sotheby’s distinguished history of offering jewels with aristocratic provenance, Sotheby’s Geneva sixth annual sale of Noble Jewels brought a combined total of CHF 23,196,025 ($24,881,680), tripling the presale low estimate of CHF 7,022,500‐11,705,000 ($7.532.825‐12,555,602).
In addition to the Beau Sancy, the Noble Jewels section was highlighted by The Murat Tiara (lot 594) which realized CHF 3,610,500 (3,872,875), in an eleven minute bidding battle between three telephone bidders, more than double its pre‐sale low estimate of CHF 1,375,000‐2,285,000 ($1,500,000‐2,500,000). This impressive pearl and diamond jewel was created in 1920 by Joseph Chaumet for the marriage of Prince Alexandre Murat (1889 – 1926) to Yvonne Gillois (1894 – 1961). The diadem boasts one of the largest natural pearls ever recorded, at 303.37 grains. As stated by the SSEF laboratory, “the main pearl in the center is outstanding in its size and one of the most important pearls certified so far at the SSEF” and “natural pearls of this size, quality and with a documented historic provenance are very rare and thus the described tiara with three large pearls represents a very exceptional treasure”.
Among the other gems of great historical significance which belonged to prestigious European families was a diamond brooch set with a 7.33 carat Fancy deep yellow diamond coming from the collection of Prince Filippo Corsini (lot 589) which fetched CHF 902,500 ($968,085), (est. CHF 275,000‐460,000/ $300,000‐500,000). The central diamond was offered to the Corsini family by Charles Edward Stuart (1720 – 1788), commonly known as "Bonnie Prince Charlie" in the 1770s, most certainly in gratitude for their support during his years of exile.
From the Estate of the late Prince Kinsky, an Important natural pearl and diamond necklace made circa 1880 (lot 593) achieved CHF 1,142,500 ($1,225,525), quadrupling its pre‐sale low estimate of CHF 275,000–460,000 / $300,000–500,000).
Enjoying a similarly illustrious provenance a selection of jewels coming from the collection of a member of the Princely Family of Thurn und Taxis was highlighted by a very fine emerald and diamond demi‐parure (lot 592), composed of a necklace and a pair of earrings, which was purchased by Albert, 8th Prince of Thurn und Taxis around 1890. Estimated at CHF 200,000‐300,000/ $220,000‐330,000, these superb jewels were sold for CHF 962,500 ($1,032,445). A fine sapphire and diamond brooch/pendant circa 1910 (Lot 588) which belonged to the Italian Countess Adriana Guillichini della Gherardesca was sold for CHF 386,500 ($414,587) (est. CHF 185,000‐370,000/$200,000‐400'000.
The Magnificent Jewels section was led by two necklaces from a royal collection. The first, a necklace suspending a detachable pear‐shaped D colour diamond weighing 41.40 carats (lot 734) achieved CHF 4,050,000 ($4,344,314) against an estimate of CHF 2,750,000‐4,550,000 ($3,000,000‐5,000,000). The necklace was purchased by Amer Radwan who has named it “Dubai Vision”.
The second, a magnificent emerald and diamond necklace designed by Bulgari circa 1970 (lot 733) sold for CHF 2,200,000 ($2,359,874) against an estimate of CHF 1,400,000‐2,800,000 ($1,500,000‐3,000,000).
The sale comprised a group of white diamonds which were D Colour ‐ the finest colour grading for white diamonds. An exceptional diamond ring by Harry Winston set with a 36.43 carat internally flawless diamond (lot 721) realised CHF 3,834,500 ($4,113,153) (est. CHF 3,200,000‐5,000,000 / $3,550,000‐5,500,000). This stone had been found to be part of the rare Type IIa subgroup comprising less than 2% of all gem diamonds. Diamonds of this group are chemically the purest of all diamond crystals and often have extraordinary optical
The offering of coloured diamonds included an important ring centering on a fancy intense purple‐pink brilliant‐cut diamond weighing 3.71 carats, between shoulders set with marquise‐shaped rubies (lot 731) which fetched CHF 5,122,500 ($5,494,752 USD) against an estimate of CHF 1,850,000‐3,650,000/ $ 2,000,000‐ 4,000,000).
At the core of the sale was also a superb private collection of gems and jewels which brought a combined total of CHF 17,648,325 ($18,889,002) almost doubling the pre‐sale low estimate of CHF 9,059,000‐14,288,500 ($9,695,848‐15,292,982). Comprising over 80 pieces, this exceptional collection has been assembled by two generations of a family, from the mid‐1960s until present day.
Reflecting the passion for gemstones that animated the family for 50 years was a pair of impressive Kashmir sapphire clips (lot 674) which sold for CHF 1,482,500 ($1,586,720) (est. CHF 825,000‐1,370,000/ $900,000‐1,500,000), a ring set with a cabochon Burmese sapphire weighing 58.56 carats (lot 666) which made CHF 1,314,500 ($1,406,909) (est. CHF 730,000‐1,275,000/ $800,000‐1,400,000) and a very rare and highly important multi‐coloured sapphire and diamond suite (lot 663) which surpassed its estimate of CHF 50,000‐910,000 and sold for CHF 1,482,500 ($1,586,720).
“White Glove” Sale for the Personal Collection of Suzanne Belperron
On May 14th all 60 Jewels from the Personal Collection of Suzanne Belperron (1900‐1983), one of the most important jewellers of the 20th Century, sold for the outstanding total of CHF 3,224,950 ($3,459,307), more than tripling the pre‐sale expectation of CHF 902,000‐1,365,000. The sale – the most significant collection of jewels by Suzanne Belperron ever presented at auction ‐ was a “white glove sale”, with 100% sold by lot and value. Demand for seminal pieces from Belperron’s oeuvre was intense with international bidding driving prices
well above estimates.