Just a day after Christie’s set a new record for a sapphire, Sotheby’s set a new record for a ruby. Sotheby’s also set new records for price per carat for a ruby, price for a Kashmir sapphire, and price for a Cartier Mystery Clock ‘Model A’ yesterday during the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva. Overall, the spectacular sale total amounted to $95.2 million, selling 90.2% by lot and 92.1% by value.
For the second time, the Graff Ruby, from the collection of Dimitri Mavrommatis, was purchased by Laurence Graff and set a new record for a ruby when it sold to for $8.6 million yesterday, a record previously held by a 29.62-carat Burmese ruby that sold for $7.3 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong earlier this year in April. When it sold in 2006, Laurence Graff also had the winning bid of $3,621,000 for the 8.62-carat “pigeon’s blood” Burmese beauty, a world record for a ruby at the time. This time around, the ruby also set a new record price per carat for a ruby at $997,727.
Shortly after the sale, Laurence Graff made the following statement: “It was a natural thing to do. Graff deals in the finest gemstones in the world and this is the finest ruby in the world. We are very proud to have it in our possession for the second time.”
Collectors’ appreciation for rare precious stones was demonstrated further when a 27.54-carat Kashmir sapphire sold to an Asian private for a $5.98 million ($217,301 per carat), setting a new record price for a Kashmir. Natural pearls with royal provenance continue to be coveted items as evidenced by the $3.4 million sale of a natural pearl and diamond necklace formerly in the collection of Joséphine de Beauharnais, Queen of Sweden and Norway.
The three pairs of earrings by JAR from the collection of Dimitri Mavrommatis illustrate the intense demand for jewels by the greatest art jeweler in modern history. Together, the earrings sold for a combined sum of nearly $1.5 million.
A total of 23 lots from an important Cartier Art Deco collection of jewels, objects and clocks sold for $3.2 million, with a rock crystal, mother-of-pearl, onyx and diamond “Model A” Mystery Clock, circa 1927, selling for a record $628,032.
Other highlights from the sale include:
- A pair of oval-shaped diamond earrings, both D color, Flawless, Type IIa, and weighing 20.05 and 20.06, respectively, fetched $7.15 million
- A rare 3.16-carat Fancy Intense blue diamond ring was purchased by Laurence Graff for $3.2 million
- A 16.37-carat marquise-shaped D, Internally Flawless, Type IIa diamond ring, by Graff, sold for a little over $2.4 million
- An important gem-set and diamond bangle, by Cartier, circa early 1920s sold for double its high estimate at $802,428
- A pair of natural pearl and diamond earclips achieved $908,311, more than 30x its high estimate
For Sotheby’s, all eyes look back to New York for the sale of Bunny Mellon’s important jewels and objets next week.