Long regarded for its access to jewels of royal provenance, Geneva is next to host the Magnificent Jewels auctions in May and Christie’s sale is ripe with regal treasures. The exciting May 13th sale will feature over 351 stunning jewels and is expected to achieve in excess of $80 million.
Headlining the sale is the Maria Christina Royal Devant-de-Corsage brooch (est. $1.5 – 2 million), a magnificent diamond brooch given as a wedding present by King Alfonso XII of Spain to his wife the Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria in 1879. The brooch is currently part of the collection of Baroness Thyssen-Bornemizsa.
While not technically of noble blood, a pair of earrings and a matching ring once belonging to the former Queen of Camelot, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, also count among the sale’s highlights. The ruby and diamond jewels, by Van Cleef & Arpels (est. $250,000 – 350,000), were wedding gifts from her second husband, Aristotle Onassis, in 1968.
An early work by JAR will keep the designer’s momentum on an exponential rise, particularly following the sale of his Parrot Tulip bangle – the second highest price ever at auction for a jewel by JAR – that sold for $3.6 million in November 2014. This sale features a pair of tourmaline and agate camellia brooches, circa 1985 (est. $140,000 – 170,000), an example of JAR’s early floral masterpieces.
No Magnificent Jewels sale is complete without a cache of important diamonds and rare gemstones. Leading the way for colorless diamonds is a pear-shaped D Flawless diamond weighing 55.52 carats (est. $8.5 – 10.5 million) followed by a 21.75-carat Ashoka-cut D Flawless diamond ring (est. $2.8 – 3.5 million). For pink diamond lovers, the auction features a rectangular-cut Fancy Vivid Pink diamonds weighing 5.18 carats (est. $9.5 – 12.5 million).
Exceptional sapphires, rubies and emeralds also count among the impressive sale highlights, including a cushion-shaped 35.09-carat Kashmir sapphire (est. $3 – 4.2 million), Royal Emeralds of India: a pair of antique emerald Indian bangles (est. $1.5 – 2 million), and The Pride of Burma: a 6.25-carat cushion-shaped Burmese ruby (est. $1.8 – 2.5 million).
Additional noteworthy jewels are important signed pieces from the most esteemed jewelry houses, including Cartier, Graff, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels and Harry Winston, as well as a string of extraordinary natural saltwater pearls (est. $2.5 – 3.5 million) round out the auction’s highlights.