King of Romania pearl earrings bring $2.59m at auction
A pair of pearl earrings gifted to the mistress of King Carol II of Romania made $2.59m at a UK auction
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Saturday 28 April 2012
A pair of pearl earrings that were given by King Carol II of Romania to his mistress brought £1.6m ($2.59m) to a Salisbury, UK auction house, after they were discovered in a desk drawer.
The earrings were consigned to the auction house by the nephew of the former owner, who had abandoned them to the back of a desk drawer.
The nephew, who said that his aunt never liked the earrings, mentioned them as an afterthought while consigning other items to the auction.
"The bidding just went berserk. The chap who bought them just would not stop. He wouldn't give up and was very determined to get them. It is a hell of a price," the auction house's Jonathan Edwards told the UK's Guardian newspaper.
Edwards was correct in his pre-sale prediction that the items could sell for five times their estimate of £80,000-120,000. They achieved a very impressive 1233.3% increase in the April 26, 2012 auction.
The earrings formerly belonged to the mistress of King Carol II of Romania, for whom he abdicated his throne. They were believed to have been gifted to the consignor's aunt in Portugal, where the King and his mistress were exiled.
You can read more about this fascinating sale, with the Paul Fraser Collectibles' preview here.
Bonhams has also seen success with jewellery sales this week, with its April 25 sale totalling £3.8m in London. The top lot of the sale was a marquise-cut diamond, weighing 13.41 carats, which sold for £265,250.
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