Following the highest-ever total for a day of jewellery sales at Sotheby's New York in December 2010, Sotheby's auction of Magnificent Jewels on April 14 2011 offers an impressive depth and breadth of pieces that provide an education in top-quality gemstones and great jewellery style.
The 380 lots are valued at $26m in total, and are highlighted by a Distinguished Family Collection that features romantic diamonds and fabulous Cartier designs from the firm's creative peak. Highlights from the sale will travel to Sotheby's Los Angeles and Hong Kong galleries before returning to New York for exhibition on April 9.
The April auction is led by an exceptional family collection composed of 47 lots ranging from luxurious gold tabletop accessories to wonderful diamonds and pieces by top designers. The pieces were made from the 1920s-50s and have descended over three generations, remaining in a vault for the last 40 years.
The diamonds in the Collection offer connoisseurs a rare window into a time when stones were cut to sparkle in candlelight, exuding old-world beauty, charm and character. Such antique diamonds can make excellent investments.
An elegant Platinum and Diamond Pendant, circa 1915, is set with a D colour, VS2 clarity, type IIa pear-shaped diamond of 20.74 carats (listed at $800,000/1.2m), while an exquisite Diamond Jabot Pin, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., circa 1920, features a pear-shaped D colour, type IIa diamond of 15.31 carats and VVS2 clarity (expected to sell for $600,000-800,000).
The great designers represented in the Distinguished Family Collection are highlighted by a significant selection of jewels by Cartier, for whom Sotheby's set a new auction record in London last November in the sale of Exceptional Jewels Formerly in the Collection of the Duchess of Windsor.
The Collection features exquisite works from Cartier's creative peak, when they produced few, if any, multiples and created some of the most unique and inspired works in the firm's history. This creativity is embodied by pieces such as the exotic Emerald Bead, Ruby and Diamond Bird Brooch, Cartier, France, circa 1950 (estimated at $30,000-50,000).
Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels sale takes place in New York, on April 14 2011.