Bonhams reveals the curse of 'the world's most famous blue diamond'

The 1839 catalogue of Henry Philip Hope's collection of pearls and precious stones, including the famous Hope diamond will be offered in Bonhams' Fine Jewellery sale on September 22.

The book, which belonged to the Hope family and has since passed by descent to the vendor, is estimated at £2000-3000. It has never been seen at auction before.

The Hope Diamond is now in the
Smithsonian Institution - and its
'curse' has apparently lifted 

Henry Philip Hope, from the prominent Anglo-Dutch banking family, was a patron of the arts and a connoisseur of gems and jewellery.

His celebrated collection can be seen in its entirety in this detailed catalogue, which includes the Hope Pearl, a large, natural seawater pearl, and the Hope diamond.

The Hope diamond is an extremely rare blue forty-five carat diamond, which was at one time part of the French crown jewels.

Rumours about its supposed curse began circulating in the Victorian times and Marie-Antoinette is commonly cited as a victim of the diamond's bad luck after her death.

Even the jewellers who may have handled the Hope Diamond were not spared from its reputed malice.

The insanity and suicide of Jacques Colot, who supposedly bought it from the jeweller Eliason, and the financial ruin of the jeweller Simon Frankel, who bought it from the Hope family, have all been linked to the stone.

Henry Philip Hope's catalogue, recording his collection of pearls
and precious stones

However, since the diamond was put in the care of the Smithsonian Institution, there have been no unusual incidents related to it.

The catalogue also contains a possibly the most famous pearl in the world, known as the Hope pearl. At four hundred and fifty carats, it is one of the largest natural seawater pearls in existence and is currently housed in the Natural History Museum in London.


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