A Cartier bracelet once owned by Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain (1887-1969) has demolished its estimate at a Geneva jewellery sale.
Made in the 1920s, the conch pearl, enamel and diamond bracelet sold for $3.3m at Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels sale on November 14, 151.8% above its $1.3m high estimate.
Consigned by a member of the Spanish royal family, we believe its royal provenance was as much a factor as the Cartier name in achieving the stunning price, although its considerable eye appeal will also have played an important role.
The chairman of Sotheby's jewellery department for Europe and the Middle East, David Bennett, said that the bracelet was a "unique, sumptuous, and truly royal bracelet - unquestionably one of the greatest jewels designed by Cartier during the 1920s."
The granddaughter of Queen Victoria and grandmother of current Spanish king, Juan Carlos, Eugenia was known for her extensive jewellery collection.
The auction's top lot was a 10.48 carat fancy deep blue briolette diamond, which made $10.4m, 144.6% above its $4.2m valuation.
A pair of 1921 ruby and diamond pendent earrings, gifted to HSH Princess Max Egon zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1892-1990) as a wedding present from her parents, also sold well for $3.4m.
Featuring an 11 carat Burmese ruby on each earring, the pair had come to auction with a $2.3m estimate.
These are exciting times in the jewellery market. The sale follows Christie's auction of the $21.5m Archduke Joseph Diamond across town earlier this week.
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