Christie's London jewellery sale on December 1 saw an extremely rare group of ancestral jewels offered directly to the market for the first time.
The Portland Jewellery Collection featured 13 exquisite jewels, mostly from the jewel casket of Winifred Duchess of Portland (1863-1954). Collectors, investors and true connoisseurs from around the world were present at the sale, which led to some spectacular results.
The top sale was achieved by the stunning Portland Ruby, a circular-cut Burmese ruby ring of 9.20cts. Its pre-sale estimate of £400,000 - £600,000 was quickly and easily surpassed, and it eventually sold for £2,169,250 (more than five times its low-estimate price).
Second was the Portland diamond necklace, a circular-oval-cushion and pear-shaped diamond necklace, circa 1870, mounted in silver and gold. This too had an estimated price of £400,000 - £600,000, but when the hammer fell it had reached and incredible £1,833,250.
Other notable sales included a six-pearl and diamond brooch circa 1870, mounted in silver and gold that sold for £1,553,250 and the Portland Tiara, an antique sapphire diamond and pearl tiara circa 1890 that brought £763,650.
Prior to the sale Edward Clive, Director of Christie's, said:
"The collections of the Dukes of Portland were undoubtedly among the most illustrious in England. Christie's is honoured to be entrusted with presenting such outstanding jewels and works of art to the international market, at a time when refined appreciation of quality, beauty and provenance is paired with a notable hunger for 'the best'."
The Portland Collection sold 100% by lot, with a staggering sales total of £8,651,350, proving indeed that they were indeed amongst the best pieces offered on the jewelery market in recent years.
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