The Walska Briolette Diamond brooch, a renowned masterpiece of design, is another strong consignment to Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva on November 13.
The brooch, made by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1971, showcases the Walska Briolette Diamond, a fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing in a 96.62 carats. Taking its name from opera singer Ganna Walska, a jewellery connoisseur to whom it once belonged, it is expected at make $8m.
The diamond was originally purchased by Van Cleef & Arpels at Sotheby's auction of the Jewels of Madame Ganna Walska. The brooch was commissioned a year later by an important American collection, with the jeweller giving the diamond a suitably lavish setting of yellow gold with yellow and white diamonds, emeralds and a cabochon sapphire.
The diamond can be detached and worn as a pendant, while the bird's wings can be used as earrings and the tail transformed into a stand-alone brooch.
"The 'Walska Briolette Diamond' Brooch is the perfect demonstration of how a great jeweller can emphasize the beauty of a spectacular stone by transforming it into a unique piece," commented Sotheby's David Bennet, chairman of jewellery in Europe and the Middle East.
"This historic diamond, which is of an extraordinary size for an antique-cut briolette, comes back on the market after 42 years, in a fabulous bespoke piece of jewellery."
Also starring in Geneva will be the Pink Star diamond, which is the most valuable diamond ever offered at auction at $60m.
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