28 Jan 2023
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Christie's to host Magnificent Jewels: The Live Auction
77 exceptionally curated selected lots will be presented in the live auction taking place at the Four Seasons Hotel des Berges on 9 November at 5.00pm
By: Diamond World News Service
Oct 23 2021 12:38PM
Reference: 25946  


Christie’s is pleased to present the traditional Magnificent Jewels auction under a new format this autumn. 77 exceptionally curated selected lots will be presented in the live auction taking place at the Four Seasons Hotel des Berges on 9 November at 5.00pm. This auction will be surrounded by Jewels Online: The Geneva Edit, opening for bidding on 2 November and closing on 11 November, offering 251 lots.

The live auction will present an important selection of jewels with royal provenance, of which the Marie Antoinette diamond bracelets and the ruby bangle of the Duchess of Windsor have been already announced. The Geneva jewels team is delighted to present two additional royal lots this November: a ruby and diamond brooch by Ménière with extraordinary Royal provenance last seen on the market at the French crown jewels auction in 1887 and an early 19th century “Ears of Wheat” tiara, formerly the property of Princess Pauline Bonaparte (Borghese).

Pauline Bonaparte (1780-1825) was the second sister of Napoleon Bonaparte and in 1803 she married Camillo Borghese, Prince of Sulmona. Ears of wheat were one of the most prominent decorative themes in jewellery under the First French Empire, inspired by recently excavated archaeological sites such as Pompei and Herculaneum. (estimate CHF440,000-660,000).

In 1810 Napoleon commissioned the jeweller François-Régnault Nitot, precursor of Chaumet, to create a ruby and diamond parure for the French Crown Jewels. The parure contained 404 rubies and 9,430 small diamonds. Under the Bourbon Restauration, one of the first decisions was to reset all Napoleon’s jewels starting with the ruby suite, even though it was only five years old. In 1816, court-jeweler Paul-Nicolas Ménière remounted the ruby and diamond parure. The Third Republic did not know what to do with the crown jewels, such a symbol of royalty and in 1887, they were sold at auction held in the Louvre. Boin-Taburet acquired the ruby and diamond earrings together with their matching pendant. At some later date one of the earrings must have been converted into the brooch we see today (estimate CHF40,000-60,000).
The auction celebrates the world’s most sought-after gemstone, the diamond, by offering a spectacular 55.50 carat diamond potentially internally flawless. While the term “Golconda” refers to diamonds mined in India before the 18th Century, it is today also used as terminology to describe diamonds mined elsewhere that display the same optical features of the coveted Golconda gems, containing little if any nitrogen and with exceptional transparency, accounting for less than 2% of all gem diamonds. (estimate CHF 4,000,000-5,000,000).

The African Sunflower is a 42.98 carat VS1 clarity stone, offered with an estimate of CHF 2,000,000-4,000,000. From Mine to Masterpiece, the short three week/ cutting process was effortless because of the perfect atomic makeup of this special stone. The diamond was polished by a master cutter with over 50 years of experience. He came to call the stone The African Sunflower as it had the finest yellow colour he ever worked on.



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