Who is Heidi Horten and why her jewels are among the rarest?

This May 3-15, Christie’s will present The World of Heidi Horten—the unparalleled jewellery collection of the late Mrs Heidi Horten
Who is Heidi Horten and why her jewels are among the rarest?

Heidi Horten was an Austrian philanthropist known for her elegance, glamour and fine taste. From an early age, Mrs Horten was exposed to objects of great beauty from her father, who was an engraver, and later during her first marriage to German entrepreneur Helmut Horten, when she began to refine her eye for jewellery and works of art. After Mr Horten’s death, Mrs Horten became passionately involved in areas as diverse as social welfare, sports and medical research, that she went on to support for decades. Throughout the years, she amassed one of the world’s most brilliant jewellery collections as well as a stunning assemblage of decorative arts, and modern and contemporary art, the latter of which is housed in the Heidi Horten Collection museum in Vienna.

The glorious assemblage comprises over 700 jewels, a true embodiment of Mrs Horten’s timeless elegance, glamour and taste for collecting. The collection is of impeccable quality and breadth, showcasing the art of jewellery in all its splendour.

The collection is offered as a sale series, beginning with The World of Heidi Horten: Magnificent Jewels Part I on 10 May, followed by a Part II auction on 12 May and an online sale, open for bidding from 3 to 15 May. From showstopping diamonds, rubies and jade to outstanding pieces from masters of a generation, including Bulgari, Cartier, Tiffany, Harry Winston and Van Cleef & Arpels, the sales are poised to become the largest and most valuable jewellery auctions to date. A second online sale will take place later this year offering the remaining jewels from the collection. As per Mrs Horten’s wishes, all of the Estate’s proceeds will benefit The Heidi Horten Foundation—established in 2020 to support The Heidi Horten Collection as well as medical research and other philanthropic activities that she supported for many decades.

With inputs from Christie's

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