As temperatures go down this fall, the international auction scene is heating up.
Last week, Sotheby’s celebrated its 40th Anniversary in Asia with a record-shattering Hong Kong extravaganza. Earning more than $525 million, the five-day event was the largest sales series ever held in Asia. The Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale alone raised $95 million – the highest total for a jewelry sale in Asia – and included the record sale of the “greatest white diamond ever to be offered at auction“.
Hong Kong did produce some disappointment for Sotheby’s when the Premier Blue, a highly anticipated blue diamond, failed to find a buyer.
Now rival auction house Christie’s will open their fall season on October 15 with their own Magnificent Jewels sale in New York. While Christie’s appears to be saving their biggest lots for the Geneva sale later this fall, tomorrow’s event will offer several unique and important lots that should pique considerable collector interest.
David Webb Jewelry
The sale kicks off with one of the finest collections of David Webb jewelry ever to hit the auction block. Christie’s will offer 57 Webb pieces in all, with the majority from the estate of Mrs. Noreen Stonor Drexel of Newport, RI.
These lots exemplify the very best of Mr. Webb’s work, and include a magnificent Diamond, Rubellite Tourmaline and Yellow Sapphire necklace ($60,000 – $80,000) with matching bracelet ($25,000 – $35,000) and an impressive 12.55 carat Diamond Ring ($450,000 – $650,000).
Eva Peron Brooch
Colored diamond market at auctions has been especially strong this year, with several records set in the spring. Christie’s hopes to spur demand with over 35 colored diamond lots, including an impressive type IIa rectangular-cut Fancy Intense Pink diamond ($5,500,00 – $6,500,00), 8.77 carats, and a rare type IIb cushion-cut Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ($2,500,000 – $3,500,000), 3.81 carats.
Also up for sale is a Historic “Mystery-Set” Sapphire, Diamond and Colored Diamond Argentine Flag Brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels. The brooch features a banner of sapphires and diamonds with a yellow diamond “Sun of May”, the symbol of Argentine freedom. Formally the property of notorious Argentine First Lady Eva Peron, the brooch was last sold in April of 1998 for $992.500. It is widely expected to exceed the pre-auction estimate of $300,000 – 500,000.
Other Notable Lots
A “Toi et Moi” style Colored Diamond and Diamond Ring ($350,000 – $500,000) featuring a 1.01 ct. Fancy Vivid Blue diamond and a 1.49 ct. white diamond
A fabulously colorful Sapphire, Yellow Sapphire, and Diamond Necklace, by Cartier ($400,000 – $600,000) with unheated Ceylon sapphires
A 13.57 carat Padparadscha Sapphire and Diamond Ring ($80,000 – $120,000) of Ceylon origin
A Set of Sapphire and Diamond jewelry by Graff ($350,000 – $500,000) with heart-shaped Ceylon and Madagascar sapphires
A Colored Diamond Ring ($150,000 – $250,000) with a rare 4.59 carat type IIb Fancy Dark Bluish Gray diamond
An Important Art Deco Aquamarine, Tourmaline, Diamond and Enamel Brooch, by Cartier ($200,000 – $300,000)
A 65 inch long Moonstone and Diamond Longchain Necklace, by Fred Leighton ($15,000 – $25,000)
A Pair of Diamond Ear Pendants, by Graff ($650,000 – $850,000) with just under 14 carats of D color pear-shaped diamonds. Three of the diamonds are potentially internally flawless.
A Suite of Diamond, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli and Gold Jewelry, by Marianne Ostier ($30,000 – $50,000)
Kardashian Engagement Ring
Also expected to make headlines is the offering of an “impressive” 16.21 carat rectangular-cut diamond ring by Lorraine Schwartz. Listed as the “Property of a Gentleman”, it has been widely speculated to be Kim Kardashian’s former engagement ring. This morning, Kardashian’s ex-husband, NBA star Kris Humphries, released a statement confirming the ring and and expressing hope for a “successful auction at Christie’s.”
While the ring carries an estimate of $300,000 – $500,000 (far less than the $2 million Humphries reportedly paid). it remains to be seen how Kardashian’s notoriety will affect the final hammer price.
Christie’s will offer 400 lots in two sessions tomorrow at their Rockefeller Center headquarters. Beginning at 10 a.m. ET, the sale is expected to earn more than $40 million.