Sotheby's offer historic royal jewels in New York auction
Historic jewels with royal provenance will be amongst the highlights the forthcoming Sotheby's jewelry auction in New York.
The Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels sale on Wednesday December 9 features more than 500 lots, from important diamonds and gemstones to vintage designer pieces, with estimates starting at just $5,000.
Leading the sale will be platinum and diamond necklace, created by Parisian jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels in 1939 for Queen Nazli of Egypt.
Queen Nazli (1894-1978), mother of Egypt’s King Farouk, commissioned the bib-style necklace set with 217 carats of diamonds to wear at the wedding of her daughter, Princess Fawzia.
Her marriage to the Crown Prince of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was described as "the most lavish event to ever take place in modern Egypt", and Nazli attended in an outfit literally covered in diamonds.
The Queen later spent the rest of her life in California, taking her jewels with her, and in 1975 many items from her collection were sold to private collectors. The necklace will come to auction for the first time since that sale, and is expected to sell for $3.6-$4.6 million.
The auction will also include two important jewels designed by Suzanne Belperron for Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor: a pair of white gold, chalcedony, sapphire and diamond ‘Couronne’ cuff-bracelets estimated at $400,000-$600,000, and a platinum, white gold, chalcedony, sapphire and diamond ‘Flower-Head’ necklace valued at $350,000-$550,000.
Dating from 1935, both pieces were later sold at Sotheby’s landmark Geneva auction in 1987, which set a record for a single owner jewelry collection.
“If these jewels could talk, what a tale they would tell: an iconic Art Deco diamond necklace made in 1939 by Van Cleef & Arpels for Queen Nazli of Egypt, and an avant-garde creation made by designer Suzanne Belperron circa 1935 for Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor for whom King Edward VIII gave up his throne.
"The rare combination of superb original design with romantic provenance is irresistible to lovers of fine jewels, and we are thrilled to present them to collectors this December,” said Lisa Hubbard, Co-Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry Division, North & South America.
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