The Cowdray Pearls could bring world record price at Sotheby's
Sotheby's has announced the upcoming sale of The Cowdray Pearls, one of the finest and rarest grey pearl necklaces in existence.
The necklace features 42 extremely rare natural grey saltwater pearls, all well-matched in lustre, shape and size, mounted by Cartier. It was originally owned by Viscountess Cowdray, Lady Pearson (1860 – 1932), and is accompanied by a pair of natural grey pearl earrings also mounted by Cartier.
The pearls first appeared at auction in 1937, with the original Sotheby's catalogue description stating “there is probably no finer collection of such pearls in existence”.
Now, almost 80 years later, the necklace will once again cross the Sotheby's auction block. It will be amongst the star lots of the Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale in Hong Kong on October 7, with an estimated value of HK$35-$55 million (US$4.5-$7 million).
The quality and rarity of natural grey pearls mean their appearances at auction have often set new records. In 2012 the Wrightsman Pearl Brooch – a piece of jewelry from the collection of Mrs Charles Wrightsman – achieved $1.9 million at Sotheby's, making it the most valuable single grey pearl ever sold at auction.
The current record price for a natural pearl necklace was set in April 2015, by a four strand necklace which sold at Sotheby's in New York for $5.1 million.
“We are extremely honoured to offer the Cowdray Pearls in Sotheby’s upcoming Autumn sale," said Quek Chin Yeow, Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s Asia and Chairman of International Jewellery, Asia.
"Natural saltwater grey pearls are rarely seen at auction and the present necklace, strung with 42 superb grey pearls and of aristocratic provenance, is arguably the greatest of its kind in existence. This is an extraordinary collecting opportunity for pearl and jewellery connoisseurs around the world.”
The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.
Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.
Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.