1870
1870

THE COWDRAY PEARLS

A Highly Important, Rare and Superb Natural Pearl and Diamond Necklace, Cartier London; and Pair of Natural Pearl and Diamond Earclips, mounts by Cartier London
Estimate
Premium Lots
In order to bid on "Premium Lots" you must complete the required Premium Lot preregistration application and deliver to Sotheby's such necessary financial references, guarantees, deposits and/ or such other security as Sotheby's may in its absolute discretion require, as security for your bid. Sotheby's decision whether to accept any pre-registration application shall be final. We recommend you contact Sotheby's at least 3 working days prior to the relevant sale in order to process the pre-registration, and please bear in mind that we are unable to obtain financial references over weekends or public holidays. If all lots in the catalogue are "Premium Lots", a Special Notice will be included to this effect and the paddle symbol will not be used.
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
35,000,00055,000,000
LOT SOLD. 41,080,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
1870

THE COWDRAY PEARLS

A Highly Important, Rare and Superb Natural Pearl and Diamond Necklace, Cartier London; and Pair of Natural Pearl and Diamond Earclips, mounts by Cartier London
Estimate
Premium Lots
In order to bid on "Premium Lots" you must complete the required Premium Lot preregistration application and deliver to Sotheby's such necessary financial references, guarantees, deposits and/ or such other security as Sotheby's may in its absolute discretion require, as security for your bid. Sotheby's decision whether to accept any pre-registration application shall be final. We recommend you contact Sotheby's at least 3 working days prior to the relevant sale in order to process the pre-registration, and please bear in mind that we are unable to obtain financial references over weekends or public holidays. If all lots in the catalogue are "Premium Lots", a Special Notice will be included to this effect and the paddle symbol will not be used.
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
35,000,00055,000,000
LOT SOLD. 41,080,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Magnificent Jewels & Jadeite

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Hong Kong

A Highly Important, Rare and Superb Natural Pearl and Diamond Necklace, Cartier London; and Pair of Natural Pearl and Diamond Earclips, mounts by Cartier London
The necklace composed of forty-two graduated natural grey pearls measuring approximately 12.90 to 6.65mm, completed by a clasp set with a rectangular mixed-cut diamond, mounted in platinum, length approximately 435mm, with maker's mark JC; and pair of earrings, each set with a button-shaped natural grey pearl measuring approximately 11.52 - 12.42mm and 11.92 -12.13 x 10.15mm respectively, to a stylised surround set with single- and brilliant-cut diamonds, mounted in silver-topped gold and 8 karat yellow gold, signed Cartier London and numbered W12152.(2)
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Catalogue Note

Formerly from the collection of Viscountess Cowdray, Lady Pearson (1860 - 1932), the Cowdray Pearl necklace comprising 42 pearls had been re-strung to 38 pearls. Two pearls from this strand after 1937 were mounted into a pair of earrings by Cartier, which remained with the Cowdray family. These and two other pearls originating from another antique jewel was recently re-strung back to its original number of 42 pearls - 'to make it a superb layout of historic pearls' (SSEF, 2013). The Cowdray Pearls first appeared at auction at Sotheby's London in 1937, with a catalogue note stating that 'there is probably no finer collection of such pearls in existence'.

As noted by Swiss Gemological Institute (SSEF), the Cowdray Pearls is an 'exceptional pearl necklace' that has been described to possess 'extraordinary characteristics and merit special mention and appreciation'. Their colour subtly varies in different shades of grey and brown, partly combined with highly attractive rosé, purple and green overtones, SSEF also notes that 'apart from its aesthetic beauty and rarity, this pearl necklace is also exceptional due to its documented historic provenance'.  

Accompanied by two SSEF reports numbered 67726 and 67685, dated 18 and 22 April 2013 respectively, stating that the pearls are natural saltwater pearls, with no indications of artificial colour modification.

Magnificent Jewels & Jadeite

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Hong Kong