GENEVA – For centuries, pearls have been sought after by royalty and nobility as symbols of power, purity and beauty. Pliny, in his Natural History, recounts the tale of Cleopatra drinking one of the largest pearls in the world, dissolved in vinegar, following a bet with Marc Antony.
FINE NATURAL PEARL AND DIAMOND TIARA, SECOND HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY. ESTIMATE: CHF1,950,000–3,890,000.
Each of the eleven pearls in this exquisite natural pearl and diamond tiara has been selected to show a matching drop shape. In a true testimony to fin de siècle opulence, a painting by Gustave Jacquet dated 1883, shows Mary Ray, Viscountess de Courval wearing the tiara; it has been kept in the same family for well over a century.
THE THREE DIADEMS, 1950, ROBERT DOISNEAU.