T his year, Sotheby’s Geneva is proudly celebrating ten years of dedicated sales of jewels with Noble and Aristocratic provenance, following the launch of biannual sales in 2007.
Among the fascinating examples in May will be a sensational pair of natural pearl and diamond ear clips by Alexandre Reza, which are being offered from the collection of a Lady of Title. Upon admiring the jewels, the Swiss Gemmological Institute said, “The pearls exhibit a remarkable size and weight of approximately 23 carats and 22 carats and are characterised by a matching regular drop shape. Assembling a matching pair of saltwater natural pearls of this size and quality can be considered rare and exceptional.” (Lot 363, Estimate CHF 1,010,000–1,510,000, US$1,000,000–1,500,000).
The antique jewels to be offered in the Noble Jewels section will include a timeless diamond ‘rivière’ necklace dating from the mid-19th century. The stunning piece was formerly in the collection of Anna Murat, Princess de Poix (1841–1924) (Lot 357, Estimate CHF 810,000–1,410,000 / US$ 800,000–1,400,000).
Dating from slightly later in the 19th century, this elegant emerald and diamond necklace would happily find its place alongside modern jewels thanks to its simple and stylish design. To great effect, it combines no fewer than nine covetable Colombian emeralds with collet-set old-cut diamonds (Lot 358, Estimate CHF 510,000–810,000 / US$ 500,000–800,000).
Also boasting fascinating noble provenance, this intricate sapphire and diamond necklace formerly belonged to the collection of a Roman princely family and was created in 1880. The beautiful piece is set with cushion-, oval- and pear-shaped sapphires (Lot 344, Estimate CHF 305,000–510,000 /US$ 300,000–500,000).
Finally, a perfectly formed brooch from the ‘golden era’ of Cartier’s production is sure to fascinate collectors thanks to its combination of style and provenance. This jadeite, onyx, ruby and diamond pendant/brooch was made around 1925 and was formerly in the collection of Mona, Countess von Bismarck (1897–1983). The American-born socialite, fashion icon and famed beauty was married five times, including to Harrison Williams (said at the time to be the richest man in America) and the Graf von Bismarck-Schönhausen, grandson of German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. In 1933, Mona became the first American to be named "The Best Dressed Woman in the World" by a panel of top couturiers including Chanel (Lot 362, Estimate CHF 105,000–155,000 / US$ 100,000–150,000).
The Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale is in Geneva on 16 May