Lot 281
  • 281

Fine and Important Aquamarine and diamond corsage ornament, Cartier, 1912

Estimate
120,000 - 170,000 CHF
Log in to view results
bidding is closed

Description

In the garland style centring on a cushion-shaped aquamarine drop within an open work millegrain surround of circular-, single- and rose-cut diamonds suspended from a pair of oval aquamarine brooches within open work lozenge shaped frames to a millegrain-set connecting chain, drop and brooches detachable.

Condition

The three aquamarine estimated to weigh approximately 23.00, 25.00 and 28.00 carats (gauged in mounting), strong evenly distributed and well matched colour, good brilliance and lustre. Diamonds estimated to weigh approximately 17.95 carats, generally H-K colour, VS-I clarity. Minor scratches to metal commensurate with age and wear. Well preserved and rare, one piece of an impressive parure. In good condition.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Please note that colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact by Sotheby's. We do not guarantee, and are not responsible for any certificate from a gemological laboratory that may accompany the property. We do not guarantee that watches are in working order. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue, in particular to the Notice regarding the treatment and condition of gemstones and to the Notice regarding import of Burmese jadeite and rubies into the US.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Catalogue Note

This parure was part of the jewellery collection of Olga Karnovich (1865-1929), Princess Paley, the second and morganatic wife of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia (1860-1919), Tsar Alexander III's brother.  Widowed in 1891, the Grand Duke later engaged in an open love affair with Olga Karnovich who was married to Erich von Pistohlkohrs at the time. The birth of their illegitimate son, Vladimir, and Olga's subsequent divorce were major scandals among the Imperial entourage of St Petersburg. Upon learning of this, the Grand Duke's nephew, Tsar Nicolas II, refused the couple permission to marry. Paul had to resign from his military duties and all his Russian properties were seized. The couple fled Russia and settled in an elegant town house near Paris where they married in 1902.
In 1904, Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria, granted Olga the title of Countess Hohenfelsen. In 1912, the Tsar finally recognised their marriage, gave Olga the title of Princess Paley, and allowed them to return to Russia.
The Grand Duke and his wife were frequent clients at Cartier's premises on the Rue de la Paix during their Parisian exile. They ordered, in addition to the jewels on offer here, a pair of opera-glasses, a magnificent diamond tiara and a diadem of Greek design.