Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels: Part I
Live Auction: 10 November 2021 • 5:00 PM CET • Geneva

Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels: Part I 10 November 2021 • 5:00 PM CET • Geneva

S otheby's Geneva is pleased to present an unparalleled selection of large diamonds and coloured gemstones for its upcoming Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale, combining great rarity and beauty with craftsmanship and design.


Auction Highlights

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Big Rocks

Desired, rare and bewitching are only a few words to describe one of nature’s finest miracles – diamond and coloured gemstones of the utmost importance are presented in this unparallelled selection of stones.

Combining extreme rarity and beauty, these gems of exceptional size, upwards of 20 carats, illustrate a growing understanding of the scarcity and complexities of these incredibly large stones. Collectors increasingly appreciate them as phenomenally rare natural wonders, which are not only tangible assets with great intrinsic value, but also works of art in their own right, when set in masterful designs.

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Icons of Design: Harry Winston

Born in New York City, Harry Winston is today known as the ‘King of Diamonds’, a title awarded by Cosmopolitan magazine in 1947, due to his irreproachable sense of beauty and uniqueness in sourcing and fashioning gemstones.

‘Talk to me, Harry Winston, tell me all about it’
MARILYN MONROE, GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, 1953

These beautiful and impressive gemstones offered at auction in the upcoming Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale are part of Harry Winston’s most valuable collectable pieces, carrying on his legacy.

Featured Jewels

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Tiaras: A History of Elegance

Typically adorned with coloured gemstones, diamonds and pearls, and crafted in precious metals that reflect the fashions of a particular point in time tiaras are often intimately connected to famous individuals and families throughout history. From the 18th century onwards, tiaras were the pinnacle of a fine jewelry parure. The Romanticism movement at the end of the century led to natural and garlands motifs, which then lead to a rise in popularity with the traditional Russian Kokoshnik and its straight and tall ‘wall’ of precious stones.

By the Edwardian era, known in Europe as La Belle Époque, the meteoric rise of brands like Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels saw tiaras fashioned for royals, aristocrats and socially ambitious elites who wanted to impress at balls and banquets. This continued well into the 1930s, where the bandeaux adopted the geometric leanings of the decade in many Art Deco examples.

After the Second World War, the tiara slowly re-emerged as the prerequisite of Queens, princesses and Hollywood starlets, more recently given their moment in the spotlight at Royal weddings, such as the marriage of the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex and Princess Eugenie.

A Short History of Bulgari’s Iconic Serpenti Collection

Lily Aldridge in Bulgari Serpentini necklace and tubogas.

In 1962, Elizabeth Taylor was in Rome filming the Cleopatra (1963). During a break in filming, she posed for a still while wearing – appropriately for her role– a gold-and-diamond coiled serpent Serpenti watch by Bulgari. While Bulgari had made a coiled stylized serpent jewelry watch in the late 40s, it was in the 60s, boosted by Taylor’s portrayal of Cleopatra, that the Serpenti rose to cult-style status. It became far more realistically snake-like, with its superbly articulated scale-like elements in textured gold, studded with gems or vibrantly enameled, with the watch case and dial hidden inside the serpent’s beautifully shaped head.

View 1 of Lot 224: Emerald and diamond necklace, 'Serpenti' | 寶格麗 | 祖母綠配鑽石「Serpenti」項鏈
Bulgari
Emerald and diamond necklace, 'Serpenti' | 寶格麗 | 祖母綠配鑽石「Serpenti」項鏈
Estimate: 220,000 – 325,000 CHF
Emerald and diamond necklace, 'Serpenti' | 寶格麗 | 祖母綠配鑽石「Serpenti」項鏈
Designed as a serpent with pear-shaped emerald eyes, the scales enhanced with brilliant-cut diamonds, length approximately 420mm, signed Bulgari, numbered, Italian assay mark for gold and maker's mark.

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