London-based Bonhams Auction House has announced the holding of its New York Fine Jewelry Sale on September 21st, 2018, featuring the jewelry collection of celebrated Olympic swimmer-turned-property mogul Katherine Domyan, valued at between $2.1 million and $3.2 million, consisting of over 60 jewels out of 191 Lots to be featured at the auction.
Katherine Domyan, a Hungarian swimmer, set four world records during her career, winning two gold medals in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, in the 100 m and 4 x 100 m freestyle events. Four years later, at the 1956 November-December Melbourne Olympics she competed in the same two events, but without success. Frustrated by the Soviet intervention in Hungary in October-November 1956, 42 Hungarian Olympic Athletes refused to return to Hungary after the Olympics, and sought political asylum in the United States. However, at that time, immigration quotas for the year 1956 were already filled and it took a special invitation from President Dwight Eisenhower to clear the migration of the athletes to the US, including Katherine. Settling in the US, Katherine first married an Olympic water polo player Kálmán Markovits, but later divorced him and married his teammate, Árpád Domjá, whom she knew from childhood.
Katherine and Arpad Domyan settled in Los Angeles, where they successfully set up a real-estate development company, enabling them to live a luxury lifestyle between New York, Los Angeles and Paris. They were active members of the West Los Angeles community. Katherine was a member of ANTA (American National Theatre Association), the Blue Ribbon 400, LA Opera and other charitable organizations. Their only child, Bryan Domyan, was born in 1971. Katherine who was married to Arpad for 56 years passed away peacefully in Los Angeles, on October 27, 2017 at the age of 82, in the presence of her husband, Arpad and son, Bryan.
During their 56-year marriage Katherine and Arpad Domyan put together a unique collection of more than 60 jewels, consisting of a variety of jewels such as bracelets, necklaces, rings etc. set with diamonds, colored gemstones such as rubies, sapphires, emeralds etc. The collection valued at between US$ 2.1 million and US$ 3.2 million has been entrusted to Bonhams New York for auctions and will go under the hammer at the New York Fine Jewelry Sale on September 21st, 2018.
“The collection tells a wonderful story of an amazingly successful woman and her husband, who rose to the very top of their sporting careers and then went on to be equally successful as they built their real-estate business in their new homeland of America,” said Caroline Morrissey, senior jewelry specialist at Bonhams New York.
Among the top lots in the collection is Lot 108 – AN ART DECO RUBY AND DIAMOND BRACELET, Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1940, with a pre-sale estimate of US$ 300,000 – 500,000 (£ 230,000 – 390,000). Length 7 ins (17.8 cm), articulated platinum bracelet is of geometric openwork design, has three large segments centering three rectangular-shaped emerald-cut rubies, measuring approximately 13.8 x 13.0 x 6.4 mm to 3.4 x 3.1 x 2.1 mm, flanked by half-moon-shaped diamonds, and set throughout with baguette and round brilliant-cut diamonds, separated by narrower segments accented by rectangular calibré-cut rubies divided into upper and lower section of nine rubies each, by a baguette diamond layer in the middle. signed VCA NY, no.45306 and no.4579; accompanied by a signed box.
Accompanied by AGL report # 1094032, dated July 11, 2018, stating the rubies as: Burmese origin, no indications of heat or clarity enhancement.
Another highlight of the sale is Lot 112 – A DIAMOND NECKLACE, HARRY WINSTON, 1984, with an estimate of US$ 350,000 – 550,000 (£ 270,000 – 430,000). The choker-length platinum necklace 15 ½ ins (39.4 cm) long, is designed as a double line of graduating round brilliant-cut diamonds, suspending two types of graduated fringes from the lower-half of the necklace alternating with one another. The shorter fringes made of a single pear-shaped brilliant-cut diamond drops alternates with longer fringes made up of a triad of round brilliant-cut diamonds terminating in a single pear-shaped diamond drop. The rear-half of the necklace has only single pear-shaped fringes alternating with triads of round brilliant-cut diamonds without the pear-shaped diamond.
The necklace signed Winston, bears no.9879; with maker’s mark for Jacques Timey and is accompanied by a signed pouch. Total weight of diamonds approximately 86.30 carats.
LOT – 110 – A DIAMOND RING, by Harry Winston, 1985 – with an estimate of US$ 250,000 – 350,000 (£190,000 – 270,000) is another significant lot of the sale. Ring size 5, platinum ring signed Winston, with maker’s mark for Jacques Timey, is double-claw set with a rectangular emerald cut, I-color, I-1 color grade diamond weighing 23.13 carats, flanked on either side by a trillion-cut diamond on the shoulders of the ring, with total weight 1.37 carats.
The Bonhams New York jewelry auction will take place on September 21, with the auction house holding previews in Los Angeles, Geneva and New York before the sale.