Sotheby’s auction house has announced the holding of its New York Magnificent Jewels spring sale on April 21, 2015, featuring stones and jewels, the auction house states highlights the strength of today’s market. A total of 368 lots will be on offer at the auctions, inluding an array of jewels incorporating rare and exceptional high-quality colored and colorless diamonds; superb colored gemstones like sapphires, emeralds and rubies, including several stunning Kashmir blue sapphires; signed jewels from leading jewelry houses including rare and iconic Art Deco jewels by Cartier; and jewels with celebrated provenance, such as those from the Estate of Mary Lily Kenan Flagler, wife of Henry Flagler, the American industrialist.
The aucion will be led by Lot 357 – A 100.20-carat, D-color, Internally Flawless diamond, known as the “Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond,” an extraordinary perfect diamond in a classic emerald-cut, unlike any white diamond offered before at a public auction and unveiled to the world by Sotheby’s New York on February 13, 2015. A pre-sale estimate of US$19-25 million has been placed on this extremely rare diamond. What makes this diamond exceptionally rare and unique, is the combination of the rare D-color and internally flawless clarity with the enormous weight of over 100 carats and the classic Emerald-cut. This diamond is the largest perfect diamond with a classic Emerald-cut ever to be offered at an auction. The rare and classic shape gives the diamond an unforgettable presence, whether it is worn as a jewel or admired on its own. The 100.20-carat “Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond” was cut and polished from a rough diamond weighing over 200 carats, mined by De Beers in Southern Africa. The owner of the diamond spent over one year studying the diamond and cutting and polishing it before delivering the spectacular stone, appropriately christened the”Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond.”
Other colorless diamond highlights include Lots 169 and 363. Lot 169 is titled “Highly Important Platinum and Diamond Pendant Necklace,” with a pre-sale estimate of US$3.8-4.2 million placed on it. The pendant to this necklace is a 52.26-carat, pear-shaped, D-color, SI1-clarity diamond, suspended from a platinum chain, collet-set with eight circular-cut diamonds. The 16 ins. necklace is adjustable to 17 ins. The lot is accompanied by a GIA report certifying that the 52.26-carat, pear-shaped diamond is D-color and SI1-clarity with excellent polish and symmetry.
Lot 363 – A Magnificent Platinum and Diamond Ring – the property of a prominent collector, with a pre-sale estimate of US$2.8-3.2 million is another colorless diamond highlight of the sale. The platinum ring is set with a D-color, internally flawless, oval-shaped diamond weighing 22.30 carats. A GIA report accompanying the lot certifies that the 22.30-carat, oval-shaped diamond is D-color and internally flawless, with a supplemental letter stating that the diamond has been determined to be Type IIa, which confirms the D-color grade of the diamond.
Prominent colored diamond lots in the sale include lots 366 and 362. Lot 366 – An Important Platinum, Rose-Gold, Fancy Blue Diamond And Colored Diamond Ring – with a pre-sale estimate of US$3.5-4.5 million, is set with an oval-shaped, mixed-cut, 6.06-carat, fancy blue diamond known as the “Monarch Blue Diamond” as its centerpiece, flanked by three circular-cut pink diamonds on either side, with a total weight of 0.85 carats. A GIA report accompanying the lot states that the 6.06-carat, oval-shaped mixed-cut diamond, is a fancy blue, natural color, VVS2-clarity diamond. However, the diamonds of pink hue have not been tested for natural origin of color.
Lot 362 – A Magnificent Platinum, 18K-Gold, Fancy Purplish-Pink Diamond And Sapphire Ring – with a pre-sale estimate of US$2.5-3.5 million, is another colored diamond highlight of the sale. The centerpiece of this platinum ring is a pear-shaped, fancy purplish-pink, VVS2-clarity diamond weighing 6.24 carats, flanked by two cushion-cut, Kashmir blue sapphires, one on each side, weighing 2.44 and 2.36 carats. A GIA report accompanying the lot states the 6.24-carat, pear-shaped diamond is a fancy purplish-pink, natural color, VVS2-clarity diamond. A supplemental letter issued by GIA states that the diamond has been determined to be Type IIa. Two lab reports from AGL and GGL accompanying the 2.44-carat blue sapphire certify the Kashmir origin of the blue sapphire, with no indications of heating. Two other lab reports by AGL and GGL accompanying the 2.36-carat blue sapphire also certify its Kashmir origin with no indications of heating.
Lot 121 is another colored diamond highlight of the sale, titled “An Important Platinum, 18K Rose-Gold, Fancy Light PInk Diamond And Diamond Ring.” A pre-sale estimate of US$1.9-2.2 million is placed on this lot. The centerpiece of this ring is a round-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut, fancy light pink, internally flawless diamond weighing 11.41 carats, highlighted by a row of circular-cut diamonds of near-colorless and pink hues, with a total weight of 1.15 carats. A GIA report accompanying the lot certifies that the 11.41-carat, round-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut diamond is fancy light pink, natural colored, internally flawless diamond.
Among the highlights of colored gemstone lots Kashmir sapphires take pride of place, such as Lots 365, 170 and 358. Lot 365 – A Superb Platinum, Sapphire and Diamond Ring by Cartier, New York, designed around 1915. The size 6 platinum ring is set with a 11.90-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire, accented by Old-European and single-cut diamonds on the hoop of the ring. Two lab reports by GGL and AGL certify the Kashmir origin of the sapphires with no evidence of heat treatment.An appendix in the GGL report states ‘The natural sapphire of 11.90 ct described in the above mentioned Gübelin Gem Lab Report possesses a richly saturated and homogenous color, combined with a high degree of transparency, and a finely proportioned cut. In addition, this remarkable gemstone has been spared thermal treatment. Such a combination of characteristics is rare in natural Kashmir sapphires of this size.
Lot 170 is another Kashmir sapphire lot from a private collection, titled “18k-Gold, Platinum, Sapphire and Diamond Brooch, designed by Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., France,” around the year 1960, and with a pre-sale estimate of US$750,000-1,000,000. The brooch designed as a stylized flower has as its centerpiece an octagonal-shaped mixed-cut Kashmir blue sapphire weighing 17.00 carats. The petals of the flower are set with numerous circular-cut diamonds weighing approximately 8.00 carats. The brooch was formerly in the collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon. An AGL report accompanying the lot states that the sapphire is of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating.
Lot 358, the property of a gentleman, titled “Important Platinum, 18k-Gold, Sapphire and Diamond Ring” is another Kashmir sapphire lot, with a pre-sale estimate of US$700,000-1,000,000. The centerpiece of the ring is a 9.94-carat, sugarloaf cabochon Kashmir blue sapphire, accented by tapered baguette-cut diamond on its shoulders, with a total weight of 0.75 carats. An SSEF report accompanying the lot certifies that the sapphire is of Kashmir origin with no indications of heat enhancement.
Highlights of emerald lots are lots 152, 129 and 359. Lot 152, titled “Platinum, Emerald and Diamond Ring,” with a pre-sale estimate of USD600,000-800,000 is set with a 25.92-carat, sugarloaf cabochon emerald as its centerpiece, surrounded by a row of marquise-cut and circular-cut diamonds, with a total weight of 3.20 carats.Two lab reports by GGL and AGL certify the Colombian origin of the emerald, with indications of minor clarity enhancement.
Lot 129 is a “Pair of Platinum, 18k White-Gold, Emerald and Diamond Earrings” with a pre-sale estimate of USD550,000-750,000. The centerpiece of the pair of pendant earrings is a matching pair of emeralds weighing 8.13 and 8.06 carats, highlighted by a row of small circular-cut diamonds and suspended by a hook from the lower end of the fixed linear suspension, mounted with small circular-cut diamonds, and a large circular-cut diamond at the point of suspension, each weighing 0.90 carats. Two lab reports by GGL and two lab reports by AGL certify that the 8.13-carat and 8.06-carat emeralds are of Colombian origin with indications of minor clarity enhancement. Two reports by GIA also certify that the 0.90 carat circular-cut diamonds are both D-color, with the clarity grade of one being VVS2 and the other VS1.
Lot 359 is another emerald lot, titled “Platinum, 18k-Gold, Emerald and Diamond Ring,” with a pre-sale estimate of USD300,000-400,000. The centerpiece of this ring is a modified emerald-cut emerald weighing 7.42 carats, flanked on either side by a half-moon shaped diamond with a total weight of 1.50 carats. Two lab reports by AGL and GGL certiffy the Colombian origin of the emerald, with no indications of clarity enhancement.
Highlight of a lot incorporating Burma rubies is Lot 90, titled “Platinum, Ruby and Diamond Ring” with a pre-sale estimate of USD200,000-300,000. The centerpiece of the ring is a 4.06-carat, oval-cut Burma ruby highlighted by a circular-cut colorless diamond surround, weighing 2.50 carats. An AGL report accompanying the lot certifies that the ruby is of Burma origin, with no indications of heat enhancement.
Among the highlights of the sale are also two rare and iconic Art Deco jewels by Cartier, represented by lots 364 and 356. Lot 364, is an “Elegant and Rare Platinum, Emerald, Sapphire, Lapis Lazuli and Diamond Pendant-Necklace,” designed by Charles Jacqueau for Cartier, Paris., Circa 1924. This rare and unique Art Deco necklace is also known as “The Baron de Rothschild Necklace” as it was acquired by Baron Eugene de Rothschild in 1924 for his new American wife Catherine. In 1927, Vogue magazine wrote about the Baroness and her Cartier necklace in an article about ‘the beautiful new jewels on the smartest women in Paris,’ stating that her taste in fashion and jewels was faultless. The necklace incorporates design features characteristic of jewelry produced during the Mughal period of India, a golden period during which the Arts and Literature, the decorative arts including jewelry designing, architecture and building construction flourished.
The colored gemstone necklace incorporating blue gemstones such as sapphires and lapis lazuli and green emeralds has a pendant suspending a hexagon-shaped emerald, an oval-shaped sapphire and a pear-shaped emerald, all carved with Mughal floral motifs. The necklace is composed of 41 sapphire beads, spaced by 80 lapis lazuli beads and diamond-set rondelles. The length of the necklace is 29 inches, but adjustable. A pre-sale estimate of USD1.8-2.2 million is placed on this necklace.
Lot 356 is another Cartier’s iconic Art Deco jewel created circa 1928. The lot titled, “Iconic Platinum, Emerald, Ruby, Diamond and Enamel Tutti-Frutti Bracelet, Cartier, New York,” has a pre-sale estimate of USD1.3-1.8 million placed on it. The bracelet inspired by Indian craftsmanship is designed as a flexible openwork foliate band; the stem set with old-European and single-cut diamonds; the leaves set with carved rubies; fruits set with carved emeralds; enhanced with black enamel bordering the stem and the leaves and the terminals of the bracelet and the clasp decorated with chevron motifs and cabochon rubies, and set with old-European and single-cut diamonds. Length of bracelet 7.25 ins. Signed Cartier, circa 1928. Although reminiscent of the Tutti Frutti bracelet Sotheby’s sold from the Collection of Evelyn H.Lauder, at the New York Magnificent Jewels Sale in December, 2014, for a world-record price of $2,165,000, every Cartier Tutti Frutti bracelet is completely unique.
Among the jewels with celebrated provenance are those from the Estate of Mary Lily Kenan Flagler, wife of Henry Flagler, the American industrialist, and jewels from the “Spectacular Bid Collection.” Lot 165 – Important Platinum Emerald and Diamond Pendant – is a jewel from the Estate of Mary Lily Kenan Flagler, known as the “Flagler Emerald,” with a pre-sale estimate of US$1.0 to 1.5 million. The Pendant suspends an emerald-cut emerald, weighing 35.02 carats, topped by four collet-set old-European cut diamonds weighing 0.35 carats. An AGL report accompanying the lot states that the emerald is of classic Colombian origin with insignificant clarity enhancement. Henry Flagler, the American industrialist was a pioneering developer of Florida’s eastern coastline. In 1901, he married Mary Lily Kenan, a socialite from the philanthropic Kenan family of Kenansville, North Carolina. The home and life they created together was an American Beaux-Art dream, complete with an impressive home in Palm Beach, Flagler named Whitehall, described at the time by the New York Herald as, “… more wonderful than any place in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world.” Today Whitehall has been turned into the well- known Flagler Museum that pays homage to the impact Henry Flagler had on his beloved state.Unfortunately, the couple was married only until Flagler’s sudden passing in 1913, making his young bride the wealthiest widow in America.
Other jewels of celebrated provenance include “The Spectacular Bid Collection” a magnificent suite of platinum, blue sapphire and diamond jewels created by Harry Winston and acquired by Teresa Pete, the mistress of Maryland’s Hawksworth Farm, the owner of the American thoroughbred race horse “Spectacular Bid” in celebration of the stallion’s racing career which lasted from 1978 through 1980, winning 26 of 30 races, setting several track records and earning US$2,781,607. Spectacular Bid’s wins as a two-year-old in 1978 included the Champagne Stakes and the Laurel Futurity. In early 1979, his wins included the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, as he built up a run of twelve consecutive victories. Spectacular Bid’s attempt at winning the Triple Crown failed as he sustained a controversial defeat in the Belmont Stakes. He recovered from injury to win the Marlboro Cup and confirm his status as the best American colt of his generation. In 1980, racing as a four-year-old, Spectacular Bid was undefeated in nine races and was named American Horse of the Year. “Spectacular Bid” also earned a place among The Blood-Horse magazine’s top ten US thoroughbreds of the 20th century. The blue sapphires of the Spectacular Bid Collection, pay homage to the blue silks, the racing colors of Hawksworth Farm.
The Spectacular Bid Collection includes a platinum, sapphire and diamond ring, bracelet, necklace and earclips offered as four different lots at the auction from Lot 367 to 370. Lot 367 is a “Platinum, Sapphire and Diamond Ring, by Harry Winston” with a pre-sale estimate of USD150,000-200,000. The centerpiece of this size 6 ring, designed circa 1979, is an emerald-cut sapphire weighing 12.24 carats, framed by baguette and trapeze-cut diamonds, weighing 2.15 carats. Two lab reports by GIA and AGL certify the Burma origin of the blue sapphire, with no indications of heating.
Lot 369 from the Spectacualr Bid Collection, is a “Platinum, Sapphire and Diamond Necklace, by Harry Winston” with a pre-sale estimate of US$300,000-400,000. The 15.25 ins. necklace designed as a riviere, circa 1978, is set with 73 round brilliant-cut diamonds with a total weight of 42.00 carats. The centerpiece of the detachable pendant suspended from the necklace, designed circa 1979, is a pear-shaped Burma blue sapphire weighing 16.95 carats framed by round and pear-shaped diamonds weighing 5.95 carats. Two lab reports by GIA and SSEF certify the Burma origin of the blue sapphire, with no indications of heat enhancement. An additional AGL report confirms that the sapphire is a natural corundum, with no indications of heating.