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A Fancy Intense Pink Diamond and Diamond Ring, Oscar Heyman & Brothers Weighing 6.54 carats, Internally Flawless. Estimate $4/5 million. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s announce that it will offer jewelry from the collections of Mrs. Estée Lauder and Mrs. Evelyn H. Lauder as part of our Magnificent Jewels auction in New York on 5 December 2012. Proceeds from the more than 35 pieces – together estimated in excess of $13 million – will benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®, an organization founded and championed by Evelyn Lauder. Highlights from the collections will travel to Geneva, London and Los Angeles this fall, before returning to New York for exhibition beginning 1 December. Additional pieces from the collections will be offered in the New York auction of Important Jewels in February 2013, also sold to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Mr. Leonard A. Lauder, Chairman Emeritus, The Estée Lauder Companies and Acting Chairman of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation stated, “On behalf of the Lauder family, we are pleased to be partnering with Sotheby’s for this important auction. Each piece of jewelry is unique and very special. They were each designed to be timeless pieces that also manifest exceptional style and taste. I know that both my mother Estée and my dear wife Evelyn would be pleased that these items are being sold to raise funds for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Our mission is to help women around the world so that one day this disease will be a thing of the past.”

Estée Lauder
A visionary entrepreneur who believed all women could be beautiful, Estée Lauder (1906-2004) instinctively understood the power of beauty. Her dedication and hard work transformed the fledgling business she launched in 1946 with four products into today’s global leader in prestige beauty. Mrs. Lauder got her start selling skin care products developed by her uncle, a chemist, in local beauty salons and hotels. She believed in the power of word of mouth and that sampling products sealed a sale, pioneering personalized beauty consultation and Gift with Purchase promotions. She was the recipient of many prestigious honors, including France’s Legion of Honor in 1978 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004. She traveled and entertained extensively, and socialized with world leaders, Hollywood royalty and celebrities.

Evelyn H. Lauder
Evelyn H. Lauder (1936-2011) was the Senior Corporate Vice President and Head of Fragrance Development Worldwide for The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. Her life is a remarkable American success story: born in Vienna, Austria, her parents fled from Europe at the outset of World War II, eventually settling in New York City. She was proud to have attended New York City public schools and Hunter College, where she met Leonard A. Lauder as a freshman. The two married in 1959, and Mrs. Lauder began her more than 50 years with the family company, contributing her invaluable insights into fashion trends, consumers’ changing needs, and new approaches to the development of innovative skin care, makeup and fragrance products.

Mrs. Lauder was perhaps best known to the public for her work in bringing global awareness to the importance of women’s health. In 1992, Mrs. Lauder co-created the now-ubiquitous Pink Ribbon with SELF magazine, and launched The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign (bcacampaign.com). Mrs. Lauder was also Chairman of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which she founded in 1993. She was passionately committed to preventing and finding a cure for breast cancer.

Mrs. Lauder was also a dedicated photographer, and her photographs are in the collection of The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and leading medical facilities worldwide. She has had two photography books published of her own work, and in 2006 she published a healthy-living cookbook – in keeping with her passion for philanthropy, the royalties from each of Mrs. Lauder’s books and exhibitions supported The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The many honors she received in recognition of her work include: France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur; the prestigious 2007 Partners in Progress Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology; two appearances in Crain’s New York Business magazine’s list of New York’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business; and being nominated to the International Best Dressed List in 2008.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®
Founded by Evelyn H. Lauder in 1993, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) has raised more than $390 million to advance the most promising breast cancer research worldwide that will help lead to prevention and a cure in our lifetime. In 2012-2013, BCRF grants totaling $40 million are supporting 197 dedicated researchers at major medical institutions across the globe. Currently, 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF is directed towards breast cancer research and awareness programs. BCRF remains one of the most fiscally responsible charities in the country. For the tenth time since 2002, it has earned 4 stars from Charity Navigator. Additionally, BCRF is the only cancer organization rated an “A+” by CharityWatch. For more information about BCRF, visit bcrfcure.org.

The Lauder Jewels
Comprising exceptional white and fancy colored diamonds and jewels from esteemed houses such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston, and Oscar Heyman, the Lauder collections exemplify exceptional quality and timeless elegance. Most notable among the many highlights in Evelyn Lauder’s collection is a rare and magnificent Fancy Intense Pink Diamond ring, its remarkable color bringing to mind the cause she so tirelessly championed. At the center of Estée Lauder’s collection is a large heart-shaped yellow diamond, formerly worn as a ring by the Duchess of Windsor and later mounted as a necklace for Mrs. Lauder by Van Cleef & Arpels. The collections are completed by a very fine selection of wearable evening and daytime jewelry, all reflecting the classic style and good taste of the women who wore them. The offering of these spectacular jewels to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation represents a wonderful opportunity to participate in the continued generosity of a great American family. 

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Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond and Diamond Pendant-Necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels, New York, 1978. Set with a heart-shaped Fancy Intense Yellow diamond weighing 47.14 carats, formerly in the collection of the Duchess of Windsor. Estimate $1.5/2 million. Photo: Sotheby's