Lot 189. Formerly from the Collection of Katharine Dexter McCormick. Platinum, Gold, Ruby and Diamond Ring, 4.36 carats, Classic Burmese, circa 1900. Estimate 400,000 — 600,000 USD. Lot sold 545,000 USDCourtesy Sotheby's

Centered by a cushion-cut ruby weighing 4.36 carats, flanked by six old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately .30 carat, size 5¼; circa 1900. 

Property formerly from the collection of Katharine Dexter McCormick

Accompanied by AGL report no. CS 53778 stating that the ruby is of Classic Burmese origin, with no indications of heating.
Accompanied by Gübelin report no. 13025054 stating that the ruby is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating.
Together with an information sheet regarding rubies from Mogok, Burma.

Katharine Dexter McCormick (1875-1967) was a philanthropist and social advocate who spent much of her life opening doors for women that remained tightly shut well into the twentieth century. Born in Dexter, Michigan, a town named after her grandfather, and raised in Chicago, Katharine’s parents instilled in her the desire to obtain a higher education. In 1904 she became only the second woman to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technologyand the first to graduate with a degree in biology. In that same year, Katharine married Stanley McCormick, heir to the International Harvester fortune. According to family tradition, the ruby ring offered here was Katharine’s engagement ring from Stanley.
As a prominent member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), Katharine fought for women’s rights on multiple levels. Blending her educational background in the sciences with her involvement in NAWSA, McCormick helped fund research completed by renowned activist Margaret Sanger, furthering her beliefs that physical freedom was the gateway to other liberties. Although Katharine did not live to see its completion she also funded the construction of an all-female dormitory at MIT, named Stanley McCormick Hall, to ensure women accepted to the university would have proper boarding. As biographer Armond Fields notes, “…Katharine unswervingly dedicated her entire life and most of her wealth to women’s legal, social, psychological, and physical emancipation.

Sotheby's. Magnificent Jewels. New York | 17 avr. 2013