A Cushion-Cut Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond Ring of 3.81ct – Estimate: $2,500,000 – $3,500,000 and A Rectangular-Cut Fancy Intense Pink Diamond Ring of 8.77ct – Estimate: $5,500,000 – $6,500,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.
New York – Christie’s New York begins the fall auction season with an exceptional line-up of fine jewels, important diamonds and rare colored gemstones to highlight its sale of Magnificent Jewels on October 15. In keeping with collector demand after the historic sale of the Princie Diamond, the most valuable Golconda diamond ever sold at auction, this sale offers a trio of colored diamonds of superior quality, depth of color, tone and saturation.
Leading the scores of gems is a rectangular-cut Fancy Intense Pink diamond ring of 8.77 carats, a cushion-cut Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ring of 3.81 carats (illustrated below), and a square-cut Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond ring of 5.13 carats (illustrated below) all of which have been consigned by distinguished gem collectors. The two-session sale at Christie’s Rockefeller Center saleroom comprises 400 lots, and is expected to achieve in excess of $40 million.
A Rectangular-Cut Fancy Intense Pink Diamond Ring of 8.77 carats. Estimate: $5,500,000 – 6,500,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.
Set with a cut-cornered modified rectangular-cut fancy intense pink diamond, weighing approximately 8.77 carats, flanked on either side by a shield-shaped diamond, mounted in platinum and gold.
With report 13702310 dated 11 July 2013 from the Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is fancy intense pink, natural color, VVS1 clarity
Accompanied by a supplemental letter stating that the diamond has been determined to be a Type IIa pink diamond. Type IIa pink diamonds are very rare in nature, often have relatively few inclusions and are noted for their homogenous color in the rough. Unlike many other colored diamonds, the color in pink diamonds can not only be caused by impurities, but it may also be a result of the diamond's exposure to heat and pressure during transportation into the earth's crust. Type IIa pinks have been found in a number of mining regions around the world. Historically they were found in India (particularly from the Golconda region) and, in more recent times, most notably from Brazil and Africa. Among famous gem diamonds, the 70.39 carat Empress Rose and the 28.15 carat Agra are examples of Type IIa pinks
A Cushion-Cut Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond Ring of 3.81 carats. Estimate: $2,500,000 – 3,500,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.
Set with a round-cornered modified rectangular-cut fancy vivid blue diamond, weighing approximately 3.81 carats, flanked on either side by a half moon diamond, mounted in platinum
With report 2155517964 dated 5 July 2013 from the Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is fancy vivid blue, natural color, VS1 clarity
Accompanied by a supplemental letter from the Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond has been determined to be a type IIb diamond. Type IIb diamonds are very rare in nature (from our experience, less than one half of one percent) and contain small amounts of boron that can give rise to a blue or gray coloration. An unusual property of type IIb diamonds is that they are semi-conductors and conduct electricity. Historically, the ancient mines of India produced occasional blue diamonds but today the most significant source is limited to the Cullinan (formerly Premier) Mine in South Africa. Among famous gem diamonds, the 70.21 carat Idol's Eye and the 45.52 carat Hope, are examples of type IIb
A Square-Cut Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond of 5.13ct – Estimate: $200,000 – $300,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.
The square-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond, weighing approximately 5.13 carats
With report 1152355720 dated 9 April 2013 from the Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is fancy vivid yellow, natural color, VVS1 clarity
Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry for Christie’s Americas and Switzerland, noted: “It was an unprecedented season for Christie’s this spring, having achieved three world record breaking diamond sales in New York, Geneva and Hong Kong. For the first major fall sale in New York, our team of jewelry specialists have traveled the globe to gather the finest quality diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and rare vintage jewels from notable estates and private collections. In anticipation of a continued strong market, we look forward to offering collectors the best in the world of jewelry auctions.”
THE HONORABLE NOREEN STONOR DREXEL OF NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND
For the people of Newport, Rhode Island, one woman served as the personification of their community’s beauty and generosity: Mrs. Noreen Stonor Drexel. Born the Honorable Mildred Sophia Noreen Stonor, she was the daughter of Lord and Lady Camoys of Stonor Park, Oxfordshire. Mrs. Drexel was the descendant of Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island, and of Nicholas Brown, the namesake of Brown University.
Having grown up in the shadow of the Second World War, Mrs. Drexel immersed herself in her community as head of the Newport War Bond Drive and chairwoman for Bundles for Britain, which delivered clothing and medical supplies across the Atlantic. Additionally, she served in many ways the Newport Naval Hospital and continued her volunteerism through the Vietnam War. A popular member of the social circuit, she met John Drexel III in 1939 at a toboggan party. Mr. Drexel III was a member of the prominent Drexel family of bankers and a descendant of Anthony J. Drexel, founder of Drexel University. The couple was married at Manhattan’s St. James’ Church.
The collection of The Honorable Noreen Stonor Drexel of Newport, Rhode Island offers some of the finest examples of David Webb jewels from the 1960s and 1970s ever presented at auction.
IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTIONS
The October 15 New York Magnificent Jewels auction will present the Historic “Mystery-Set” Sapphire, Diamond and Colored Diamond Argentine Flag Brooch (estimate: $300,000 – 500,000), by Van Cleef & Arpels, formerly the property of Eva Perón. Presented to Mrs. Perón before 1949, the brooch depicts the Argentinean flag with its horizontal tricolor superimposed with a golden sunburst. The blue and white emblem, known as the Sun of May, symbolizes the end of Spanish rule when, on May 25, 1810 the national parliament elected Argentina’s first provisional governing junta. Last sold at auction in April 1998 after a fierce bidding war for $992,500, this prized brooch is making its return to Christie’s New York to entice a new generation of collectors of rare and historical jewels.
An Historic “Mystery-Set” Sapphire, Diamond and Colored Diamond Argentine Flag Brooch, by Van Cleef & Arpels. Formerly the property of Eva Perón. Estimate: $300,000 – 500,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.
The undulating banner set with two sections of calibré-cut sapphires, bordering a pavé-set diamond center section, enhanced by a single and old European-cut yellow diamond and textured gold “Sun of May,” symbolizing a new age of freedom for Argentina, derived from their final struggle against Spain in 1810, unfurling from a baguette and circular-cut diamond stanchion, mounted in platinum and gold. Signed Van Cleef & Arpels, N.Y., no. 13669
Provenance: Formerly the property of Eva Perón
Previously sold at Christie’s New York, 6 April 1998, lot 171, for $992,500
Notes: The Van Cleef & Arpels brooch, presented to Eva Perón before 1949, depicts the Argentinean flag with its horizontal tricolor; two blue bands flanking a white center, superimposed with a golden sunburst. The blue and white emblem, known as the “Sun of May,” symbolizes the end of Spanish rule when, on May 25, 1810 the national parliament elected Argentina’s first provisional governing junta.
The colors of blue, gold and white on the flag lend themselves naturally to the use of precious gemstones with sapphires forming the blue bands and diamonds, the white band and yellow sunburst. The sapphires are set in the serti invisible or invisible setting technique, developed by Alfred Van Cleef & Julien Arpels in 1935. In this technique, matched gemstones (usually sapphires or rubies; rarely emeralds because of their fragility) are precisely cut into special shapes with four additional facets to provide a contrast of light and shade while reflecting light in a manner similar to a mirror. These stones are slid into grooves in a special mounting wherein they fit snugly next to one another with no visible metal showing. In serti invisible designs, stones can be cut into a variety of shapes that, when slotted in the mounting, can create very elegant sculptural works of art with flexible, planar or three-dimensional surfaces. On this brooch, they are arranged in an undulating, cloth-like pattern to simulate a flag billowing in the wind. Smooth to the touch with no sharp edges on either gemstone or mounting, this brooch invites tactile as well as visual enjoyment.
During the 1940s, figural jewelry became popular as a reaction to the rectilinear styles prevalent in the 1920s and 30s. Static geometry gave way to jewelry with movement within the design as typified by this brooch. After the war, Van Cleef & Arpels designed many brooches in the guise of flags. The Argentinean flag brooch was part of that series, most likely, special-ordered as a gift for Eva Perón. It symbolized Argentina’s First Lady’s love for her country, especially for her dear descamisados, literally the vast masses of “shirtless” ones. It is one of many pieces that this prestigious firm made during that time period for important personages. Included among this illustrious list were Prince Rainer and Princess Grace of Monaco.
As a memento of a bygone glamorous era, the Argentinean flag brooch symbolizes both the woman for whom it was designed and the spirit of her country. Eva Perón was a patriot and this brooch would have been one of her favorites, one that she wore on numerous public and social engagements.
Additional top private collections include, from “one of the grandest dames in San Francisco Society,” The Diana Dollar Knowles Collection, highlighted by a beautiful rectangular-cut F color diamond of 17.00 carats (estimate: $500,000 – 700,000) and a pave set diamond link necklace by Boucheron (estimate: $80,000 – 120,000). An impressive rectangular-cut I color diamond ring of 16.21 carats, by Lorraine Schwartz (estimate: $300,000 – 500,000), is being offered as the Property of a Gentleman with a portion of the proceeds to benefit a charity.
A Diamond Ring from The Diana Dollar Knowles Collection – 17.00 carats, F color, VS1 clarity – Estimate: $500,000 – $700,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.
Set with a cut-cornered rectangular-cut diamond, weighing approximately 17.00 carats, the shoulders set with shield-shaped diamonds, mounted in platinum
With report 11810718 dated 2 August 2013 from the Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is F color, VS1 clarity
A necklace by Boucheron from The Diana Dollar Knowles Collection - Estimate: $80,000 – 120,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.
Designed as a series of circular-cut diamond drop-shaped interlocking links, mounted in 18k white gold, 16 ins., with French assay mark and maker’s mark. Signed Boucheron, no. P56085.