LAMBERTVILLE, NJ.- Rago's Fine and Unreserved Jewelry Auctions on June 7 & 9 achieved total sales of $1,700,863 across two sessions and 1,134 lots.
The honor of top lot was shared by two pieces that each achieved $46,875: lot 1463, a Harry Winston sapphire and diamond platinum ring featuring a 5.11 carat Ceylon sapphire; and lot 1037, a Georgian rose-cut diamond button ring, the central diamond of which once belonged to the last Emperor of Mexico, Maximilian I.
Lot 1463. Harry Winston, 5.11 cts. Ceylon Sapphire & Diamond Platinum Ring. Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000. Sale Price: $46,875. © Rago
The oval-faceted sapphire, 5.11 cts., four prong-set between half moon-faceted diamonds, .80 ct. TW. Stamped by the maker. Size 4 1/2. 4.6 dwt.
Accompanied by AGL Report #1100627, Dated 29 April 2019, 5.11 cts. Natural Corundum Blue Sapphire, Oval Modified Mixed Cut, 12.53 x 9.55 x 4.84 mm., Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Origin, No Enhancements.
Once belonged to the last Emperor of Mexico, Maximilian I. Lot 1037. Georgian rose-cut diamond button ring. Estimate: $45,000 - $65,000. Sale Price: $46,875. © Rago
A cluster of rose-cut diamonds, approx. 1.20 cts. TW., surround central diamond, approx. 4.5 cts. in semi-closed or closed-back settings. Ca. 1860. 14k. Engraved No. 8 M. 4 1/2 K. Size 5 3/4. 5.6 dwt.
Note: This rose-cut diamond was once among a set of diamond buttons (exact number unknown) owned by Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico, overthrown and executed in 1867.
Twelve of these buttons were acquired by Col. Edward H. R. Green, son of the brilliant and miserly financier Hetty Green, the richest woman of the Gilded Age. When this voracious collector of coins, stamps and jewelry died in 1936, his collections were sold privately and at auction.
Hammer Galleries (founded by famed collector Dr. Armand Hammer) acquired jewelry from Green's collection, including the set of 12 rose-cut diamonds, mounted as finger rings. These rings were advertised for sale in the New York Times on 24 October and 5 December 1943. It is our presumption that the diamond in lot 1037 is from one of these rings. Another of the diamond buttons, also adapted as a ring, sold at Sotheby's Geneva, 14 May 2013, lot 574.
Both the subject ring and the one sold by Sotheby's are engraved with the weights of the center stone and inventory numbers. Other gems owned by Emperor Maximilian I include the 39-carat "Emperor Maximilian" diamond which was acquired in 1919 from Maximilian's widow, née Princess Charlotte of Belgium. It was set as a ring by Cartier and later owned by both Lawrence Graff and Imelda Marcos. It was last sold at Sotheby's, New York on 22 April 2010. The 21-carat "Maximilian Emerald" was purchased by Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1928 (her first significant gemstone). Mounted as a ring by Cartier in 1949, it is now in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. The execution of the Emperor Maximilian is immortalized in Edouard Manet's painting, shown above.
Designs featuring substantial diamonds also performed admirably in the sale including: lot 1096, a 4.89 carat diamond Art Deco engagement ring retailed by J. E. Caldwell with its original box which sold for $43,750; lot 1545, an unmounted 5.12 carat square step-cut diamond which achieved $40,625; lot 1546, a 3.59 carat emerald-cut diamond engagement ring, which exceeded the high estimate of $18,000 to sell for $23,750; and lot 1523, a pair of fancy yellow diamond earrings, 3.99 carats tw. throughout, which sold for $18,750.
Lot 1096. 4.89 carat diamond Art Deco engagement ring retailed by J. E. Caldwell. Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000. Sale Price: $43,750. © Rago
With long tapered shoulders densely set with single or OEC diamonds, approx. .33 ct. TW. and engraved platinum gallery. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ca. 1920. Unsigned, retailed by J. E. Caldwell, with original box. Size 4 3/4 (with sizing beads). 2.6 dwt.
Accompanied by GIA Report #2205160720, Dated 21 March 2019, 4.89 cts. Circular Brilliant, 10.87 x 11.05 x 6.68 mm., J, SI1, Good Polish and Symmetry, Non Fluorescent.
Lot 1545. Unmounted 5.12 carat square step-cut diamond. Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000. Sale Price: $40,625. © Rago
Accompanied by GIA Report #11554459, 1 June 2001, 5.12 cts., J, VS2, 10.48 x 10.21 x 5.56 mm, Good Polish and Very Good Symmetry, Non Fluorescent.
Lot 1546. 3.59 carat emerald-cut diamond engagement ring. Estimate: $12,000 - $18,000. Sale Price: $23,750. © Rago
With pentagonal-cut diamond shoulders, approx. .25 ct. TW., in platinum. Size 5 3/4. 2.6 dwt.
Accompanied by GIA Report #5201161303, Dated 20 March 2019, 3.59 cts., Emerald Cut, 11.06 x 7.69 x 4.75 mm., J, SI1, Good Polish, Fair Symmetry, Non Fluorescent.
Lot 1523. A pair of fancy yellow diamond earrings, 3.99 carats tw. Estimate: $18,000 - $24,000. Sale Price: $18,750. © Rago
Each a cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant, 1.97 or 2.02 cts., four prong-set in yellow gold and centered by white RBC diamonds, approx. .60 ct. TW. or 1.20 cts. TW. throughout, in platinum. 1/2". 5.9 dwt.
Accompanied by GIA Report #5192964690, Dated 9 January 2019, 1.97 cts. Cut-Cornered Rectangular Modified Brilliant Fancy Yellow, VS1, 7.54 x 6.72 x 4.37 mm, Very Good Polish, Good Symmetry, Medium Blue Fluorescence.
Also Accompanied by GIA Report #1196957147, Dated 4 January 2019, 2.02 cts. Cut-Cornered Rectangular Modified Brilliant Fancy Yellow, VVS1, 7.22 x 6.49 x 4.45 mm, Very Good Polish and Symmetry, Non Fluorescent.
Other highlights from the sale include: lot 1286, a custom-made gem-set yellow gold crown which sold for $28,750; lot 1190, a yellow gold Rolex "Stella" Oyster Perpetual Day-Date Chronometer watch which realized a final price of $22,500; lot 1380, a Bvlgari rubellite tourmaline, peridot and pearl collar necklace in 18k gold which sold for $20,000; and lot 1001, a Tiffany & Co. Aesthetic Movement mixed metal dragonfly brooch, which flew past the high estimate of $5,000 to achieve $16,250.
Lot 1286. Gem-set yellow gold crown. Estimate: $35,000 - $45,000. Sale Price: $28,750. © Rago
With four fleur-de-lis points and varied cuts of citrine, quartz, amethyst, tourmaline, peridot, garnet, ruby, freshwater cultured or baroque pearls and RBC diamonds, approx. 6.0 cts. TW. 18k. 5" x 7" x 8". 606.0 dwt. With custom made box.
lot 1190. Yellow gold Rolex "Stella" Oyster Perpetual Day-Date Chronometer watch. Estimate: $16,000 - $20,000. Sale Price: $22,500. © Rago
With round dark red dial, gold dash hour makers, twenty-seven-jeweled automatic movement #3055 0159472, president bracelet. Ca. 1979. 18k. Reference #18038, serial #5835576. Accommodates 7". 84.7 dwt. GW.
Lot 1380. Bvlgari rubellite tourmaline, peridot and pearl collar necklace. Estimate: $12,000 - $18,000. Sale Price: $20,000. © Rago
With alternating triangular tourmaline or peridot cabochons, accented by saltwater cultured pearls, over RBC diamond yellow gold ground, approx. 6.0 cts. TW. 18k. Stamped by the maker, BA 3607. 15". 121.5 dwt.
lot 1001. Tiffany & Co. Aesthetic Movement mixed metal dragonfly brooch. Estimate: $12,000 - $18,000. Sale Price: $20,000. © Rago
The silver and yellow gold wings with delicate engraved veining, rose-cut diamond eyes. 18k. Late 19th C. Stamped Tiffany & Co. 2 5/8" x 2". 11.6 dwt.
Provenance: Collection of Dora Jane Janson.
Note: Tiffany & Co. exhibited only gold jewelry at the 1878 Paris exposition, including a collection of "Japanesque" jewelry. Richard C, McCormick, the U.S. Commissioner-General to the exposition wrote, "[the collection] is an outgrowth of [Japanese] subtle appreciation of contrast and effect, and their love of nature, which, with its simple and truthful application of plants, blossoms, flowers, and other natural objects, stands in marked contrast to the decorative mannerisms prevailing in Europe." John Loring's "Tiffany Jewels".