These are the historic Mancini Pearls that weigh a total of 400 grains (100 carats). They originally belonged to Queen Henrietta and King Charles I, of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1625-1649. King Charles started and lost two civil wars against his own Parliament and was finally tried for high treason and guillotined in 1649. Queen Henrietta Fled to France and sold the pearls to her cousin King Louis XIV who gave them to his mistress Maria Mancini (pictured here). The Mancini pearls were sold in our New York galleries in October 1979 for $253,000. @christiesjewels#christiesjewels#christiesinc#christies#naturalpearls#pearls#diamond#earrings#royaljewels#throwback
Indian jewels from the V&A (4) - Archers thumb rings were a vital piece of equipment when firing a bow and arrow. The ring was worn on the thumb with the string hooked behind the pointed end of the ring. Once the string was drawn back into the firing position the hand would gently open allowing the string to smoothly release the arrow, thus producing a more accurate shot. Finely decorated thumb rings like this one set with carved rubies and emeralds were also considered jewels and would have been the possessions of emperors, princes and the nobility. This particular example, circa 1650 is made of jade and decorated with carved gemstones. The gold kundan work that holds the stones in place is particularly fine workmanship. (Visit the V&A today).
Designed and made for Empress Eugenie by Court Jewellers Bapst in 1855, this delicate brooch was part of a vast parure that was broken up and sold, following the fall of the French second Empire in 1870. The twelve day auction of the French Crown Jewels took place in 1887 and lot number 11 was bought by Tiffany & Co. It was then acquired by the Metropolitan Opera of New York, who gifted it to famous opera singer Lucrezia Bori in 1936. Christie’s had the honour of selling this historic brooch in our Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva in November 2014.
This magnificent diamond tiara by Faberge, circa 1890 has a wonderful royal pedigree. First owned by Queen Maria Jose, she referred to it as ‘The Empress Josephine Tiara’ as the briolette-cut diamonds were given to Josephine by Alexander I of Russia. After the First World War it was bought by the King of Belgium from the Duke of Leuchtenberg. It was made by one of Faberge’s greatest workmasters August Holmstrom. Faberge tiaras of this importance are exceedingly rare. This one appeared in our London auction in June 2007 creating huge excitement. It was estimated at £400,000-600,000 and finally sold for for £1,050,000 ($2m). @christiesinc#christiesjewels#christiesinc#christies#diamond#tiara#faberge#royaljewels#throwback