The world record price for a Rene Lalique jewel sold at auction was set by this dramatic wasp pendant 1899-1901. Lalique jewels depicting wasps are amongst the most valuable and collectible jewels that he made. This particular example has superb movement with the wasps entwined in the flowing foliage. Note the ‘whiplash’ detail above the pearl that was the very first Art Nouveau design that became the inspiration for the Art Nouveau movement. The piece was the highlight of our single owner auction ‘Beyond Boundaries’ in Geneva in November 2017. It realised just under $1million thus creating a world record price for a jewel by the great master craftsman Rene Lalique. This was another important item helping us to achieve 25 years of market share at Christie’s. (For another wasp jewel by Rene Lalique see @davidwarrenchristies).
Our senior jewellery direct David Warren recently had the pleasure of meeting Nick Barnard, curator in the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum, to share their passion for Indian jewels. The museum have kindly allowed Christie’s to illustrate the pieces they looked at together, which gives a rare insight into the museums fascinating and extensive collection. We will be showing you some of these historically important pieces each Sunday over the coming weeks.
This charming enamel and diamond bracelet from Dholpur in India, was acquired directly from London’s Great Exhibition in 1851. The bracelet is hinged in three sections and enamelled on the front in royal blue, a colour that was very fashionable in England at that time. The reverse is enamelled with a charming mixture of parrots and pigeons amidst red flowers. Note the light blue enamelling on the inner curves of the bracelet which was a colour often used with great effect, on the edges and borders of pieces from this period.
Iconic Colin, our longtime doorman of our London galleries is in the running for Doorman of the Year 👏. Please vote for him! All you have to do is go to @mayfair.times and like his picture.
Look out for our Catherine Deneuve & Yves Saint Laurent auction in Paris on 24 January.
Catherine Deneuve was 22 years old when she met Yves Saint Laurent. She was married to British photographer David Bailey and was about to meet HRH Queen Elizabeth of England, when she chose Saint Laurent to dress her. It would be the start of a long and enduring friendship.
This wonderful auction of Saint Laurent’s classic haute couture, also includes a few jewels and costume jewellery, as well as handbags and shoes. Viewing opens tomorrow at our Paris galleries: Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 2pm-6pm, Mon-Wed 10am-6pm and on the day of sale Thur 24 Jan 10am-12pm.
There is also a separate online sale that includes more couture and accessories which opens on 23 Jan and closes 30 Jan.
The most historic diamond ever sold at auction, Le Grand Mazarin is a bewitching light pink diamond of 19.07 carats. Once in the collections of: Cardinal Mazerin (1602-1661), Louis XIV King of France (1638-1715), Louis XV King of France (1710-1774), Louis XVI King of France (1754-1793), Napoleon I, Emperor of the French (1769-1821), Marie-Louise of Austria, Empress of the French (1791-1847), Louis XVIII King of France (1755-1824), Charles X King of France (1757-1836), Napoleon III, Emperor of the French (1808-1887), Eugenie Empress of the French (1826-1920). It was one of the highlights of our Geneva sale in November 2017 where it sold for $14.5m. Another of the really remarkable gemstones that has helped us maintain our position as market leaders for the last 25 years. (See @davidwarrenchristies for more images of Le Grand Mazerin).
In February 2006, at our auction in St Moritz a bidding frenzy unfolded for a very special ruby. The stone was a particularly attractive cushion shaped ruby of 8.62 carats, mounted in a ring by Bulgari and estimated at $400,00-600,000. After fierce bidding it finally sold for $3.6m creating a world record price per carat for a ruby of $422,000. It was bought by Laurence Graff and promptly named The Graff Ruby. The sale of this superb stone for such a high price, changed the ruby market and was another of the exciting pieces that helped us to achieve 25 consecutive years of market share.
The historic Peregrina pearl weighing 202.24 grains (50.56 carats) passed through the treasuries of 8 Kings of Spain from Philip II in 1582 to Carlos IV 1808 before falling into the hands of Joseph Bonaparte and Louis Napoleon of France between 1808 until 1848. It was not until 1969 that Richard Burton bought the pearl for Elizabeth Taylor. At that time the pearl was strung on a simple gold chain with the antique diamond leaf surmount visible here. She then commissioned Cartier to make an imposing pearl, diamond and ruby necklace in 1972. This was the top lot from the auction of ‘The Crown Jewels of Hollywood’ as Ms Taylor’s jewels were often referred to, which we sold in New York in December 2011. It realised $11.8m becoming the most expensive pearl necklace ever auctioned and was another of the extraordinary jewels that contributed towards our 25 consecutive years of market leadership. (see@davidwarrenchristies for a close up image of the pearl and more information on its history).
Following the strong demand for luxury items in our Hong Kong Autumn Auctions 2018, we will be holding a Luxury Valuation Week from 17-24 January, at Christie's Hong Kong. During this week, our specialists will be delighted to provide complimentary and confidential valuations.
Please contact Winsy Tsang (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Handbags & Accessories, Jeff Chan (email@example.com) for Jewellery and firstname.lastname@example.org for Watches.
The Moon of Baroda, 24.04 carats Fancy Yellow VS2 diamond necklace. Estimate: HK$4,000,000 – 6,000,000 / US$500,000 – 750,000. Price realised: HK$10,300,000 / US$1,322,207.
Greubel Forsey. An 18k pink gold limited edition asymmetrical wristwatch with quadruple tourbillon and power reserve, Invention Piece 2 model, no. 02/11, circa 2011. Estimate: HK$1,800,000 - 2,500,000. Price realised: HK$2,980,000.
Hermès. Rare, matte white Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Retourné Kelly 28 with palladium hardware, 2015. Estimate: HK$600,000-800,000. Price realised: HK$1,625,000
This masterpiece of design and craftsmanship by Cartier, circa 1925, was sold in our London auction in June 2000. This piece is now part of the ‘Jeweled Splendours of the Art Deco Era’, the Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan Collection. At the time of our auction it achieved a record price for an Art Deco Vanity case. Another of the great pieces that we have sold during our 25 years as market leaders.