A stunning tiara worn at two British coronations and the Star of Egypt diamond, which would have belonged to the king faroukwere auctioned this Wednesday by Christie’s in Geneva, closing a jewelry auction week
Less than two weeks after the King Charles III was crowned in London, the Bessborough diamond tiara, used at the coronations of his grandfather, King George VI (1937), and his mother, Queen Elizabeth II (1953), went on sale.
The ‘art deco’ piece, made of platinum and weighing 136.5 grams, sold for 945,000 Swiss francs (1.06 million dollars).
Vere Ponsonby, 9th Earl of Bessborough, commissioned Parisian jeweler Chaumet to create a tiara for his wife on the occasion of his appointment as Governor General of Canada in 1931.
It’s quite similar to a crown, which is appropriate for this year, which has had two coronations,” Max Fawcett, head of the jewelery department at Christie’s in Geneva, told AFP. “It’s a piece of art and a piece of history.”
star of egypt
In turn, the Star of Egypt was sold for 2.7 million Swiss francs (the equivalent of 3 million dollars) in less than three minutes of bidding.
The Star of Egypt is a spectacular 105.52 carat unmounted diamond, and its origin is shrouded in mystery.
It would have been acquired in 1850 by the viceroy of Egypt, who resold it in 1880, and it first appeared on the London market in 1939.
Then it would have been bought by King Farouk, who ruled Egypt from 1936 to 1952.
Her impressive jewelry collection disappeared when she fled into exile, only to reappear several years later. The Star of Egypt was acquired along with other jewels from his collection.
It has been in the same family since the 1970s and has never been auctioned before.
Its (square) shape is incredible,” Fawcett said. “It’s an absolutely gorgeous stone.”
jar on shelf
On Tuesday, Sotheby’s held its own jewelery auction in Geneva, selling 76.7 million Swiss francs ($85.4 million) worth.
The sale was dominated by the “Bulgari Laguna Blu,” an 11.16-carat blue diamond, which fetched 22.6 million francs ($25.2 million) in four minutes.
Of the 102 lots sold by Christie’s, the most valuable was initially a Cartier Belle Époque “devant-de-corsage” brooch, made of natural pearls and diamonds, that belonged to Australian opera singer Nellie Melba.
It was created around 1902 and its value was estimated at around 2.5 and 3.5 million Swiss francs (2.8 and 3.9 million dollars). However, it was not sold because no one bet on the launch price.
The highest sale price was achieved then with a Chaumet ring, with pear-shaped diamonds and an oval-shaped ruby, weighing 13.07 carats.
It was auctioned for 4.7 million Swiss francs ($5.25 million), well above its initial estimate of 550,000 to 750,000 francs.
The Christie’s sale it included the largest collection of pieces from the French jewelery house JAR ever to be auctioned, illustrating the 40 years of work of creator Joel Arthur Rosenthal.
Born in New York but based in Paris, Rosenthal produces around 70 meticulously crafted pieces a year.
The most striking piece was the 2011 sapphire, spinel and diamond “eye” bracelet, which sold for 856,800 Swiss francs ($957,000), the highest value of JAR’s 28 jewelry lots.