The Sotheby’s Geneva sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels along with its various owner jewelry auction was 94 percent sold by lot and achieved $111,836,526, a total of which surpassed the company's previous record of $105 million set in November 2010. This two-day sale included 24 lots of jewels that sold for more than $1 million with the top lot, The Beau Sancy diamond, a 34.98-carat modified pear, double rose cut, fetching $9,699,618 against a presale estimate of $2 million to $4 million. The Beau Sancy (pictured) has been part of European history for 400 years and was passed down through the royal families of France, England, Prussia and the House of Orange. This stone was first worn by Marie de Medici in 1610 at her coronation as Queen Consort of Henri IV.
The Noble Jewels section of this sale was highlighted by The Murat Tiara, which realized $3,872,875, more than double its presale low estimate. This impressive pearl and diamond jewel was created in 1920 by Joseph Chaumet for the marriage of Prince Alexandre Murat to Yvonne Gillois. The diadem boasts one of the largest natural pearls ever recorded, at 303.37 grains. As stated by the SSEF laboratory, “the main pearl in the center is outstanding in its size and one of the most important pearls certified so far at the SSEF” and “natural pearls of this size, quality and with a documented historic provenance are very rare and thus the described tiara with three large pearls represents a very exceptional treasure.”
Sotheby's various owner jewels auction included the personal collection of Suzanne Belperron, which achieved $3,459,307. Be sure to check diamonds.net in the evening hours of May 16 for the Rapaport weekly broadcast and additional coverage with detailed video footage of Magnificent Jewels.
David Bennett, the chairman of Sotheby’s jewelry department in Europe and the Middle East, said, “The legendary Beau Sancy is a truly magical stone that has entranced generations of royal owners and continues to exert a powerful influence over all who see it. Its supreme historical importance was reflected tonight in the strength of the bidding and the remarkable result realized. The two days of sales of jewelry at Sotheby’s this week achieved a record total with 94 percent of lots finding buyers and doubling the presale estimate -- proof that privately sourced jewels, many with noble provenance are highly sought after.''