Historic Jewels on the Auction Block
Empress Eugénie’s 1855 diamond bow brooch, estimated at $4 million to $6 million, will be among the famous historical pieces on the auction block at Christie’s Rare Jewels and Gemstones: The Eye of a Connoisseur sale on April 15. Made by French jeweler François Kramer for the renowned courtesan who was married to Louis Napoléon, the brooch was later owned by the Astor family of New York. It’s among 155 lots that represent many historical and iconic jewels from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods along with important stones.
“This unique ensemble represents a walk through some of history’s most prominent figures and their jewels,” says François Curiel, Christie’s chairman of jewelry. The assortment includes a representation of the world’s great Art Nouveau jewelry designers René Lalique, Henri Vever, and Georges Fouquet, in addition to Cartier’s Mystery Clock (estimated at $500,000 to $700,000), an iconic Art Deco design in which the hands appear to float across the face. The clock is one of 12 made by the legendary young clockmaker Maurice Coüet, who collaborated with Cartier from 1922 to 1931. Christie’s is also offering a rare 14.23-carat fancy intense pink diamond (shown), estimated at $10 million to $15 million, which is extraordinary for its size and depth of color. (www.christies.com)