With the ongoing celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, it seems fitting that Christie’s London sale of Important Jewels on June 13 would focus on royal and aristocratic jewels.
A total of 368 lots include jewels from the collections of Princess Soraya Esfandiary Bakhtiary, Beatrice Countess of Granard OBE, and the late Countess of Dudley. Spanning four centuries, the sale has rare historic rings, diamonds and pearls. The roll call of signed jewels by the leading houses and designers includes: Boucheron, Cartier, Chaumet, Chopard, Graff and Van Cleef & Arpels.
One of the top pieces of the sale is an Art Deco diamond tiara by Cartier (pictured above) from the collection of the late Countess of Dudley, also known as the actress and dancer Maureen Swanson, with an estimate of £100,000 – £150,000 ($156,850 – $235,270). It is one of 17 jewels offered from the collection up for sale. The tiara is “composed of five graduated shield shaped clip brooches, each resembling the Pylon, the tapering monumental towers of ancient Egypt whose bold form inspired so much 1930s design,” Christie’s said. “Together, mounted atop the simple diamond line frame, these clips are transformed into a modern soaring geometric skyline, their design recalling both the architectural innovations of the era together with its inimitable style.”
The sale also will be led by the Cowdray Pearls, a rare natural pearl necklace, composed of a single row of thirty-eight graduated natural grey pearls, with an estimated price of £280,000 – £350,000 ($440,000 – $549,000). It is from the collection of the late Viscountess Cowdray, Lady Pearson (1860-1932).
Leading the small group of jewels formerly from the collection of Princess Soraya Esfandiary Bakhtiary is a 12.15 carat diamond circular single-stone ring (estimate: £70,000 – £100,000; $110,000 – $156,850). Another ring with notable provenance is an Edwardian sapphire and diamond ring, circa 1905, which was formerly in the collection of Beatrice Countess of Granard OBE (estimate: £30,000 – £40,000; $47,000 – $63,000).
A selection of 40 lots from Cartier, including jewels, cufflinks, watches and clocks, is a highlight of the auction. This portion of the sale is led by an Art Deco diamond and gem bracelet of Oriental inspiration, circa 1925 (estimate: £100,000 – £150,000; $156,850 – $235,270), and a pair of platinum and diamond ear pendants, composed of a graduated line of three brilliant-cut diamonds, suspending a pear-shaped diamond drop (estimate: £100,000 – £150,000; $156,850 – $235,270).