sale of Magnificent Jewels held in New York achieved $49.2 million with
Laurence Graff winning the top three lots. The sale was 78 percent
sold by lot and 84 percent sold by value. Diamonds featured in nine of
the top ten lots sold.
Sotheby's noted that at least six bidders bid for the top lot (pictured), a 6.54 carat, fancy intense pink, internally flawless diamond ring by Oscar Heyman & Brothers that belonged to Evelyn Lauder, which sold for $8.6 million or $1,313,144 per carat. A 52.73 carat, fancy vivid yellow, VVS1 diamond ring achieved $3.9 million or $73,781 per carat while a 22.16 carat D, potentially flawless type IIa diamond ring by Graff sold for $3.4 million or $155,347 per carat.
A 33.84 carat, D color, VVS2 diamond ring achieved $2.9 million, or $88,489 per carat, while a heart shaped, 7.14 carat, fancy intense yellow, VS1 diamond pendant necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels, which Estée Lauder purchased directly from the Duchess of Windsor in the 1970's, sold for $2.5 million, or $54,020 per carat. An important 14.12 carat, D color, potentially flawless, type IIa diamond ring by Bulgari sold for $1.9 million, or $140,488 per carat while a 29.96 carat, fancy pinkish brown, VVS1 garnered $1.4 million, or $52,911 per carat.
Proceeds from the sale will benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, founded by Evelyn Lauder in 1993.
“On behalf of the Lauder family, we are very pleased that the beautiful unique pieces owned by my mother Estée and my dear wife Evelyn have found new homes, while at the same time raising significant funds for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation," said Leonard A. Lauder, chairman emeritus of the Estée Lauder Companies and acting chairman of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. "My sincere gratitude to Sotheby’s and to those who participated in this auction. Our hope is that one day this disease will be a thing of the past and with the money that was raised tonight, we are one step closer to achieving our goal.”
Sotheby's also sold jewels from the collection of Mrs Charles Wrightsman. The sale of the collection totaled $15.5 million, exceeding its $9 million high sale estimate and was 95 percent sold by lot.
The top lot from Mrs Wrightsman's jewels was a natural Belle Epoque pearl and diamond corsage ornament, inspired by eastern design motifs featuring three Golconda-type diamonds, weighing 8.67 carats, 8.78 carats, and 9.59 carats, which sold for $2 million after heated competition between seven bidders. A rare natural gray pearl and diamond brooch set a new auction record for a single natural gray pearl at $1,874,500, more than triple its high $600,000 pre-sale estimate.
The combined sale of jewelry from the collections of Estée Lauder, Evelyn H. Lauder and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman achieved $64.8 million and exceeded overall pre-sale estimate of $63.3 million. This figure raises the 2012 total for Sotheby’s worldwide jewelry auctions to $450.5 million, a record high for the company’s sales in this category and also marks the highest-ever total for a day of jewelry sales at Sotheby’s New York.