Russian imperial jewels that were smuggled out of the nation during the 1917 revolution, as well as rare coloured diamonds, will be offered at sale in Geneva next week, with the hope of attracting deep-pocketed individuals who have emerged from the epidemic to bid.
In the Swiss city of Basel, on November 10, auction house Sotheby’s will hold its semi-annual jewellery sale, which will include an orange-pink diamond weighing 25.62 carats and estimated to be worth 3.6 million to 5.38 million Swiss francs ($3.9 million to $5.9 million). It will be the star lot.
Reuters spoke with Olivier Wagner, head of sale and jewellery specialist at Sotheby’s Geneva, in the showroom of a lakeside hotel. “A lovely crystal, it’s a fantastic hue with a little touch of orange but not too much, so it’s a really subtle colour,” Wagner said.
“The market is now highly vibrant, and people are really eager to get jewellery today and to purchase something concrete that they can enjoy as a result of the epidemic.”
Collectors of ancient jewels will be interested in a big oval sapphire and diamond brooch and matching earclips from the jewellery box of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, the aunt of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II, which are currently on the market for auction.
“They belonged to the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia, who was known as the “Queen of St. Petersburg’s Social Life” because of her prominence in the city. She was the wife of the Grand Duke Vladimir, and therefore the daughter of the tsar (Alexander II), and she possessed a magnificent collection of diamonds, which she shared with her husband “Wagner expressed himself.
A value of between 280,000 and 480,000 francs is expected to be achieved for the royal set, which was given to her friend, British Ambassador Albert Henry Stopford, who transported them to London for safety with other jewels, according to the auction house.
Pavlovna fled revolutionary Russia and died in France in 1920, at the age of thirty-one. According to the auction house, her brooch and earrings are being auctioned by a European royal family that purchased them in an auction in 2009 and is now selling them.
As part of the expansion of its luxury week, Sotheby’s is holding an online sale called “Fashion Through Time” that is geared at younger collectors. Lots include purses named after film actresses Grace Kelly and Jane Birkin, as well as sneakers worn by the late NBA star Kobe Bryant, among others. His yellow and black Nike sneakers, which are a size 14 in the United States, are believed to be worth 25,000-35,000 Swiss francs.
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