The live auction will present an important selection of jewels with royal provenance, of which the Marie Antoinette diamond bracelets and the ruby bangle of the Duchess of Windsor have been already announced. The Geneva jewels team is delighted to present two additional royal lots this November: a ruby and diamond brooch by Meniere with extraordinary Royal provenance last seen on the market at the French crown jewels auction in 1887 and an early 19th century “Ears of Wheat” tiara, formerly the property of Princess Pauline Bonaparte (Borghese).
Pauline Bonaparte (1780-1825) was the second sister of Napoleon Bonaparte and in 1803 she married Camillo Borghese, Prince of Sulmona. Ears of wheat were one of the most prominent decorative themes in jewellery under the First French Empire, inspired by recently excavated archaeological sites such as Pompei and Herculaneum. (estimate CHF440,000-660,000).
In 1810 Napoleon commissioned the jeweller Francois-Regnault Nitot, precursor of Chaumet, to create a ruby and diamond parure for the French Crown Jewels. The parure contained 404 rubies and 9,430 small diamonds. Under the Bourbon Restauration, one of the first decisions was to reset all Napoleon’s jewels starting with the ruby suite, even though it was only five years old. In 1816, court-jeweller Paul-Nicolas Meniere remounted the ruby and diamond parure. The Third Republic did not know what to do with the crown jewels, such a symbol of royalty and in 1887, they were sold at auction held in the Louvre. Boin-Taburet acquired the ruby and diamond earrings together with their matching pendant. At some later date one of the earrings must have been converted into the brooch we see today (estimate CHF40,000-60,000).
The auction celebrates the world’s most sought-after gemstone, the diamond, by offering a spectacular 55.50 carat diamond potentially internally flawless. While the term “Golconda” refers to diamonds mined in India before the 18th Century, it is today also used as terminology to describe diamonds mined elsewhere that display the same optical features of the coveted Golconda gems, containing little if any nitrogen and with exceptional transparency, accounting for less than 2 per cent of all gem diamonds. (estimate CHF 4,000,000-5,000,000).
The African Sunflower is a 42.98 carat VS1 clarity stone, offered with an estimate of CHF 2,000,000-4,000,000. From Mine to Masterpiece, the short three week/ cutting process was effortless because of the perfect atomic makeup of this special stone. The diamond was polished by a master cutter with over 50 years of experience. He came to call the stone The African Sunflower as it had the finest yellow colour he ever worked on.
Jewels online: The Geneva edit
The accompanying online sale will offer 251 lots offering a comprehensive selection of the celebrated stones including diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies, jewellery signed by the most renowned houses, allowing a design overview from the 1960s to today as well as younger generation of jewellery makers as well as a dedicated selection of jewels offered without reserve.
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