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Sotheby's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale to take place on 7 October
A 50.05-carat DIF Type IIa Diamond estimated at HK$60 – 70 million / US$7.7 – 9 million. Photo: Sotheby's.
HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale 2014 will take place on 7 October at Hall 3, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The upcoming sale will highlight an array of rare and important colourless and coloured diamonds, including a 8.41-carat Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink Diamond (Est. HK$100 – 120 million / US$13 – 15.5 million) and a 50.05-carat DIF Type IIa Diamond estimated at HK$60 – 70 million / US$7.7 – 9 million. They are complemented by coloured gemstones of exceptional proportions and quality including a 35.72-Carat Step-Cut Colombian Emerald (Est. HK$32 – 36 million / US$4 – 4.6 million), as well as a suite of jadeite jewellery formerly in the collection of the last Empress of China. Also highly anticipated is a signed piece - the Ballerina Butterfly Brooch co-designed by Cindy Chao and Sarah Jessica Parker to benefit the New York City Ballet (Est. HK$6 – 7.5 million / US$750,000 – 950,000). Altogether the sale will offer approximately 340 lots estimated in excess of HK$700 million / US$90 million*.

QUEK Chin Yeow, Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s Asia and Chairman of International Jewellery, Asia said, “This season we are extremely proud to offer a superb 8.41-carat fancy vivid purple-pink diamond of a beautiful hue of pink, great saturation and internally flawless clarity, which is one of the most desirable pink diamonds to come on the market in recent years. Spectacular and romantic is a heart-shaped DIF diamond weighing over 50 carats, one of several from an exceptional selection of diamonds, coloured gemstones and jadeite, with which the upcoming sale in October promises to be a tremendous acquisition opportunity for jewellery connoisseurs around the world.”


Led by an extremely rare and desirable 8.41-Carat Pear-Shaped Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink Diamond and Diamond Ring, mounted by Sotheby’s Diamonds (Est. HK$100 – 120 million / US$13 – 15.5 million), Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale this season highlights a remarkable range of coloured and colourless diamonds.

Following the 118.28-carat D-Flawless Diamond that sold for a world record price of HK$238.68 million / US$30.6 million in October 2013, Sotheby’s will bring to Hong Kong another highly important diamond, a 50.05- Carat Heart-Shaped D-Colour Internally Flawless Diamond Pendant (Est. HK$60 – 70 million / US$7.7 – 9 million). Apart from the most desirable colour and clarity grading, this “Romantic Heart” of Type IIa quality also boasts the highest chemical purity virtually free of nitrogen and therefore exceptional optical transparency. Heart-shaped diamonds are notoriously difficult to cut, and to polish, given the cleft. Beautiful heart- shaped diamonds of over 30 carats are rarely seen in the market and the present example, weighing more than 50 carats and certified to be of Excellent Polish, is undoubtedly a rare collecting opportunity.

Some of the most famous diamonds celebrated as great tokens of love are of heart shape, for obvious reasons. “The Windsor Heart”, the famed 47.14-carat Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond Pendant that once belonged to the Duchess of Windsor and subsequently the collection of Estee and Evelyn Lauder has marked its place in history; whereas the “Heart of Eternity”, a 27.64-carat fancy vivid blue diamond is reputedly the most famous heart-shaped diamond in recent years.

Also of imposing proportions is a 100.26-Carat Pear-Shaped Fancy Deep Brown- Orange Diamond Pendant, perfectly paired with a Necklace signed Cartier (Est. HK$19 – 24 million / US$2.4 – 3 million). Diamonds weighing over 100 carats are extremely rare and this striking golden orange stone is certainly an impressive sight to behold.

Among the rarest and most sought-after of coloured diamonds along with their pink counterparts, blue diamonds owe their natural colouration to the presence of the trace element boron during the stone’s formation. This 3.32-Carat Emerald-Cut Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond and Diamond Ring (Est. HK$26 – 34 million / US$3.3 – 4.3 million), certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to be of Fancy Vivid Blue, the highest possible grading for blue diamonds, and Internally Flawless (IF) clarity, extremely rare in coloured diamonds, is certainly a delightful addition to any sophisticated jewellery collection.

The kaleidoscope of coloured diamonds would not be complete without the charming and delightful golden yellow, beautifully represented this season by a Pair of 14.36 and 14.32- Carat Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond and Diamond Earrings (Est. HK$9.5 – 12 million / US$1.2 – 1.55 million).

The explosion of colours continues in the realm of natural gemstones, highlighted by a Pair of Unheated Burmese Mogok Ruby Earrings Weighing 6.80 and 6.70 Carats, Late 19th Century, formerly in the Collection of Mary, Duchess Of Roxburghe (Est. HK$20 – 25 million / US$2.5 – 3.2 million). Originating from Burma’s Mogok valley famed for the best rubies in the world, the two matching rubies, each weighing over five carats, possess a homogeneous red colour with good saturation and desirable clarity. This exquisite pair of ruby earrings was the property of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe (pictured right), great-granddaughter of Baron Mayer de Rothschild and wife of the ninth Duke of Roxburghe. The Duchess was notable for her tenacity and striking deportment, and certainly for the splendid myriad of jewels that she inherited and wore. The Duchess worked for many charities and was President of the National Union of Townswomen’s Guilds. She was also a devoted patron of the Royal Ballet and an enthusiastic member of the Royal Society of Literature. This important pair of ruby earrings, together with an astonishing ruby necklace were thought to be purchased from Garrard by the fifth Earl of Rosebery in 1884 as recorded in his diary entry, just a few years after the acquisition of the Mogok Valley mines by the British. This suite of rubies may have been among the first Mogok specimens reaching England, most likely a present for Countess Rosebery, grandmother of the Duchess of Roxburghe, who eventually inherited the rubies.

The ruby earrings are complemented in the sale by a 7.03-Carat Oval Unheated Burmese Mogok Pigeon’s Blood Ruby and Diamond Ring (Est. HK$8.6 – 9.8 million / US$1.1 – 1.25 million).

An emblem of eternal love in Greek mythology, the emerald is famously treasured by some of the greatest icons of beauty in history, including the Egyptian Pharaoh, Cleopatra, and Elizabeth Taylor, one of the most celebrated and devoted modern-day patrons of emeralds. It is enchanting coincident that Elizabeth Taylor was gifted an extravagant suite of Bulgari emerald jewels from her then husband and co-star, Richard Burton, while filming with him in Italy as Cleopatra herself. Natural Colombian emeralds with a high clarity and enticing bluish-green body colour is highly uncommon. This natural 35.72-Carat Step-Cut Colombian Emerald and Diamond Ring (Est. HK$32 – 36 million / US$4 – 4.6 million) from the famed Muzo mine is not only of astonishing proportions but also endowed with richly saturated and homogeneous bluish-green colour and exceptional clarity, and is therefore an exceedingly rare gem of nature. Emerald connoisseurs will also be delighted by a Colombian Emerald and Diamond Necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels (HK$3.6 – 4.5 million / US$460,000 – 580,000), featuring nine step-cut emeralds pendants totalling approximately 40.28 carats.

The auction also highlights a selection of rare top-quality sapphires, led by The Imperial Kashmir, A 17.16-Carat Step-Cut Unheated Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Ring (Est. HK$22 – 28 million / US$2.8 – 3.6 million). Sapphires were first discovered in Kashmir, specifically in the Padar region in 1879 allegedly from a landslip. Kashmir sapphires today set the standard to which all other sources are compared. The sapphire set on this ring to be offered is of saturated cornflower blue colour and velvety texture, both are hallmarks of Kashmir specimens owing to needle inclusions in the gemstone. Its remarkable weight of over 17 carats is practically unseen in sapphires of such pedigree; combined with a homogeneous kingly blue colour and exceptional clarity which made an emerald cut possible, this extraordinarily rare gem displays superior qualities which are even rarely found in the finest Kashmir sapphires. Also impressive is a Pair of 44.11 And 40.11 Carat Unheated Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Pendent Earrings (Est. HK$9 – 11 million / US$1.1 – 1.4 million).

This season Sotheby’s is particularly honoured to present the 26.27-carat Fancy Brown-Yellow Diamond, Diamond and Conch Pearl “Ballerina Butterfly” Brooch, co-designed by contemporary fine jewellery artist Cindy Chao and actress, entrepreneur and philanthropist Sarah Jessica Parker to benefit the New York City Ballet (Est. HK$6 – 7.5 million / US$750,000 – 950,000). Modelled as a ballerina portraying a butterfly, the brooch features a cushion-cut fancy brown-yellow diamond weighing 26.27 carats, three diamond plaques of champagne hue together weighing approximately 47.70 carats and three conch pearls, surrounded by colourless and coloured diamonds weighing 97.95 carats in total.

Following the Hutton-Mdivani Necklace that set the World Auction Record for Jadeite Jewellery and a Cartier Jewel in April, Sotheby’s is pleased to present another treasure of historical importance, namely a Group of Late Qing Jadeite Jewellery comprising a Necklace, a Bangle and a Saddle Ring, formerly in the Collection of Empress Wanrong and an Overseas Collector (Est. HK$2 – 2.5 million / US$250,000 – 320,000).

Born in 1906, Wanrong, who was to become the wife of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, was a descent from one of the most prominent Manchurian families. Like some of her contemporaries from respectable families with a more open mind to foreign culture, Wanrong attended an American missionary school in Tianjin and was well versed in Western etiquettes as well as traditional Chinese culture. She was considered to be ahead of her times and was known in society for her beauty and refinement. It is believed that Wanrong, as the last empress of the Qing dynasty, had assembled a huge collection of fine jewellery including jadeites of superb quality.

This suite comprises a jadeite bead necklace, a saddle ring and a traditional bangle. The detailed craftwork of the gold filigree floral beads on the necklace, exclusively practised by court jewellers and listed as one of the most complicated among those executed at the Imperial workshop, testifies to its illustrious provenance. All the jadeite beads are of matching colour and texture, measuring at least 14.50 x 12.00 mm, indicating the size and therefore rarity of the original jadeite boulder. The saddle ring is of translucent emerald green throughout and a good thickness in the shank rarely seen in rings of the same category. The bangle also has a desirable thickness of 10.30 mm and a perfect green prevalent in the entire piece of material. Almost half a century ago, this rare suite of jadeite jewellery was presented by Empress Wanrong as a gift to the mother of its current owner, and carefully preserved in perfect condition as a testimony of the lasting charm and transient beauty of their past owners.

Other highlights include a Jadeite and Diamond Necklace (Est. HK$15 – 25 million / US$1.9 – 3.2 million) set with 20 graduated jadeite cabochons of emerald green colour and good translucency, spaced by oval diamonds together weighing approximately 9.00 carats, a Jadeite “Leaf” and Diamond Pendant (Est. HK$11 – 13 million / US$1.4 – 1.65 million) of intense emerald green colour and good translucency, as well as a Jadeite and Diamond Pendant (Est. HK$10 – 12 million / US$1.3 – 1.55 million) suspending an oval jadeite cabochon of emerald green colour and fine translucency.

Also of notable interest is a Carved Icy Multi-Colour Jadeite “Guan Yin” Ornament (Est. HK$6 – 10 million / US$770,000 – 1.3 million). This exceptional carving of Guan Yin, the Buddhist goddess of mercy and compassion, displays not only outstanding workmanship but also unparalleled quality. With a thickness of 64.80 mm and a weight of 1.25 kg, the massive body of jadeite remains highly translucent and almost completely free from any visible flaws and inclusions, suggesting an enormous rough of exceptional quality and meticulous workmanship involved. Its charming hues of green, lavender and amber were thoughtfully put into play, with the serenity of Guan Yin accentuated in purple and set against a lush green background, complimented by a dab of soft yellow on the tree top suggesting the dawning sun in the distance. This exquisite carving is surely the perfect embodiment of Guan Yin’s noble mercy and grace.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium and prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium

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