Two masterpieces epitomizing
This May 14, in Geneva, Sotheby’s will offer for sale two masterpieces epitomizing the craftsmanship of key periods in the history of Jewellery. Following the record-breaking sale of Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family in November 2018, both jewels have prestigious provenance: they belonged to two influential women who in their time embodied the height of fashion and elegance.
The first jewel is an Art Deco treasure, probably by Van Cleef & Arpels: a stunning emerald and diamond necklace created in the 1930s for Hélène Beaumont (1894 – 1988), an American socialite and close friend of the Duchess of Windsor.
She settled on the French Riviera, where she held legendary parties and galas during the magical, hedonistic days of the 1920s and 1930s. The necklace is set with 11 immaculate Colombian emeralds weighing a total of over 75 carats, and is estimated at CHF 2,895,000 – 3,980,000 ($3 - 4 million).
The second is an exquisite diamond tiara attributed to Fabergé, which was created around 1903 for Duchess Cecilie von Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1886-1954), the last Crown Princess of Prussia, given to her by her Russian relatives on the occasion of her wedding to Crown Prince Wilhelm (1882-1951). The tiara will be offered with an estimate of CHF 200,000 – 300,000 ($200,000 – 300,000).
Speaking about the emerald and diamond necklace, Sotheby’s Worldwide Jewellery Chairman David Bennett said, “This is Art Deco at its absolute finest, a connoisseur’s jewel. Rare and exceptional pieces like these are the reason people collect Jewellery.
The first time I laid eyes on this emerald and diamond necklace was exactly 25 years ago when we sold the Hélène Beaumont collection in Geneva. I said at the time that it was the most important row of cabochon emeralds I had seen during my then 20-year career. Today, 25 years on, that statement still holds true.”
Daniela Mascetti, Sotheby’s Jewellery Chairman, Europe, commented on the tiara, “As we saw last November with Marie Antoinette’s pearl, historic jewels have the power to transport us back to a moment in time. The tiara attributed to Fabergé is another perfect example: its Kokoshnik design reflects Crown Princess Cecilie’s Russian family, who gifted it to her for her wedding; from portraits we can see that she paired the tiara with her gowns in a very fashion-forward way for the very early 1900s.
For so many collectors today, who seek out unique pieces with ‘soul’ - this jewel is really a masterpiece.”