By Åse Anderson
The upcoming Magnificent Jewels auction at Christie's in Geneva will feature more than 350 stunning jewels and is expected to achieve sales of more than $80 million.
A spectacular diamond brooch of royal provenance will lead the sale on 13 May. In 1879, the Maria Christina Royal Devant-de-Corsage brooch was given as a wedding present by King Alfonso XII of Spain to his wife the Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria. Currently part of the collection of Baroness Thyssen-Bornemizsa, the diamond brooch is expected to fetch $1.5-2 million.
Also included in the line-up of historically important jewels is a pair of antique Indian emerald bracelets that once belonged to an Indian Royal family renowned for its enviable collection of emerald jewellery. The Art Deco-style emerald bangles are among only a few old Indian jewels that have survived intact, rather than being dismantled for their precious stones.
A flurry of diamonds and coloured gemstones will also be vying for buyers' attention at the Christie's jewellery auction. Notable colourless diamonds include a 55.52ct pear-shaped D Flawless diamond and a 21.75ct Ashoka-cut D colour Flawless diamond ring. Pink diamonds always attract a lot of interest and a 5.18ct rectangular-cut Fancy Vivid pink diamond has the auction's highest pre-sale estimate at a staggering $9.5-$12 million.
In addition to the emerald bracelets, other noteworthy coloured gemstones include the Pride of Burma, a diamond and cushion-shaped Burmese ruby ring of 6.25ct and a stunning 35.09ct Kashmir sapphire.
Devotees of acclaimed jewellery designer JAR will have a chance to bid on one of his earliest works - a pair of tourmaline and agate camellia brooches dating back to 1985. Last November, Christie's Geneva sold the Parrot Tulip bangle for $3.6 million - the second highest price ever achieved at a jewellery auction for a jewel by JAR.
Signed jewels by respected Maisons such as Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Graff and Harry Winston complete the line-up of top lots at next month's jewellery auction, along with an amazing single-strand, natural saltwater pearl necklace.