Saturday, 5 November 2016

Worn by royalty, sold by Christie’s

Francois Curiel of Christie’s: ‘Jewels are the embodiment of beauty, they have been coveted by the most memorable names in history, heroes and villains, famous lovers, glamorous stars, distinguished families, commanding dynasties.’

The jewels of royalty and leading figures have passed through Christie’s salerooms for over 250 years.
Marie-Louise, Archduchess of Austria, niece of Marie Antoinette, second wife of Napoleon the King of Rome, is as unpopular today in France as she was two centuries ago. Her marriage to Napoleon in 1810 marked the beginning of the end of the Emperor’s glory. Many blamed her for contributing to his downfall.
The Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara was made in the early 19th century for Princess Augusta of Hesse Cassel, Duchess of Cambridge. It passed to her daughter then her great granddaughter, Princess Jutta of Montenegro, before its sale at Christie’s in 1981.

Mancini Pearls. Marie Mancini (1639-1715) was the niece of Cardinal Mazarin, the prime minister to King Louis XIV of France.
The diamond ‘Nuptial’ crown, from the Russian State Jewels.124 gems and precious objects on sale at Christie’s in 1928 came from the fallen Romanov empire. The Tsar, his wife and their children were all slaughtered in Ekaterinburg in 1918. It took nearly two years for Agathon Fabergé to inventory the gems for Leon Trotsky. Fabergé counted 25,300 carats of diamonds, 4,300 carats of sapphires, hundreds of emeralds, and thousands of pearls.
Amethyst and diamond girandole ear pendants, from the Russian State Jewels.
La Régente pearl, worn by the empresses of France and Princess Youssoupov, one of the great ladies of Imperial Russia. At 302.68 grains, the Régente pearl is one of the world’s biggest, and its beauty is unequalled.

The Wittelsbach diamond is linked to three European royal families: the kings of Spain, the Holy Roman emperors and the Bavarian kings. Originally a 35.56-carat, Fancy Deep grayish-blue diamond of VS2 clarity, it has been recut to a 31.06-carat, Fancy Deep blue, internally flawless diamond, and renamed the Wittelsbach-Graff.