Celebrated Collections & Important Diamonds drive Sotheby's New York auction of Magnificent Jewels
December 11, 2014: A combination of important stones and jewels from the collections of Helen Hay Whitney, Estée Lauder, Evelyn H. Lauder, Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia and more led the auction of Magnificent Jewels at Sotheby’s New York to achieve $44,151,251. This figure raises the total for Sotheby’s worldwide jewelry auctions in 2014 to $597.5 million thus far.
The auction was led by a Magnificent Platinum-Topped Gold and Diamond Necklace presented to Helen Hay on her marriage to Payne Whitney in 1902 – a famous society event. Featuring four diamonds ranging from F to H color, and weighing 27.48, 15.53, 13.08 and 8.91 carats respectively, the necklace sold for $3,189,000.
Jewels from the collections of Mrs. Estée Lauder and Mrs. Evelyn H. Lauder together achieved $3.9 million in the auction. Thirty-two jewels from the collection of Evelyn H. Lauder – sold to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation – were led by a rare ‘Tutti Frutti’ Bracelet by Cartier circa 1928. Seven bidders battled for the iconic jewel, driving the final price to $2,165,000 and marking a new world auction record for any ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelet by Cartier. Ten pieces from Estée Lauder’s collection – sold to benefit the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation – were led by a pair of Fancy Brown-Yellow Diamond and Diamond Earclips by Van Cleef & Arpels that fetched $233,000.
An Important and Historical Pair of Platinum, Emerald and Diamond Pendant-Earclips that originally belonged to Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia sold for $1,055,000. After being smuggled out of Russia by an English friend of the Duchess following the abdication of the Tsar in 1917, the emeralds descended to the Duchess’s daughter and granddaughter, and were acquired at an auction at Sotheby’s Geneva in 1987 for Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis.
Evoking a bygone era of glamour and sophistication, six bidders eagerly competed for actress, singer and cabaret dancer Marlene Dietrich’s 14 Karat Tri-Color Gold and Lapis Lazuli Bracelet, Cartier circa 1940 to sell for $179,000. The bracelet was a gift from longtime friend Erich Maria Remarque, author of All Quiet on the Western Front.