Sotheby's to auction two jewels of Imperial Russian heritage
October 13, 2016: Sotheby’s auction rooms are soon to be lit up by the grandeur and elegance of the Russian Imperial Court. Their sale on November 16 will feature two exceptional jewels of extraordinary historical importance.
The first is one of the most important parures of antique coloured diamond jewels to appear at auction in the last 50 years. This superb suite contains jewels which may have formed part of a gift by Empress Catherine I of Russia (1684-1727), wife of Peter the Great to Sultan Ahmed III to negotiate the end of the Siege of Pruth in 1711. By tradition, these extraordinarily rare jewels were then used by the Sultan Abdul Hamid II (1842 – 1918) for the present necklace, which he offered to the wife of Teufik of Egypt, possibly for the birth of the last Khedive of Egypt and Sudan in 1874. The parure will be offered in November with a pre-sale estimate of $3-5 million.
The second piece is a magnificent diamond necklace with a delicate bowknot clasp, thought to have been commissioned as two separate pieces by Empress Catherine II, known as Catherine the Great (1729 – 1796). It has survived centuries of upheaval and was preserved throughout the First World War in a strong room of the Kremlin. The jewel will be offered at auction with an estimate of $3-5 million.
“These two stunning jewels carry with them a fascinating insight into the luxury and opulence of the Russian court. It is difficult to overstate their rarity and historical importance...,” said David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division.