Jewels of Geneva

top:5px;float:left;color:white;background:#781300;border:1px solid darkkhaki;font-size:100px;line-height:90px;padding-top:1px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Thursday night, my friend Ms. Holland invited The Belgian Beauty & me to join her for the Jewels of Geneva cocktail party at Sotheby’s in Amsterdam where we practically bathed in Veuve Clicquot while dripping ourselves in hundreds of thousands of euros worth of jewels. Only a part of the noble collection was brought to Amsterdam but what was there made me swoon with desire and had me salivating for the day the auction catalog is mailed out. The actual sale will be May 15, 2008 but in the meantime these magnificent jewels will tour Sotheby’s, generating interest amongst private buyers and collectors.

Not that much publicity need be done….the Sotheby’s Geneva sale, though always very well known as the premier jewelry auction in the world, has been in the forefront of peoples minds since the spectacular 2007 sell. The highlight of which was a stone acquired by Georges Marciano, founder of Guess? jeans, who paid $16,189,769 — the second highest price for a diamond at auction! With a price of $191,980 per carat, Marciano paid the highest price per carat ever paid for a white diamond at auction. Of course this wasn’t just any diamond — this was the largest, purest white flawless brilliant-cut diamond ever offered at auction. When buying a diamond such as this, you are immediately offered the opportunity to “name the diamond”. Marciano immediately exercised his right, bequeathing it forevermore as the “Chloe Diamond“, after his daughter.

Another historically important piece, an topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/w/duchess_of_windsor/index.html?query=JEWELS%20AND%20JEWELRY&field=des&match=exact” target=”_blank”>emerald & diamond bracelet, sold for 1,141,000CHF (1.1 M euros) against an estimate of 720,000 – 850,000 CHF in 2007. This bracelet wasn’t just any bauble. It was a Christmas gift to the Duchess of Windsor in 1935 from Edward, then Prince of Wales. The last time this piece had been seen at auction was in 1987 when Sotheby’s sold it as part of the Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor sale and it fetched 3X less than the price it sold for this May. Talk about a wise investment!

All this to say, Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels of Geneva are hot – and in high demand. Upon being invited to this cocktail party, I was ecstatic and immediately put on my best dress for trying on jewels — a black wrap-around number with a plunging neckline. I bought the dress a year ago for a dime to wear while modeling an over-the-top Rodrigo Otazu necklace for the IWC charity auction in benefit of the Make-a-Wish foundation and Liliane Fond. Perhaps one of the best parts of the Sotheby’s sale is that you can actually try on these jewels. While indeed the nobler pieces were well beyond my wildest dreams, there were a few more accessible pieces (though admittedly still well out of reach for my personal budget). I fell head over heels in love with a Cartier Art Deco platinum seed pearl and 6 carat diamond pendant necklace estimated at 20,000 Euros… although I fear I fell for the piece that every other lady in the room was also drooling over and given the stiff competition I think this piece, in spite of it’s lack of provenance, will exceed it’s estimate. It clearly stole the show!

I’d love to tell you more about the pieces on offer at this show, however I fear I might have had one glass of champagne too many. Though I tried on a giant cultured pearl with floral petal surround, I can’t seem to remember it’s estimate at all. And the details of the emerald & diamond cuff bracelet which enchanted me so have all but fallen from my memory. Never fear, though, I’m on the mailing list to receive the catalog and will update you on the details of my 3 favorite pieces once I get the information in writing. In the meantime, I’m off for another glass of bubbly for it seems I’m dashing from one glamorous party to the next this April. Stay tuned for the delicious details of the upcoming day at AF’sH – Art & Antiques Fair ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Until next time, TTFN.

The Antiques Diva™