Russian Royal Jewels Up For Auction

By , Columnist

Sun-Drop Diamond - Sotheby's Geneva

In addition to the spectacular Sun-Drop Diamond, Sotheby’s Geneva will present - in its sale of Magnificent Jewels on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - a superb and unique suite of imperial jewels - probably the most important set of antique coloured diamond jewels to appear at auction in the last 50 years.

Lot 503A - Necklace - Imperial Suite 1MB.jpgComprising a necklace, a brooch and a pair of earrings, this magnificent diamond ‘parure’ contains jewels believed to have formed part of a gift presented by Empress Catherine I, wife of Peter the Great of Russia to Ottoman Sultan Ahmed III (1673-1736) to negotiate peace after the Pruth River Battles. The jewels from the Russian Empress are believed to have then passed into the Ottoman Treasures.

Coming from a European private collection, these magnificent jewels have not appeared on the open market since 1963 and are offered for sale with an estimate in the region of $10 million.

Commenting on the forthcoming sale of this magnificent and unique diamond parure, David Bennett, Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Department in Europe and the Middle East and Co-Chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland said:

It is difficult to overestimate the rarity of such jewels. This parure is one of the most sumptuous suites of antique jewels I have ever seen and its appearance on the market after nearly 50 years in a private collection is a major event.”

Everyone in the world of jewels, antiques and auctions will be watching this amazing sale on Tuesday - and wondering who will bid for the Russian royal jewels and the Sun-drop diamond. A prince? An oligarch? A Hollywood superstar? Let’s wait and see.

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Margaret Holder has been writing about the Royal Family in newspapers and magazines for thirty years. She also broadcasts frequently on the BBC, both radio and television. She reckons she has now written more royal documentaries than anyone else in the world. Some are still being shown on channels in…

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