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Magnificient Jewels at Sotheby's New York
November 30, 2010  | 

Just in time for the holidays: on 9 December 2010, Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent Jewels in New York will offer collectors a remarkable selection of exceptional gemstones and signed jewels, with  estimates ranging from $5,000 to more than $3 million*.

The day begins with a single-owner sale of Jewels from the Estate of William B. Dietrich Sold to Benefit the William B. Dietrich Foundation, an organization committed to the restoration and preservation of art and architectural treasures in the Philadelphia area. The sale of Magnificent Jewels will immediately follow, and will continue through the afternoon and evening. The auctions offer 450 lots estimated in excess of $40 million. Highlights from both sales will travel to Geneva, Los Angeles and Hong Kong before returning to New York for exhibition beginning 4 December**. Press Release New York For Immediate Release New York | +1 212 606 7176 | Lauren Gioia | | Darrell Rocha |

The auction of Magnificent Jewels is led by three spectacular diamonds. Appearing on the catalogue cover is A Magnificent Platinum and Diamond Pendant-Necklace, Tiffany & Co. from a private collection (pictured top, est. $3.2/3.8 million). Showcasing the brilliance of Tiffany & Co.’s renowned diamond heritage, the classic emerald-cut diamond weighing 27.19 carats is certified D color, Internally Flawless, with Excellent Polish and Excellent Symmetry and type IIa classification. Also from a private collection is A Magnificent Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond Ring centering an impressive cutcornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut diamond weighing 54.20 carats, VS1 clarity, Excellent Polish and Excellent Symmetry (est. $2.5/4 million). One of the most captivating stones, A Magnificent and Rare Light Pink Diamond Ring features a diamond linked to the famed Golconda mines of India (est. $1.4/1.6 million). The oval light pink diamond weighs 10.46 carats, is Internally Flawless and type IIa, and retains in its antique cut the charm and character of its time. Collectors of white diamonds will covet An Exceptional Pair of Unmounted Round Brilliant-Cut Diamonds (est. $1.1/1.5 million). Weighing 5.36 and 5.17 carats, the matched stones are both D color, Flawless, type IIa and “triple X” with excellent grades for cut, symmetry and polish. A Magnificent Platinum and Diamond Necklace designed as a graduated rivière with more than 140 carats of round and old European-cut diamonds is a tour-de-force of glamour and style (est. $1.2/1.8 million).

Historic Jadeite Necklace
For the first time in more than 30 years, a jadeite jewel of major historical importance will appear at auction at Sotheby’s in New York. The story of The Oei Tiong Ham Necklace: A Magnificent and Historic Chinese Imperial Jadeite Bead Necklace (est.$1.9/2.2 million) begins more than 100 years ago when Oei Tiong Ham, a successful Chinese businessman, is said to have purchased two necklaces composed of beads from an Imperial court necklace from the leading jadeite dealer in Peking, who had reputedly obtained them from the family of Emperor Puyi. The large, uniform beads, the size of the holes, and the fine
quality of the stone and polish all attest to this origin. Originally given to Oei’s eldest daughter Tjong-lan, the necklace is composed of 30 jadeite beads measuring approximately 13.3 to 13.4 millimeters, each displaying a harmonious combination of glowing transparency and brilliant emerald green color. After descending through multiple generations of the family, the exceptional necklace is currently offered by a direct descendant of Oei Tiong Ham.

Signed Jewels
An extraordinary sculptural Pair of Pearl and Diamond Hoop Earclips, JAR, 1987 illustrates the uncompromising artisanship that characterizes jewels by Joel Rosenthal (pictured right, est. $350/450,000). The appearance of this dramatic pair of earrings at auction represents a singular collecting opportunity for the many enthusiasts of JAR’s unique creations. The pieces were included in Rosenthal’s 1987 exhibition at the National Academy of Design in New York–marking the American debut of JAR’s work–as well as the 2002-2003 exhibition ‘The Jewels of JAR, Paris’ at Somerset House in London. Other notable examples of beautifully designed signed jewels include the Platinum and Diamond Necklace/Clip Combination, Sterlè, Paris, circa 1950 (est. $150/200,000) from a distinguished private collector who also offers a matching bangle-bracelet of similar entwined ribbon motif. David Webb’s own interpretation of the much admired “Tutti-Frutti” style is represented by the Platinum, 18 Karat White Gold, Carved Colored Stone, Diamond and Enamel Bracelet and Earclips, David Webb (est. $300/500,000) of foliate design, decorated with leaves and berries of carved and cabochon stones.

Colored Gemstones
Many superb colored gemstones will also be offered, including a “Royal Blue” Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Ring set with a cushion-shaped sapphire weighing 19.55 carats and accompanied by a Gubelin certificate stating that the exquisite stone “possesses a richly saturated and homogenous color, combined with a high degree of transparency, and a finely proportioned cut” (est. $450/650,000). The Colombian emerald weighing approximately 6.00 carats at the center of the Silver-Topped Gold, Emerald and Diamond Bracelet, circa 1890 is rivaled only by the row of antique cushion-shaped diamonds weighing just over 27 carats, which enhances the old world style of the exceptional bracelet (pictured left, est. $800,000/1.2 million). Two important Burmese rubies are offered from private collections: a Ruby and Diamond Ring by Harry Winston is set with a large cushion-shaped Burmese ruby weighing 22.25 carats (est. $600/800,000), and the Platinum, 18 Karat Gold, Ruby and Diamond Ring, Tiffany & Co. features an oval Burmese ruby weighing 9.65 carats (est. $800,000/1.2 million).

Other Highlights
Period jewelry is well represented in the Magnificent Jewels sale, with designs by Georges Fouquet, Suzanne Belperron, Dreicer & Co. and Raymond Yard among the pieces offered. The Pair of Platinum, Natural Pearl and Diamond Pendant-Earclips, Tiffany & Co, circa 1914 (est. $300/500,000) will interest both those who admire vintage jewels as well as collectors of superb natural pearls. Complementing the period jewels is a group of noble jewels formerly from the Thurn und Taxis Collection, originally acquired by the present owner in the landmark auction conducted by Sotheby’s in 1992. Collectors seeking more contemporary styles will find pieces by Michele della Valle, Buccellati and other current jewelry designers. A Fine and Rare Gold, Lapis Lazuli, Onyx, Jadeite and Coral Annular Desk Timepiece, circa 1929 (est. $150/200,000) is an excellent example of the stunning and highly imaginative decorative clocks created during the 1920s and 30s. The work was a creation of Vacheron Constantin, as were many of the finest clocks from the Art Deco period, and was retailed by Ostertag, the exclusive Parisian jeweler with a salon in Place Vendôme. The clock features a rotating chapter ring, ingeniously designed in the rim of a flower pot.

The Estate of William B. Dietrich Sotheby’s is honored to offer Jewels from the Estate of William B. Dietrich, comprising an array of signed jewels by makers such as Carlo Giuliano, Tiffany & Co., Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, as well as a collection of fine colored gemstones. William B. Dietrich was a well-known collector and connoisseur of fine art, and a life-long resident of Philadelphia’s Main Line. Through his governance of the William B. Dietrich Foundation, he devoted considerable resources to the restoration and preservation of art and architectural treasures in the Philadelphia area. The full proceeds of this sale will be contributed to the Foundation.

The collection is a testament to Mr. Dietrich’s pursuit of beauty and balance, as evidenced by the prevalent motifs of nature and geometry. Highlights of the single-owner sale include the 18 Karat Gold, Platinum, Opal, Sapphire and Garnet Brooch, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Tiffany & Co., circa 1920 (pictured above, est. $25/35,000), a Platinum, Aquamarine and Diamond Clip-Brooch, circa 1935 (est. $15/20,000) and the Fancy Colored Diamond Crossover Ring set with pear-shaped diamonds of blue and pink hues (est.$180/220,000).

Highlights from both the Magnificent Jewels and William B. Dietrich sales will be on exhibition in the following locations before returning to New York for presale exhibition on 4 December:

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium
**Exhibition Schedule
13 – 15 November: Geneva, Sotheby’s galleries in the Hotel Beau-Rivage
19 November: Sotheby’s Los Angeles
26 -28 November: Hong Kong, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
4 – 9 December: Sotheby’s New York, presale exhibition

Images Courtesy of Sotheby's