Christie’s has had its fair share of record-breaking events: Elizabeth Taylor’s sale topped $145 million, and the Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence auction achieved $110 million. But after those, nothing comes close. Until now. This May, Christie’s is hosting The World of Heidi Horten in Geneva, with an estimate of a whopping $150 million.
The sale offers over 700 jewels from the collection of Heidi Horten, the late widow of a German department store tycoon.
“The World of Heidi Horten is the collection of a lifetime,” said Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s international head of jewelry, in a statement. “From Bulgari to Van Cleef & Arpels, from a small personal memory piece to the Briolette of India, this is a collector’s dream. Building from extraordinary early pieces she acquired in the 1970s and 1980s, Mrs. Horten continued to grow and curate her sophisticated collection, eloquently combining vintage and modern designs from the leading jewelry houses of the world that today represent some of the finest examples ever to come to market.”
Per Horten’s wishes, all proceeds from the auction will benefit the Heidi Horten Foundation—founded in 2020 to support the Heidi Horten Collection, a contemporary and modern art museum she established in Vienna—or go to medical research.
“This is a historic moment for Christie’s to have the privilege of offering one of the world’s finest and most important jewelry collections originating from Europe,” said Anthea Peers, president of Christie’s EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa). “Furthermore, to witness a philanthropic effort of this scale is as rare as it is remarkable. With the establishment of the Heidi Horten Foundation, the late Mrs. Horten has created an important framework to secure the operation of her museum for decades to come, ensuring the enjoyment of the arts for enthusiasts around the globe.”
Top: Heidi Horten wearing a 63 ct. emerald necklace (© Heidi Horten Foundation; jewelry photos courtesy of Christie’s)
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