Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction Tuesday brought in more than $17.5 million, well above the auction’s house estimate of $12.3 million to $16.6 million, led by the sale of several sought after diamonds. More than 90 percent of items were sold by value and 79 percent by lot.
Graff Diamonds Ltd. purchased two historic stones: The 107.5-ct. cushion-shaped fancy yellow Rojtman Diamond, for $1.9 million, which sold on the high end of $1.5 to $2 million estimate; and the 65.6-ct. fancy dark orange-brown Golden Maharaja diamond, for $1.4 million, smashing the estimated price of $400,000 to $600,000. The Maharaja diamond sparked an intense bidding war among no fewer than eight collectors, Sotheby’s said in a statement.
“We’re experiencing a very strong market,” said Lisa Hubbard, executive director of Sotheby’s Jewelry Department. “The response was outstanding and we saw buyers from every region of the world actively participating.”
Other diamond highlights included a 39.14-ct. fancy intense yellow diamond ring that brought $1 million and a 9.6-ct. Van Cleef & Arpels diamond ring that sold for $688,000.
Sotheby’s honored the 100th Anniversary of Van Cleef & Arpels with a selection of jewelry from throughout the firm’s history. In addition to the diamond ring, several other lots drew highly competitive bids including an 18k gold, platinum and diamond “Zip Chantilly” necklace/bracelet combination, Van Cleef & Arpels, Paris 1952, which sold for $138,000; a pair of diamond earclips which sold for $120,000; and a ruby and diamond flower brooch that brought $120,000.
Other highlights from the sale included a selection of jewelry belonging to a descendant of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Crocker, featuring a natural pearl, diamond, and emerald pendant-brooch, circa 1920, that sold for $156,000, far surpassing the $50 to $70,000 estimate. From another owner came an Art Deco rock crystal, diamond and onyx brooch, Cartier, Paris, circa 1925, that brought $156,000.