Sotheby’s New York Magnificent Jewels Sale

Sotheby’s spring sale of Magnificent Jewels in New York on April 17 will offer high quality white and colored diamonds and a selection of signed jewelry, including both classically styled and contemporary pieces. The sale will also include Van Cleef & Arpels jewels from the Estate of Rita K. Hillman, a distinguished New York philanthropist.

The 389 lots being offered in two catalogues for this two-session sale at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. will be on exhibition at Sotheby’s New York from April 11 through April 17.

The star lot is, “The Property of a Lady, Sold to Benefit a Charitable Foundation,” (pictured) a diamond ring from Harry Winston, featuring an emerald-cut diamond weighing 24.42 cts. with an estimated value ranging from $1.8 to $2.5 million. The D color type 11a diamond is mounted in platinum and flanked by tapered baguette diamonds.

Another example of white diamonds being offered in this sale is a pair of diamond earrings with an estimated value of $1.5 to $2 million, which weighs 10.05 and 10.03 cts.

The April sale includes a collection of Van Cleef & Arpels jewels from the Estate of Rita K. Hillman. Rita Hillman and her husband, the publisher Alex Hillman, were avid art collectors. Rita Hillman is remembered as a great philanthropist; she became the president of the Alex Hillman Family Foundation in 1968 following her husband’s death, and the foundation focused its generosity on supporting the arts and nursing in New York City.

The centerpiece of the Hillman jewels is a sautoir necklace, offered as two separate lots. The natural pearl and diamond necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels, with an estimated value of $1.2 million, is designed as a long chain collet-set with more than 60 cts. of diamonds, which suspends two natural pearl drops measuring approximately 18.32 by 16.26 mm. and 16.76 by 15.67 mm. The necklace may be worn with an old European-cut fancy intense yellow diamond pendant weighing 39.34 cts. with an estimated value from $800,000 to $1.2 million. The collection of nine lots includes a Van Cleef & Arpels, 1957, diamond ring set with a round diamond weighing 17 cts. of H color and VVS1 clarity (estimated value from $900,000 to $1.2 million).

Among the most important signed pieces offered in this sale is a pair of invisibly-set diamond bracelets from Oscar Heyman & Brothers valued from $600,000 to $700,000. This pair was designed as totally flexible bands, with an unparalleled smooth setting of over 115 cts. of square-cut and round diamonds. These bracelets are a collaborative effort of a designer, lapidary, metalworker, and stone setter. The highly supple platinum mountings, flexible from all four directions, are a large part of the design’s success.

The selection of artistic jewels in this sale includes an 18k gold, moonstone, sapphire, and diamond “La Meduse” brooch, designed by Schlumberger for Tiffany & Company, France with an estimated value of $60,000 to $80.

The sale also includes pieces from the collection of Joan Collins, the British actress. Highlighting this offering is a Diamond Necklace with an estimated value of $100,000 to $150,000. The center of the 1960’s foliate design is decorated with a flexible cascade accented with a scrolling ribbon motif, set with 354 round, marquise-shaped and baguette diamonds and weighing a total of approximately 75 cts.

Highlights from the April sale of Magnificent Jewels will be on view at Sotheby’s offices in Los Angeles March 28 and Hong Kong April 5-9, alongside the Hong Kong sale of Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite, which takes place on April 10.

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