Christie’s Luxury Week sales in Geneva saw exceptional results this November, realising a total of CHF144,007,100 / $144,903,265 across five sales of jewels, wine and watches.
Leading the entire series was an emerald and diamond necklace by de Grisogono, set with a rectangular-cut, D-colour flawless diamond of 163.41 carats. The largest flawless D-colour diamond ever to come to auction, the piece set a world auction record when it achieved CHF33,500,000 / $33,705,994 in the Magnificent Jewels auction.
‘Over our 251-year-history, Christie’s has had the privilege of handling the world’s rarest and most historic diamonds,’ commented Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewellery. ‘This sensational gem propels de Grisogono into a class of its own.’
A further highlight of the Magnificent Jewels sale was the Grand Mazarin, a light pink diamond of 19.07 carats. A stone with historic royal French provenance, the diamond has been in the collection of four kings, four queens, two emperors and two empresses. This was the first time it had appeared at public auction since the sale of the French Crown Jewels in 1887, and it sold for CHF14,375,000 / $14,463,393.
An Art Nouveau enamel, diamond and pearl pendent necklace, by René Lalique. Depicting four gold and enamel wasps with diamond wings, set on a window enamel and opalescent glass hawthorn branch, suspending a baroque pearl, to the chain set with two window enamel leaves, 1899-1901, pendant 9.5 cm, necklace 51 cm, with French assay marks for gold. Sold for CHF 972,500 on 13 November 2017 at Christie’s in Geneva
On 13 November, the sale of Beyond Boundaries: Magnificent Jewels from a European Collection — the first of 10 auctions featuring property from this important European collection — realised CHF12,354,375/ $12,430,343, selling 100 per cent by lot and by value. This exceptional collection of Art Nouveau and Art Deco jewels sparked international interest, with extremely competitive bidding in the saleroom, on the telephones and online via Christie’s LIVE.
The top lot, an Art Nouveau pendant necklace by René Lalique, which sold for CHF 972,500 / $978,480 against a pre-sale estimate of CHF 90,000-130,000. This result set a new world auction record for any piece of Art Nouveau jewellery, as well as for a piece of jewellery by Lalique.
‘Lalique was first and foremost a designer,’ says Marie-Cécile Cisamolo, jewellery specialist at Christie’s in Geneva, ‘and his oeuvre was characterised by exotic and often fragile materials such as moulded glass. These boundary-pushing, nature-inspired pieces, whether of flora, fauna, or wasps, made him the undisputed master of the Art Nouveau movement.’
Two pieces by Georges Fouquet made exceptional prices: an emerald, onyx and diamond pendant necklace from 1925 sold for CHF 492,500 / $495,528 — more than five times its low estimate — while a 1901 opal, diamond and enamel ‘Cedars’ pendant necklace realised CHF 480,500 / $483,455, quadrupling its low estimate. Records were also achieved for makers, including Eugène Feuillâtre, Paul Brandt and Ostertag, marking a new era for this period of jewellery at auction.
Also on 13 November, the Rare Watches auction realised a total of CHF 12,758,375 / $12,836,827, with 91 per cent sold by lot and 95 per cent sold by value. Leading the sale was the legendary 1981 Patek Philippe ‘Senza Luna,’ an 18k white gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch without moon phases, which achieved an exceptional CHF 972,500/ $978,480.
Earlier in the week, the Finest & Rarest Wines & Spirits auction achieved CHF2.7 million/ $2,734,962, selling 98 per cent by lot. The sale was led by a private collection of Lafite-Rothschild from 1945-2009, with lot 37, 12 bottles of Château Lafite-Rothschild, 1982, selling for CHF60,000, more than double its pre-sale estimate.
On 11 November, the 7th edition of Only Watch, a biennial charity auction to benefit research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, raised CHF10,776,500. All 50 unique watches, donated by leading manufacturers including Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Montblanc, Barbier-Mueller and many others, were sold to buyers from 45 countries. The leading lot was a Patek Philippe Reference 5208T-010, created specifically for the sale and crafted in titanium — a rarity for the distinguished Swiss watchmaker.