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    Sale 7664

    Contemporary Jewellery and Watches

    29 April 2008, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 174

    AN EXCEPTIONAL BELLE EPOQUE NATURAL GREY/BROWN PEARL PENDENT NECKLACE

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN EXCEPTIONAL BELLE EPOQUE NATURAL GREY/BROWN PEARL PENDENT NECKLACE
    The grey and brown drop-shaped pearl measuring 26.45 by 18.68-17.14 mm and weighing 227.24 grains (56.81 carats) to the diamond-set cap and spectacle-set chain, 78.0 cm long, circa 1900
    Accompanied by report No. 0701147 dated 31 January 2007 from the Gübelin Gem Lab stating that the drop-shaped natural pearl is of grey and brown colour, no indications of colour enhancement


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    Symphony in Grey
    This remarkable grey/brown drop pearl is undoubtedly one of the largest and finest pearls in the world. It is the fourteenth largest pearl so far recorded, the seventh largest drop-shaped pearl and the largest drop-shaped coloured pearl. Of those drop-shaped pearls that are larger only one is known to be a more attractive pearl and that is La Regenti that once formed part of the French Crown Jewels and weighs 302 grains. The remaining six pearls that are larger and heavier are either baroque or show some signs of distress owing to drying out lines or staining.

    The two largest pearls, the Gogibus pearl weighing 504 grains and Shah Sofi's pearl of 500 grains may have been lost in time as there whereabouts are currently unknown, it is also quite possible that these could be the same pearl known under different names, as they were both found in the first half of the seventeenth century. The Gogibus pearl was described in The Book of the Pearl, page 461 as the largest pearl in Europe, while Shah Sofi's pearl was described by Tavernier as the largest and most perfect pearl ever discovered. The possibility that two pearls of virtually identical weight and shape of such enormous size could have been found more or less at the same time seems very unlikely. Also, after the Gogibus pearl was sold to King Philip IV of Spain he wore it as a button in his hat as no match could be found (The Book of the Pearl, page 461). If these pearls were indeed the same it would make this grey brown pearl the sixth largest recorded drop, the largest coloured drop-shaped pearl and the second most beautiful drop pearl after La Regente.

    With the information so far attained on large pearls one can state that the pearl being sold in this sale is one of the most important in the world, undoubtedly, there will be others that have not yet been recorded that may challenge these statistics and that will hopefully come to light one day.