• Press release
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  • Worldwide
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  • For immediate release
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  • 28 March 2023








Global – Christie’s is proud to present THE WORLD OF HEIDI HORTEN, the exquisite jewellery collection of the late Mrs. Heidi Horten (1941-2022). With a pre-sale estimate of more than $150 million, this unparalleled private jewellery collection is the largest and most valuable ever to come to auction, poised to join and eclipse the previous record sales at Christie’s for The Elizabeth Taylor Collection (2011) and the Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence auction (2019), which are the only two jewellery collections to date to achieve more than $100 million.

Consigned by the Heidi Horten Estate, and offered this May in Geneva, the Collection will be devoted to philanthropy, per Mrs. Horten’s wishes: all of the Estate’s proceeds will benefit The Heidi Horten Foundation, established in 2021 to support the museum of modern and contemporary art she founded in Vienna, Austria — The Heidi Horten Collection — as well as medical research and other philanthropic activities, which have been supported by her for many decades.


Highlights include:

- The stunning 90 carat Briolette of India Diamond Necklace by Harry Winston, originally sold by Cartier in 1909 (estimate on request)

- A Three Strand Natural Pearl Necklace also by Harry Winston, highlighted by a cushion shaped pink diamond clasp of 11 carats (estimate US$7-10 million)

- The Sunrise Ruby and Diamond ring of 25 carats by Cartier, pigeon blood in colour and of exceptional purity (estimate US$15-20 million)

- A very important selection of Bulgari creations from the 1970s to present day, retracing more than five decades of the firm’s signature Italian craftsmanship

- An exceptional Diamond Bracelet by Harry Winston (estimate US$5-7 million)

- The Great Mughal Emerald Pendant Necklace by Harry Winston (estimate US$500,000-700,000).

From left to right: Lot 76 Bulgari-a diamond, sapphire and emerald necklace est. US$1.2-1.8 million | Lot 253 Harry Winston-The Great Mughal emerald and diamond necklace est. US$500,000-700,000 | Lot 74 Bulgari-coloured diamond and emerald bracelet est. US$350,000-550,000

Anthea Peers, President Christie’s EMEA, commented: “This is a historic moment for Christie’s to have the privilege of offering one of the world’s finest and most important jewellery collections originating from Europe. Furthermore, to witness a philanthropic effort of this scale is as rare as it is remarkable. Today, 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.”

Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewellery, remarked: The World of Heidi Horten is the collection of a lifetime. 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 1970’s and 1980’s, Mrs. Horten continued to grow and curate her sophisticated collection, eloquently combining vintage and modern designs from the leading jewellery houses of the world that today represent some of the finest examples ever to come to market."

From left to right: Lot 54 a fancy pink diamond of 20.06 cts est. US$5-7 million | Lot 63 a natural black pearl necklace est. US$3-5 million | Lot 88-Bulgari diamond brooch est. US$5-7 million | Lot 45-Harry Winston-three strand natural pearl necklace est. US$7-10 million

Christie’s will present 400 of the 700 jewels across two live auctions at The Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva during Luxury Week this spring, in addition to one online sale in May, followed by another online sale in November 2023. Part 1 of the auction series will begin on Wednesday 10 May, followed by a Part II live auction on Friday 12 May 2023.

The first online sale will open 3 May, running until 15 May, to be followed by a second online sale in November offering the remaining jewels from the collection.

About Heidi Horten

Heidi Horten was an Austrian philanthropist known for her elegance, glamour and fine taste. From an early age, Mrs. Horten was exposed to objects of great beauty from her father, who was an engraver, and later during her first marriage at the age of 19 in 1966 to German businessman Helmut Horten, when she began to refine her eye for jewellery and works of art.

Over the course of her life, Mrs. Horten became passionately involved in areas as diverse as social welfare, sports and medical research, that she went on to support for decades. Throughout the years, she amassed one of the world’s most brilliant jewellery collections as well as a stunning assemblage of decorative arts, and modern and contemporary art, the latter of which is housed in The Heidi Horten Collection museum in Vienna.

Mr. Horten, her first husband, passed away in 1987, leaving a significant inheritance to Mrs. Horten, the source of which is a matter of public record. The business practices of Mr. Horten during the Nazi era, when he purchased Jewish businesses sold under duress, are well documented.

All of the Estate’s proceeds will benefit The Heidi Horten Foundation—established in 2021 to support The Heidi Horten Collection as well as medical research, child welfare, and other philanthropic activities that she supported for many decades. For our part, Christie’s will make a significant contribution from its final proceeds of the auction to an organisation that further advances Holocaust research and education.

Heidi Horten wearing lot 42 – a 68.13 cts emerald and diamond necklace – estimate US$1.5-2.5 million Copyright The Heidi Horten Foundation

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business with a physical presence in 46 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, and flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. Renowned and trusted for our expert live and online-only auctions, as well as bespoke Private Sales, Christie’s unparalleled network of specialists offers our clients a full portfolio of global services, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $500 to over $100 million. Christie’s has sold 8 of the 10 most important single-owner collections in history, achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction, launched the first fully on-chain auction platform dedicated to exceptional NFT art and manages an investment fund to support innovative startups in the art market. Christie’s is also committed to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide. To learn more, browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at or by downloading Christie’s apps. 

* Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.   *Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium.