• Press release
  • |
  • New York
  • |
  • For immediate release
  • |
  • 17 November 2016

PRESS RELEASE: Christie's New York Magnificent Jewels

250th Anniversary Selection 

Prominent Private Estate Collections including iconic jewels from The Estate of Betsy Bloomingdale

Christie’s Online Jewels, December 1-9

Christie’s Online Cufflinks for the Modern Gentleman, December 1-13

A Magnificent Diamond Ring. Set with a rectangular-cut D color potentially IF diamond of 51.35 carats. Estimate: $5,000,000-7,000,000

A Magnificent Diamond Ring. Set with a rectangular-cut D color potentially IF diamond of 51.35 carats. Estimate: $5,000,000-7,000,000

A legendary hostess who entertained in couture and Harry Winston jewels, Mrs. Bloomingdale embodied the intelligence and verve of a new generation of American women.

A legendary hostess who entertained in couture and Harry Winston jewels, Mrs. Bloomingdale embodied the intelligence and verve of a new generation of American women.

New York - Christie’s announces the New York auction of Magnificent Jewels on Wednesday, December 7 with more than 300 lots on offer and estimates ranging from $5,000 to $5,000,000. Highlights include exceptional fancy colored and colorless diamonds, colored gemstones, and signed jewels from Buccellati, Bulgari, Cartier, David Webb, Graff, Harry Winston, JAR, Oscar Heyman & Brothers, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels and more.

Exceptional lots from prominent US private collections comprise the breadth of the sale. Highly sought-after signed jewels include Art-Deco Cartier from the Blair Family Collection, a pair of JAR quartz and diamond brooches within the Collection of Robert and Sylvia Olnick and a stunning multi-gem and diamond necklace by Oscar Heyman & Brothers from a prominent Rancho Santa Fe collection. Important gems from The Lichtblau Collection comprise an impressive fancy intense yellow diamond ring of 34.56 carats and a rare F color rectangular cut diamond ring of 18.37 carats. A Superb Collection of Important Gemstones from a Private Collection include The Burma Blue a sensational Burmese sapphire ring of 75.41 carats, The Mandalay Blue, a superb Burmese sapphire ring of 31.38 carats, and a D color Internally Flawless diamond ring of 22.72 carats.

Christie’s is also honored to be entrusted with property from the Estate of Betsy Bloomingdale. The private collection, Betsy Bloomingdale: A Life in Style, will be offered across two Christie’s sales, beginning with iconic pieces of her jewelry collection in Magnificent Jewels. Synonymous with style, glamour, and philanthropy, the collection of Betsy Bloomingdale will offer a group of spectacular lots, including a sweep of stunning Harry Winston jewels: an impressive diamond ring, a diamond cluster necklace, a pair of cluster earrings and a diamond cluster waterfall brooch.

Magnificent Jewels will conclude the special celebration of Christie’s 250th anniversary year with a dedicated sale section that evokes and celebrates significant Christie’s jewels sales, by reoffering an assortment of jewels from historic sales. A main highlight includes a pair of ‘mystery-set’ sapphire and diamond ear pendants, by Van Cleef & Arpels, formerly from the Collection of Elizabeth Taylor, sold at Christie’s New York, The Legendary Jewels, Evening Sale on December 13, 2011.

Complementing the live sale, Christie’s Jewels Online, December 1 – 9, offers a dynamic assortment of signed modern, vintage, and retro designs. A standalone online sale from December 1 -13, Cufflinks for the Modern Gentleman, presents unique cufflinks suitable for all occasions and gifting needs this holiday season.


Few society figures remain as iconic as Betsy Bloomingdale. A true emblem of glamor and style, she epitomized the confidence of a post war United States: a moment in history in which the sun-soaked terraces and candle-lit tables of Southern California captured the world’s imagination. Forever draped in haute couture, jewels, and an irresistible smile, Betsy Bloomingdale was a woman defined by exuberant, joyful elegance.

From a young age, the collector learned the hallmarks of good taste in the California fashion: a combination of intuition, confidence, and compassion that reached beyond wealth and background to transform acquaintances such as Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart into international stars. “Style,” Mrs. Bloomingdale often remarked in later years. “Everyone has it, anyone can get it.”

In 1946, Betsy Bloomingdale married department store heir and future Diners Club chairman Alfred S Bloomingdale, the “father of the credit card” with whom she would have three children. Throughout the latter decades of the twentieth century, the Bloomingdales came to stand as influential figures in business, politics, culture, and fashion. With homes in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, they inhabited the world of the newly inaugurated jet set. Amongst their inner circle, the Bloomingdales counted some of America’s most notable families: names such as Kempner, Buckley, Forbes, Paley, Annenberg and, most famously, Reagan.

Magnificent Jewels

7 Dec

20 Rockefeller Center, New York, NY, 10020

  • Auction

    7 Dec, 10am (Lots 1 - 166)

    7 Dec, 2:30pm (Lots 167 - 318)

  • Viewing

    New York

    2 Dec, 12pm - 6pm

    3 Dec, 10am - 6pm

    4 Dec, 10am - 6pm

    5 Dec, 10am - 6pm

    6 Dec, 10am - 5pm

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie's is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.