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A PAIR OF RARE ART DECO PEARL AND DIAMOND EAR PENDANTS
THE PROPERTY OF AN IMPORTANT EUROPEAN FAMILY
A PAIR OF RARE ART DECO PEARL AND DIAMOND EAR PENDANTS

Details
A PAIR OF RARE ART DECO PEARL AND DIAMOND EAR PENDANTS
The two drop-shaped natural pearls, weighing approximately 100 and 96 grains, suspended from a diamond-set line, to the button-shaped pearl tops, circa 1920, 6.6 cm
Accompanied by report no. 58436 dated 10 February 2011 from the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute stating that the pearls are natural saltwater pearls

And report no. 1010077/1 and /2 dated 11 October 2010 from the Gübelin GemLab stating that the pearls are natural saltwater pearls

Post Lot Text
In its purity, beauty and allure, the pearl ranks among the most treasured gems of all time. The use of pearls as jewellery and their recognition as objects of value date back into the earliest days of history. Dedicated to the Goddess of Love, they have been rhapsodized in songs and stories, cherished, coveted and fought for through the centuries. The rarest and most beautiful were often reserved for European or Indian royalty, who coveted these natural pearls to a great extent, and was a necessary accessory, worn on special state occasions.
The finest natural pearls were once harvested in large quantities from the area around Basra in the Persian Gulf. However, with the discovery of oil in the region, pearl production declined and today it has all but ceased. Without a source, top quality natural pearls are extremely rare today and can only be found in estate auctions or with a select handful of international gem dealers.

Christie's jewellery department has had the pleasure to handle some of the most important and historical pearls ever to be sold. We proudly hold the record for having sold eight out of the ten most important natural pearl lots at auction. The world record price is held by The Baroda Pearl Suite, sold by Christie's New York in April 2007 for US$7,096,000.

Another famous pearl sold at Christie's is "La Pelegrina" of 133.16 grains, which belonged to one of Russia's wealthiest families, Princess Tatiana Youssoupov. It was sold at Christie's Geneva in May 1987, for the then record price of US$463,800 (or the equivalent of US$906,790 today).

We are honoured to have the opportunity to offer for sale this extremely rare matching pair of pearls of approximately 100 grains and 96 grains, with beautiful shape and orient. Their breathtaking luster gives the pearls a spectacular inner glow. Further enhancing the desirability of these pearls, is the refined mounting which dates to the Art Deco period, the design is characteristic of this style but nonetheless extremely wearable even today.

This combination of size, luster and orient and being such a well matched pair, brings to mind the superb and rare Portland Pearls recently sold at Christie's London for $ 2,416,857 on 1st December 2010: A spectacular brooch composed of 3 natural pearls and old-cut diamond clusters, each suspending a natural drop-shaped pearl of 118, 106 and 100 grains.

In recent years, the market prices of top quality natural pearls have risen quite steadily. As an increasing amount of gem collectors have begun to show interest in natural pearls, perhaps realizing that a very fine pearl is far rarer than a fine diamond.

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