This impressive 10.59 carat diamond was originally purchased at Harry Winston in 2000 and was given to Barbara de Kwiatkowski from her husband, Henryk de Kwiatkowski, as an anniversary gift. At the time, the diamond was set in the Harry Winston mounting that accompanies this lot. The diamond was later unmounted and reset in the current mounting. The original Harry Winston setting was later modified in order to accommodate a sapphire (Lot 268).
“Barbara holds the keys to the other side of the amazingly enormous Warhol story. She was there for all the great statements of Andy’s for years before she cared. She was completely innocent, and she literally saw and heard everything and didn’t give a damn. She had the most naïve and unspoiled eye of any human to enter Manhattan.” –Peter Beard
Known throughout international circles by an affectionately abbreviated name, Babs deK was a figure synonymous with style and glamor. Muse and close friend to Andy Warhol, she was part owner, cover star, and contributor to his renowned Interview magazine. Babs’s Warhol years are well documented in editorials, Polaroids and drawings. She and Andy were the undisputed disco balls of Studio 54, and in their lives outside of the club scene, they shared a deep friendship.
Babs was at the core of the Pop Art movement inspiring and collecting pieces by the artists in her close circle. She always knew who the next “great” would be in the art world and amassed a collection reflective of her distinct sense of taste and style. In the mid-1980s she met Henryk de Kwiatkowski and they shared a long marriage from 1986 until his passing in 2003. She was a loving mother and wife, an international beauty, and one of society’s great hostesses. She had a discerning eye and the ability to create beauty in everything she touched, reflected in the art and objects that filled her homes at Coyners Farm, Connecticut; Calumet Farm, Kentucky; Serendip Cove, Lyford Cay; and 1 Beekman Place, New York. All of her properties were beautifully decorated by the combined force and talent of Babs and Sister Parish of Parish-Hadley Associates, the firm celebrated for its designs of the Kennedy White House.
Featuring boldly colored gemstones, Babs’s jewels include some of the most coveted firms, such as JAR, Belperron and Verdura. Her showstopping 10.59 carat, D color, potentially Internally Flawless diamond ring (Lot 272) was originally purchased at Harry Winston and was gifted to Barbara as an anniversary gift from her husband, Henryk de Kwiatkowski, in 2000. The following jewels, Lots 265 - 272 were worn and loved by Babs and reflect her innate sense of style and spirited eye for the vibrant and brilliant.