PROPERTY OF A LADY
Founding the company bearing his name in 1932, Harry Winston expertly handled a majority of the world's superlative diamonds, colored gemstones and jewelry in the 20th century and was aptly regarded as the 'King of Diamonds' His pursuit of excellence combined with his passion, discretion, intuition and knowledge made him a visionary in the field. In 1949, less then 20 years after its beginning, his acquisitions were of such prominence that he was able to put together an exhibition entitled 'The Court of Jewels'. Opening at Rockefeller Center in November of that year, it toured the United States, raising money for the United Hospital Fund. Amongst the stones featured was the legendary 44.50 carats fancy deep blue Hope Diamond, which Mr. Winston had purchased directly from heiress Evelyn Walsh McLean. When it came time to donate the priceless stone, it was sent via the U.S mail in a discrete, yet unassuming, brown paper package to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, where it still resides.
While the first half of 20th century jewelry design was dominated by the Art Deco movement, with its bold and colorful geometric forms, the last fifty years have been devoid of any one definable style. Perhaps the most important development has been the much admired and greatly imitated 'Winston' look. Surprisingly, this was the result of Mr. Winston's observation of a holly wreath hanging from his front door during Christmas in 1944. Seeing how the leaves shaped the wreath, he thought that he could adapt this to jewelry design, whereby one only saw the gemstones and not the supporting metal beneath. Seemingly simple, it revolutionized design, in that the metal merely acted as a framework for the gemstones and never overshadowed their role as the primary focus of the jewel.
Today, the firm remains committed to upholding their motto 'Rare Jewels of the World' and the superb private collection featured here represents the modern vision of the company. The highlight of the group is the highly important fancy vivid blue, internally flawless diamond ring of 4.24 cts (Lot 375, estimate: $1,500,000-2,000,000). The color of this rare gemstone is produced by minute amounts of the element boron present in its crystal lattice structure and it is most likely to have been mined from the Pretoria Mines in South Africa. Also included in this magnificent collection is an elegant oval-cut diamond line necklace of seventy-three graduated stones totaling approximately 53.00 cts (Lot 373, estimate: $300,000-500,000) and a matching bracelet with seventeen oval-cut diamonds weighing approximately 35.00 cts (lot 374, estimate: $280,000-250,000). A pair of diamond ear studs features two circular-cut diamonds, weighing approximately 4.09 and 4.02 cts and both of E color and VVS2 clarity. All four are mounted in the quintessential Winston style.
These jewels represent the legacy of Harry Winston's dedication to excellence and his steadfast commitment to elegance and luxury.