Instagram tiara and Kashmir sapphire shine in auction

AFP
A Savoy royal tiara which everyone could try on via Instagram and the largest Kashmir sapphire ever auctioned sold for millions of dollars each in Geneva.
AFP
SSI ļʱ
Instagram tiara and Kashmir sapphire shine in auction
Reuters

A staffer shows a diamond and pearl tiara passed down through generations of the Italian royal family during a preview at Sotheby's before their auction in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 6.

A Savoy royal tiara which everyone could try on via Instagram, and the largest Kashmir sapphire ever auctioned sold for millions of dollars each on Tuesday.

The tiara went for US$1.6 million and the sapphire fetched US$3.9 million when the historic treasures went under the hammer at Sotheby's auction house in Geneva.

The tiara was kept in the Italian House of Savoy royal dynasty for more than 150 years. It was bought by an Asian collector, according to Sotheby's.

The diadem, containing 11 natural pearls and diamonds, dates from the second half of the 19th century.

The tiara can also be separated into two parts, allowing it to be worn as a necklace.

Keen to attract the interest of a new generation, Sotheby's created an Instagram filter that allowed people to create a picture of themselves wearing the Savoy tiara in a sumptuous Italian palace.

More than 22,000 people took advantage.

"This tiara encapsulates all the pomp, power and presence associated with royal jewels and over the past couple of weeks," said Benoit Repellin, head of magnificent jewels sales at Sotheby's in Geneva.

"The price achieved today is testament not only to its exceptional craftsmanship and the quality of its materials which makes it a true work of art, but also to its historical and emotional resonance."

Sotheby's said it was one of the highest prices paid for a tiara in recent years.

The auctioneers say they have witnessed unprecedented global demand for royal jewellery, particularly from younger clients in Asia.

Collectors from that continent have bought a third of the tiaras sold by the auction house in the past five years.

Instagram tiara and Kashmir sapphire shine in auction
Reuters

The 1930s sapphire and diamond brooch features the largest Kashmir sapphire ever to appear at auction.

Rare Kashmir jewel

The Kashmir sapphire, a 55.19-carat gem, was formerly in the collection of Maureen Constance Guinness, a marchioness of the aristocratic Anglo-Irish brewing family, who died in 1998.

Kashmir sapphires of over 30 carats are very rare. It was sold alongside a cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire weighing 25.97 carats.

Following their discovery in the early 1880s, the mining of Kashmir sapphires only lasted from 1882 and 1887, making such gems some of the most coveted on the market, according to Sotheby's.

They have a rich cornflower blue hue with a soft, velvety texture, and retain their luster in any light.

"Kashmir sapphires are among the rarest colored gemstones known to man," said Repellin.

It was bought by the British jeweller Graff.

SSI ļʱ

Special Reports

Top