A spectacular suite of natural pearls sold for $4.82 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York on December 4, 2007. The necklace, pendant, and ear clips, offered in three lots, had a combined high estimate of $3.1 million.
“The market is hungry for fabulous pieces from private collections, be they great designer jewels or great stones,” says Lisa Hubbard, Sotheby’s chairman, North and South America, international jewelry division. “They attracted incredible interest during the worldwide traveling exhibition and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to bring such iconic pieces, so steeped in history, romance, and style, to the market.”
Fine natural pearls, limited in supply, have been doing well at auction recently, with the notable exception of Marie Antoinette’s pearls which failed to sell at Christie’s in December. But the high sales price for this suite at auction had much to do with provenance as rarity. This suite was offered for sale by Calvin and Kelly Klein, modern fashion royalty. And they had style provenance from an even more impeccable source: the Duchess of Windsor.
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