GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Geneva – considered a major world centre for jewellery auctions – had a fantastic week after the ultra rich dropped hundreds of millions of francs in one-of-a-kind watches and jewelry.
Sotheby’s auction house collected in excess of 192 million Swiss francs in their two-day bi-annual sale.
I know little about ultra fine jewelry but after hearing David Bennet – Chairman of International Jewellery at Sotheby’s – it is easy to understand their investment appeal and the desire to acquire these gems which rarely go on the auction block.
Sotheby’s also scored a victory after auctioning – for the second time – what it has called “the most important watch in the world.”
First commissioned in 1925, the Henry Graves Supercomplication Watch by Patek Philippe sold for a record CHF 23.2 million to an anonymous bidder who beat four others in a dramatic 15-min auction.
Christie’s also had a terrific run this week setting a world record for a sapphire – the Blue Belle of Asia a 392-carat gem – which sold for 16.95 million Swiss francs to a private collector (image at left).
Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Jewelry at Christie’s explains the fascinating sapphire.
In total Christie’s collected more than 181 million Swiss francs in its three-day auction sale.
Among the special items was the “Feuilles de Groseillier” brooch, commissioned by Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, to French jeweller Alfred Bapst in 1855.
Geneva’s spectacular auction record for any diamond or jewel is still standing after the November 2010 sale at Sotheby’s, of a 24-carat pink round diamond sold for 45 million Swiss francs.
Ah, la vie en diamonds!