A buzz amongst the upper echelons for a slice of the coveted heirloom belonging to the late Huguette Clark is seen as yet another innovative stance from the house of Christie’s. The auction that features delectable Art Deco collection from one of the most ‘talked about’ families in America is slated to become Christie’s flagship jewelry auction for Spring 2012.
The art deco jewelry collection belonging to former American heiress of Montana copper mining will be placed under the block at Christie’s on April 17. The glam quotient and its historic significance has already set a total mark-up close to $12 million for this timeless collectible.
Huguette Clark was a reluctant heiress who came upon her riches through her father Sen. William A. Clark, one of America’s fortune makers engaged in mining copper, trading timber, building railroads and was the founder of the swarming roulette city of Las Vegas!
According to Christie’s, Clark's collectible ensemble bears signature Art Deco pieces from the renowned designs house of Cartier, Dreicer & Co. and Tiffany & Co. Etched in history, Clark’s Art Deco designs symbolizes the flavor of the ‘Gilded Age in American history’. It is the singular, exclusive and uncommon nature of the jewels that is slated to beckon global collectors and dealers who are expected to throng Christies for a piece of Huguette Clark’s treasured belongings.
Believe it or not, the coveted and priceless collection has been stashed in a bank vault since the 1940s! In fact, it is also said that Huguette Clark had a quirk fascination for dolls and her doll collection could be worth millions too, but this is not part of the April 17 auction soiree.
Considered a fairy tale collection, Christie’s has announced that around 17 pieces from Clark’s jewels will be brought under the hammer. An exceptionally rare 9-carat pink diamond ring estimated at $7 million and a $2.5 million 20-carat D-color diamond ring summons pride of place at the proposed New York auction to be staged by Christie’s.
The 9-carat cushion-cut purplish pink ring dated circa 1910 is to said to belong to Anna Eugenia La Chapelle, Hugette’s mother and was passed on to her in due course. The pink diamond ring has been set on to a Belle Époque mount and bears the hallmark of French jeweler Dreicer & Co.
For genuine collectors, pink diamonds which are comparable to the size featured in the 9-carat ring piece are a rarity and considered among top-notch collectibles by jewelry enthusiasts. The result is that there is a demand-supply mismatch and this makes Clark’s pink diamond ring much more coveted than ever! The characteristic pink diamond makes it more desirable as it is obtained naturally and is available as a crystal lattice in the stone during its formation within the deep confines of the earth’s crust. Very few mines produce pink-cut diamonds and only one in 10 million of such diamonds actually posses the desired vivid pink color even after being tempered for the most accurate cut and polish!
The other piece de resistance in the to- be-auctioned collection is the 19.86-carat colorless diamond ring signed by the house of Cartier. This diamond ring has been marked as D-color and certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as the best grade color diamond piece in the white diamond category. This clear and unblemished white diamond is considered top grade and suspected to have been uncovered in the 1920s from its original Cartier box.
The other signatory jewels in the Art Deco collection includes a 1925 Cartier-hallmarked diamond bracelet that is estimated at $300,000-500,000.
Another 1925 Cartier-made charm bracelet priced at $20,000-30,000 makes the mark with its diamond and multigem ensemble. An interesting gold bracelet from Tiffany & Co. dated in the 1915s expresses artistic testimony to the design creations of Louis Comfort Tiffany. This bracelet is estimated at $30,000-50,000.
Some of the other personal belongings that have made the mark at Christie’s April auction rendezvous includes a photo frame embellished with a touch of onyx, turquoise and diamond, again a Cartier creation that has been labeled personally with stylized “A” script.
The photo frame has a personal appeal and could have been passed down to Huguette. The frame holds a hand-drawn portrait of a teenage girl, said to be that of Huguette’s older sister, Andrée Clark, who succumbed to meningitis in 1919. The frame price estimated at $5,000-7,000 will not include the picture as part of the Christie sale.
The Art Deco personal collection also includes a mother of pearl Rock Crystal-based 1925 make Cartier Diamond Desk Clock estimated at $15,000-20,000. The other priced personal possession is an $30,000-50,000 American Flag Brooch once again hallmarked by Cartier!
Come April, it will be well worth a watch to see who notches up a slice of Huguette Clark’s at Christie’s spring do!