From the wreck of a 17th century Spanish galleon to banks of the Nile, magnificent jewels with extraordinary stories shine this season in New York. Leading the sale is the Golden Canary, the largest Internally Flawless diamond ever graded by the GIA. Other rarities include a 10.67-carat Fancy Gray diamond, superb Brazilian alexandrites and two diamonds from the DeBeers Exceptional Blue Collection. Top-quality colored stones are represented by a show-stopping 12.23-carat Burmese ruby, a verdant 12.64-carat Classic Colombian emerald and a mesmerizing 16.46-carat Kashmir sapphire of uncommon vibrancy. White diamonds—from charming antique cuts to perfectly proportioned modern examples—are destined to dazzle, including a 51.52-carat cushion cut from Harry Winston. Completing the sale is a wealth of signed pieces including mystery-set jewels by Van Cleef & Arpels, modernist designs by Hemmerle and Belperron, and antique jewels by Castellani, Louis Comfort Tiffany and more.
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, and in tribute to the contribution of ancient Egyptian culture to the modern world, Sotheby’s has assembled a collection of Egyptian-revival jewels by renowned makers, including Castellani, Émile-Dêsire Philippe, F.W. Lawrence, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Lacloche and Verdura. Each jewel captures the timelessness of ancient Egypt while also reflecting the character of the specific time and culture in which it was made.
Diamonds occur in every color, each crystal possessing a unique combination of chemical elements with the power to dictate the stone’s rarity and desirability. This December we offer a rich selection of fancy colored diamonds in shades of pink, yellow, orange, blue and, in a particularly rare occurrence, a gem-quality Fancy Gray diamond. The sale is led by the Golden Canary, a Fancy Deep Brownish Yellow diamond weighing a staggering 303.10 carats. Found in the 1980s by a young girl amongst an unassuming pile of rocks, it now has the distinction of being the largest Internally Flawless—or Flawless—diamond ever graded by the GIA. From the DeBeers Exceptional Blue Collection, we are pleased to present a 3.24-carat Fancy Vivid and a 2.08 Fancy Intense, both fashioned as attractive cushion cuts. In the 10.69-carat Fancy Gray diamond mounted by Hemmerle we find a stone of remarkable fire and brilliance, qualities typically muted in step-cut diamonds but amplified here by a distinctive, high crown.
For a hundred years, the house of Van Cleef & Arpels has been at the forefront of cutting-edge design. Among their many innovations, their most celebrated is doubtless the “mystery setting.” Patented in 1933, the technique has given rise to some of the twentieth century’s most spectacular jewels, such as the Duchess of Windsor’s holly leaves brooch and Princess Faiza of Egypt’s remarkably naturalistic peony clip. With only a handful of pieces created each year, Van Cleef’s mystery settings are the ultimate in haute joaillerie and a requirement for anyone wishing to have the complete canon of jewelry design.