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Over 200 Pieces of Royal Jewelry to Hit Block at Sotheby’s

September 12, 2023  |  Leah Meirovich
Sotheby's main image 1280 USED 091123

A collection of over 200 royal jewels linked to the Austrian Habsburg dynasty will make its first public appearance in nearly a century at an upcoming Sotheby’s auction in Geneva.

The sale, called Vienna 1900: An Imperial and Royal Collection, features pieces from a single owner that will appear at auction for the first time after recently being discovered in a bank vault, Sotheby’s said last week. The auction will take place in two parts on November 6 and 7 right before the Magnificent Jewels sale. In total, the auction house expects the sale to garner $3.3 million to $5.6 million.

“This collection is arguably the most important Noble Jewels auction since the landmark sale of the royal jewels from the Bourbon Parma family, held by Sotheby’s in Geneva four years ago,” said Andres White Correal, deputy chairman and senior director of jewelry for Sotheby’s. “The collection is truly exceptional. Presented together, their superior craftsmanship and exquisite design brilliantly showcases the style and grandeur of the Habsburg court and permit us a rich glimpse into the private lives of these European ruling houses who gravitated around the court of Vienna.”

Leading the sale is a corsage ornament designed as a garland, supporting natural pearls, which was presented to Archduchess Marie Therese of Austria-Teschen as a wedding gift in 1865. The piece, which Sotheby’s describes as “without a doubt the most significant 19th-century jewel to come to auction in recent years,” carries an upper estimate of CHF 450,000 ($504,820).

Prior to the sale, Sotheby’s will exhibit the collection in New York; Cologne, Germany; Paris; Hong Kong; Bangkok, Thailand; Singapore; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Taipei, Taiwan; and London.

Here are some other highlights from the upcoming sale:

This natural pearl and diamond tiara by Köchert is estimated to fetch between CHF 270,000 and CHF 450,000 ($302,902 and $504,820) at the sale.
A brooch featuring button- and drop-shaped natural pearls also carries an estimate of CHF 270,000 to CHF 450,000.
This five-strand natural pearl necklace has a price range of CHF 140,000 to CHF 220,000 ($157,060 to $246,808)
In the 1870s, Emperor Franz Joseph commissioned court jeweler Köchert to remodel the Habsburg ruby and diamond parure in a fluid, naturalistic, floral style. Köchert revisited the same concept in this transformable ruby and diamond necklace created for the emperor’s niece, Archduchess Margarete Sophie of Austria. It has a high estimate of CHF 160,000 ($179,452).
This ruby and diamond brooch was designed to go with the matching Köchert necklace. It has an upper presale price of CHF 130,000 ($145,804).

Main image: The pearl garland corsage ornament. (Sotheby’s)

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Sotheby's main image 1280 USED 091123 Over 200 Pieces of Royal Jewelry to Hit Block at Sotheby’s

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