Saturday, March 31, 2012

Huguette Clark's Magnificent Jewels at Christie's New York


unsure of date of this photo 

I had a post a while back about Huguette Clark, who passed away at the young age of 104, and was one of the last great heiresses of the Gilded Age. I am a huge fan of the Gilded Age, and love to watch movies and read books about that opulent time. Huguette was the youngest daughter of former US Senator and industrialist William A. Clark. Mr.Clark made his money in copper mining and owned the parcel of land now known as Las Vegas. She was a very reclusive person, and the last known photo of her was taken in 1930. Can you even imagine that? Her vast estate is now being sold and Christie's will be selling the jewels. Here is some information from their website regarding this incredible auction: 

  Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry for Christie’s Americas commented: “In the world of fine jewelry, this is truly a fairytale collection,” said “Opening the vault to find this treasure trove of period jewels from the best French houses of the early 1900s has certainly been one of the most extraordinary moments of my 15-year career here at Christie’s. The iconic Art Deco design and exceptional craftsmanship of these meticulously preserved jewels are emblematic of the great Gilded Age in American history. We are proud to present this collection from one of the nation’s most storied families as the major highlight of our flagship jewelry auction this spring.”

Some of the highlights include: 

A BELLE ÉPOQUE EXCEPTIONAL COLORED DIAMOND RING, BY DREICER & CO. 
Set with a modified cushion-cut fancy vivid purplish pink diamond, weighing approximately 9.00 carats, to the single-cut diamond prongs, gallery and shoulders, mounted in platinum, circa 1910
Signed D & Co. for Dreicer & Co 
With report 2145476525 dated 22 February 2012 from the Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is fancy vivid purplish pink, natural color, SI1 clarity
ESTIMATE $6,000,000 TO $8,000,000 US DOLLARS 

A SUPERB DIAMOND RING, BY CARTIER 
Set with a rectangular-cut diamond, weighing approximately 19.86 carats, flanked on either side by a baguette-cut diamond, mounted in platinum, in a Cartier red leather box
Signed Cartier 
With report 2145467335 dated 15 February 2012 from the Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is D color, VVS2 clarityaccompanied by a working diagram indicating that the clarity may be potentially internally flawless
ESTIMATED $2,000,000 TO $3,000,000 US DOLLARS 

AN ART DECO DIAMOND AND MULTI-GEM CHARM BRACELET 
Designed as a platinum link bracelet, suspending ten multi-gem charms of various animal and figural motifs, with four additional charms, mounted in platinum, circa 1925, 6¾ ins.
Eight of the charms and clasp signed Cartier, clasp no. 3218160 
ESTIMATE $20,000 TO $30,000 US DOLLARS 



This whole story is just so sad to me. A Connecticut mansion left untouched for 6 decades. Three apartments on Fifth Avenue listed for 55 million dollars. A Santa Barbara 23 acre mansion left empty for 30 years. A jewelry vault unopened for 7 decades. After her mother's death in 1963, she locked herself in her New York Apartments painting and tending to her doll collection. At the time around the 1980's, she left the apartments to live in a private hospital room, where she spent the remainder of her life. I hope she has now found the peace she was searching for.  


the last known photo taken in 1930 

You can view her fabulous collection of Gilded Age jewelry, a time when jewelry making was at it's highest level. There is no charge to visit Christie's Rockefeller Center location and view these jewels. I know I will be and am very excited to see them in person. I am sure they will sell for a bit more than the projected estimates above, similar to the Elizabeth Taylor jewels, as they have so much history behind them.


  • Sale Location20 Rockefeller Plaza, New York
  • Auction TimesApril 17    10am & 2:30pm
  • Viewing TimesApr 14   10am - 5pm
    Apr 15   10am - 6pm
    Apr 16   10am - 5pm

You can view my original photos from the exhibit in another post HERE 

Today's Words of Wisdom: Money Cannot Buy Happiness 



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3 comments:

Vanessa@Luxuria said...

Oh Lordy!!! Wish I could visit this.
Also love the new header Rosemary ;-)
Have a lovely weekend xx

NYC, Style and a little Cannoli said...

Glad you like Vanessa! I think it is just gorgeous! Always tweeking the blog, you know! I am looking forward to this but will probably be sad when seeing in person. The poor woman didn't have a happy life at all, even with all that money.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful jewerly but such a sad story of Huguette. I wish that I could go to see her treasures.

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