Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Fascination of Huguette M. Clark

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of visiting Christie's in Rockefeller Center, to view the Estate of Huguette Clark, to be auctioned on April 17, 2012. From my first post HERE on May 25, 2011, after reading her obituary on the New York Times website, a fascination began. My next post about the sale of her jewels by Christie's is HERE if you wish to read it as well. I noticed in the cases where the jewels were kept, shot glass of water and contacted Christie's as to why that was needed. They so kindly told me it was to humidify air in the lighted cases. Pearls and Emeralds are more happy when that is used. Thank you Christie's!! I also had the pleasure of meeting the author, Meryl Gordon, who wrote a book about Brooke Astor, is currently working on a book about Huguette. We both spoke of what a story it is, and how sad of a life this woman seemed to have in her long 104 years. Thanks to Meryl, I was told photos were allowed, so you are going to see these jewel works of art from another place in time, below: 
A self portrait of Huguette, she had a talent for painting, no doubt  

These old photographs give a glimse into Huguette's family and life and were a wonderful treat to view with the vintage jewelry 
Huguette with her family  
Huguette circa 1920, Santa Barbara  

Some of the main pieces in the auction 

I loved loved this bracelet. It was just so amazing in person. The detail, the colors just took your breathe away. I stared at it for quite a long while. 


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 


I am quite a fan of Art Deco and this bracelet just blew my mind. These pieces represent some of the most fabulous jewelry from an era gone by but yet oh so popular in the present. 


Designed as a series of three circular, square and baguette-cut diamond panels, each set at the center with three square-cut emeralds, spaced by circular and baguette-cut diamond oval-shaped links, mounted in platinum, circa 1925, 7 1/8 ins., in a Cartier red leather case
Signed Cartier 
ESTIMATED $50,000 to $70,000 US DOLLARS 

Designed as a series of rectangular-cut diamonds, each within a circular-cut diamond frame, spaced by baguette-cut diamond bar links, mounted in platinum, circa 1925, 6 7/8 ins., in a Cartier red leather case
Signed Cartier, no. 5720 (indistinct)
ESTIMATED $300,000 to $500,000 US DOLLARS 

This was beautiful, very big but yet simple design. When you have a stone like this, of this quality, you do not need much more design around it. I still preferred the pink one below, if I had a choice. 


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 

This ring was amazing in person. Not too big, color perfect pink, very simple. I could not stop looking at it and it was out of the case many times for folks to try on, possibly wanting to bid at the auction. 


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  

Inscribed as : To my darling mother With all my love Huguette 

Some of the fascinating facts about Huguette Marcelle Clark:
  • A copper heiress who passed away at 104 in 2011 with a fortune of $400 million and no children 
  • Owned 3 New York City Apartments on Fifth Avenue being sold for total of $55 million
  • The apartments have been untouched in 100 years. The kitchen in one of them still had appliances from 1915 era. 
  • A battle is underway for various pieces of her estate, her relatives that remain are 21 descendants of 3 of her half siblings.
  • In 1929, she exhibited of her paintings at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC.
  • Her fast doll collection, said to be worth in the 3 million US dollar range, along with rare books, collection of musical instruments and artwork (the likes of Monet, Renoir, Sargent) are in the process of being removed from her 3 New York City Apartments.
  • She purchased a 52 acre estate in Connecticut in 1951 but never moved in 
  • Her only sister, Louise Amelia Andrée Clark (1902–1919), died of meningitis, which may have been part of her reason to be so reclusive 
  • At the time of her birth, in 1906, her father was 67 and her mother was 28
  • In 1907, the New York Times estimated her father's wealth at 150 million ( roughly 3 billion today) from investments in copper, railroads, real estate, lumber, banking, cattle, sugar beets and gold. 
  • 907 Fifth Avenue apartment looks to have a signed contract for 24 million as of 04/15/2012
  • Her father, William Andrews Clark, was born in 1839 to a threadbare Pennsylvania family 
  • She lived the last decade or more of her life in hospitals, first at Doctor's Hospital and then at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan 
  • Huguette M. Clark was entombed in the Clark family mausoleum at the Woodlawn Cemetary, Bronx, New York. Although she was raised Roman Catholic, there was no mass or priest. The only attendants were employees of the funeral home, the cemetery and the company that helped restore the mausoleum to make room for her. She was laid to rest beside her parents and her sister. 
Today's Words of Wisdom: Money Cannot Buy Happiness 

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1 comment

Fashion-isha said...

Those gems are beyond heaven! It sounds like it was amazing!

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