The most respected thing about vintage jewelry is the inheritance of history that comes with it. Featured above is an intricate Empress Eugénie’s brooch, an aged diamond bow brooch designed dated back in 1855 by the Parisian jeweler François Kramer for the French Empress. The brooch was the highlight of the scheduled auction at Christie’s called “Eye of a Connoisseur sale,” that came to standstill during last minutes because of some court orders involving Fred Leighton owner, Ralph Esmerian under the charge of outstanding loans of $178 million debt owned to Merrill Lynch & Co.
Esmerian has had hard times paying off his debts and thus had to give up the security (his collection). Merrill Lynch made quality efforts to cash in the jewels at a Christie’s auction but Esmerian managed to put an hold on the sale, thereby declaring bankruptcy.
Against the pre-sales estimated amount of $4 million to $6 million, the brooch generated $11 million and all thanks to Louvre, who inked this pricey deal in order to get back a piece of the crown jewels. Having auctioned first in 1887, the brooch remained in the custody of jeweler Emile Schlesinger throughout his stay of 100 years in the Astor family.
I think more than craftsmanship, it is the legacy factor that has led to such a pricey auction.