Without reading the headline of this news, I first thought of this hat to be a vertical assortment of blue potpourri. As I further read, I realized this piece of accessory was actually the priciest hat to undergo the auction hammer. Hailed as “Deep Blue Sea”, the spectacular blue hat was created by Australian master milliner Ann Maree Willett and opal miners Vicki and Peter Drackett to throw light on the splendor of opals mined at Australia’s famous Lightning Ridge.
Crafted out of hand-blocked Australian felt, the hat is embellished with bright feathers and 26 opals weighing approximately 1,447 carats. The opals here are reshaped into beautiful microsculptures by Daniela L’Abbate and Christine Roussel and fitted into sterling silver and 18-karat gold settings by master goldsmith Gerd Gerold Schulz.
The hat is estimated to rake in anything between $150,000 and $200,000. Like most of the auction hammers do, this hat too is expected to realize much more than its expected price. Bonhams & Butterfields are organizing this auction under “Nature of Opals” sale.