Christie’s seem to be on a roll. They have been organizing one high profile auction after the other. First it was Huguette Clark’s Art Deco jewelry which was soon followed by stunning jewels which formed the legendary Elizabeth Taylor’s collection. They are now at an advanced stage of preparation for the Jewels of Hope charity auction that will showcase billionaire philanthropist Lily Safra’s exceptional jewelry collection and give a chance to collectors to own some of them. This is another creditable effort by Christie’s as the event is expected to raise $20 million or more for charitable causes. Lily Safra, like Elizabeth Taylor, had great sense and taste for fine jewelry and her collection that dates back to the 1970’s boasts of 70 exquisite pieces. The collection that will go under the hammer reflects the variable design trends in the two centuries.
The auction is scheduled for May 14 and will be hosted by Christie’s International (CHRS) at Geneva. The collection will travel to London, New York, Paris and Hong Kong for a preview and will be displayed so as to highlight the changing tastes that led period jewels to evolve with the help of modern craftsmanship. The preview has generated a buzz in the collector’s circle. There are diamond, ruby and sapphire pieces weighing close to 30 carats. There is a sub collection called JAR that features 18 pieces. These pieces are the perfect example of the artistic ingenuity of its creator, Joel Arthur Rosenthal. The connoisseurs consider him to be the finest jewelry designer in the last 30 years. This is the first time that such a large collection of JAR exquisite pieces have been offered for sale. A rare 34.98 carat Beau Sancy diamond is the highlight of the collection.
The pear shaped rose-cut stone was made famous by Marie de Medici’s coronation ceremony. Originally it was encrusted on the crown of the Queen Consort to Henri IV of France in 1610. The pre sales estimate for this gem alone values it between $2 million to $4 million. The other high light of the collection is the 1982 poppy brooch which has been embellished with ruby and diamond. Valued at close to $1.5 million it has three dimensional flower patterns and was exclusively designed for Safra. Another personal favorite of Safra was a 34 carat classic rectangular-cut diamond ring which was gifted to her on her wedding by her late Lebanese banker husband, Edmond J. Safra.