Christie’s fall sale to highlight European Belle Époque jewels

October 28th, 2008 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 28 (IANS) Over 300 extraordinary jewels from masterpieces of the Belle Époque or the Beautiful Era to contemporary creations, the rarest white diamonds to coloured gemstones, will be the chief attraction of the fall of sale of jewellery by auction house Christie’s Dec 2. The sale will take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, said a release issued in Hong Kong Tuesday.

Officials said they were expecting buyers from across Asia, including India, which was growing as a market for antique and royal jewelleries.

Two D-colour diamonds weighing 16.11 and 16.08 carats and are estimated at HK$40,000,000-HK$60,000,000 (US$5,000,000-8,000,000) respectively will lead the auction.

Classified as Type II a, these diamonds are the most the chemically pure with no traces of the colorant nitrogen, which gives it the name - white diamond.

Another highlight of the sale is a rare a 1.70 carat fancy purplish red diamond. Saturated diamonds in red to purple hues are considered to be the rarest of all fancy coloured diamonds.

Only three fancy red diamonds larger than the one to be auctioned in December have been sold in an auction before.

The sale also features rare and elegant jewels from the Belle Époque (1895-1914).

Leading the selection is a Belle Époque sapphire and diamond ring estimated at US$1,500,000-2,500,000 set with a 9.23-carat Kashmir sapphire and an internally flawless type IIa diamond weighing 5.25 carats.

Another star attraction in this sale is a jadeite hoop pendant of exceptional quality estimated at US$880,000-1,100,000.

The Belle Époque was a period in European social history that began during the late 19th century and lasted till World War I. It was considered a “golden age” for the upper classes as peace prevailed among the major powers of Europe, new technologies improved the lives of the people and the commercial arts improvised the Renaissance art to suit modern styles.

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