Signed pieces of Cartier and Tiffany jewelry belonging to a late Montana copper mining heiress, Huguette Clark, sold for a whopping $21million at a Christie’s New York City auction. The lot smashed the pre-sale estimate of $9 million to $12 million. A spectacular collection of jewels, which sat in a bank vault for more than 60 years, had caught the attention of collectors worldwide. The star of the collection, a rare pink cushion-cut 9-carat diamond ring, sold for $15,762,500, easily beating pre-sale estimate $6-$8 million. The buyer is reported to be Brett Stettner of Stettner Investment Diamonds.
The collection of 17 pieces also contained a 19.86-carat rectangular-cut Cartier diamond ring that went for $3.1 million, two Art Deco bracelets, which sold for $90,000 and $480,000, a diamond, ruby and sapphire American flag brooch also by Cartier and a pair of emerald, natural pearl and diamond earrings.
Many of the pieces, including the stunning pink diamond, sold for double, and occasionally, in the case of a single-strand pearl and diamond necklace by Tiffany & Co, as much as eight times Christie’s estimates.
A cheaper option would have been an Art Deco diamond and multi-gem charm bracelet with charms by Cartier expected to go for between $15,000 and $20,000 but sold for $92,500. Photo frames by the luxury label, marked by onyx, turquoise and diamond accents, went to the highest bidders at $74,500 each, well above their $4,000 to $7,000 estimates.
Born in 1906, Clark withdrew from public view before she was 30 and died last May after living in a New York City hospital for decades. She was 104.
Her Fifth Avenue apartment, listed for $24 million, was sold for an undisclosed price last month. Still available are two other apartments, at $19 million and $12 million, and her country home in New Canaan, Conn., at $19.8 million.
Her oceanfront home in Santa Barbara, Calif., said to be worth $100 million, is to be converted into a public museum for her art collection, according to one of her wills, which is currently the subject of a legal battle.
The $21 million raised at the auction will go towards paying estate expenses and the remainder will be given to whoever inherits her $400 million fortune.