Jewelry from the collections of Helen Hay Whitney, Estée Lauder and Evelyn H. Lauder were highlight at recently held Sotheby’s New York’s Magnificent Jewels auction. Those jewelry from famous collections brought a total of $44,151,251, and thus to date already set a new record for Sotheby’s jewelry auctions. Of the 414 lots offered in the sale, 75.8 percent sold by lot and 81.1 percent sold by value, the highest earning lot being the sale’s cover star – Helen Hay Whitney’s diamond necklace.
Presented on the occasion of her marriage to Payne Whitney in 1902, the necklace, which features four diamonds ranging from F to H color, and weighing 27.48, 15.53, 13.08 and 8.91 carats respectively, sold for $3,189,000. All seven jewels from her collection sold, bringing in a total of $4.8 million.
Evelyn Lauder’s iconic ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelet by Cartier circa 1928 led jewels from the collections of Estée Lauder and Evelyn H. Lauder. The rare, coveted bracelet fetched $2,165,000 and set a new world auction record for a ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelet by Cartier.
Together, the jewels from the two Lauder collections brought in $3.9 million and will benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation.
Another bracelet that brought in over a million, more than twice its high estimate, was a rare and important diamond and gem-set Egyptian-Revival bracelet by Lacloche Frères, circa 1925. The bracelet was purchased by FD Gallery for $1,049,000; it was last sold at auction for $222,000 at Christie’s in March 1999.
Also fetching above the million dollar mark, a pair of emerald and diamond pendant earrings sold for $1,055,000. The emerald, known as the Vladimir Emeralds, originally belonged in the legendary collection of Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia, were smuggled out of Russia during the revolution in 1917, descended to the Duchess’s daughter and granddaughter, and were acquired at auction at Sotheby’s Geneva in 1987 by Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis.
The circular gold links centering a barrel-form clasp composed of a lapis lazuli cylinder measuring approximately 28.8 by 23.3 by 18.1 mm, length 8 inches, signed Cartier; circa 1940.