'Reluctant heiress' jewels to fetch up to $12m

A selection of Art Deco jewellery items from Huguette M Clark, one of the last great heiresses of America’s Gilded Age, is expected to fetch up to $12 million at the Christie’s New York auction on April 17.

A total of 17 pieces comprise the legendary collection, which includes rare diamonds and signed jewels by luxury brands Cartier, Dreicer & Co as well as Tiffany & Co.

"In the world of fine jewellery, this is truly a fairytale collection," said Rahul Kadakia, head of Jewelry for Christie’s Americas. "The iconic Art Deco design and exceptional craftsmanship of these meticulously preserved jewels are emblematic of the great Gilded Age in American history. We are proud to present this collection from one of the nation’s most storied families as the major highlight of our flagship jewellery auction this spring."

Clark, also known as "the reluctant heiress" for living a reclusive life after the 1930s through to her final days last year at age of 104, was the heiress to a copper, timber and railroad business in US.

A cushion-cut fancy vivid purplish pink diamond of 9 carats, valued at $6-8 million, is expected to be the most sought-after item in the collection. The gemstone is mounted in a Belle Époque setting by the French jeweller Dreicer & Co.  Based on the date of the stone’s setting – circa 1910 – the ring is believed have originally belonged to Clark’s mother, the former Anna Eugenia La Chapelle.

The auction will also feature an exceptional colourless diamond ring of 19.86 carats by Cartier, estimated $2-3 million.  Certified by the Gemological Institute of America as D colour and with potentially internally flawless clarity, the stone was stored in its original Cartier box from the 1920s. 

Clark’s collection also includes signed jewels by Cartier, such as a diamond bracelet (circa 1925) estimated $300,000-500,000, and a Tiffany & Co ruby, sapphire, emerald and gold bracelet (circa 1915) worth $30,000-50,000.

Belle Époque cushion-cut fancy vivid purplish pink 9-carat diamond ring by Dreicer & Co.
Photo credit: Christie’s Images Limited 2012

19.86-carat rectangular-cut D-colour, potentially internally flawless clarity, Type IIa diamond ring by Cartier
Photo credit: Christie’s Images Limited 2012

Art Deco emerald and diamond bracelet (circa 1925) by Cartier
Photo credit: Christie’s Images Limited 2012

Ear pendants set with emeralds, natural pearl and diamonds circa early 20th century by Cartier
Photo credit: Christie’s Images Limited 2012


Tag: Antique Jewellery | Diamond Jewellery | Coloured Diamond Jewellery | Coloured Gemstones | Christie's | Cartier | Dreicer & Co | Tiffany | US

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