Part Two of Christie’s Heidi Horten Auction Brings in $42M

AuctionsMay 15, 2023

Part Two of Christie’s Heidi Horten Auction Brings in $42M

The sale, though embroiled in controversy, has garnered nearly $200 million in total.

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“The Star of Africa” ruby and diamond pendant necklace by Harry Winston, featuring a 54.95-carat Mozambique ruby, was the top lot in the second part of Christie’s “The World of Heidi Horten” jewelry auction, selling for more than $3 million.
New York—Christie’s held the second part of the auction of late Austrian billionaire Heidi Horten’s jewels in Geneva late last week, following the record-breaking first segment days earlier.

The second segment of the sale totaled $42.1 million, according to the auction house.
The first segment of the sale garnered $156 million, within Christie’s pre-sale estimate.
The results surpassed the sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection in 2011 (total: $137.2 million), even with the most talked-about pieces from part one underperforming and amid controversy about the origin of Horten’s late husband’s wealth.

The auction grand total so far is close to $200 million.
There are also two online sales—one concluding today and a second to be held in November. 
The top lot of the second auction installment was “The Star of Africa” ruby and diamond pendant necklace by Harry Winston, featuring a 54.95-carat Mozambican ruby.
It sold for more than $3 million, double the high end of its $1 million to $1.5 million estimate.
The second-highest grossing lot was a pendant set with a 15.05-carat fancy orangy pink modified heart brilliant-cut diamond. It sold for $2.7 million, above its $1.5 million to $2 million estimate.

A diamond ring set with a 47.58-carat emerald-cut diamond center stone sold for $2.7 million, within its $2 million to $3.1 million estimate.
Horten’s collection of Bulgari jewels was especially noteworthy, said Max Fawcett, head of jewelry at Christie’s Geneva, in an earlier statement about the auction, ranking it as one of the top five Bulgari collections ever assembled.
Several Bulgari pieces appeared in this auction segment, including a sapphire, cultured pearl, emerald, and diamond necklace, which sold for nearly $1.5 million, taking the No. 4 spot in terms of price realized.
The “Great Mughal Emerald” pendant necklace by Harry Winston, seen below, also by Harry Winston, is set with a 362.5-carat carved emerald.
It sold for $982,000, well above its pre-sale estimate of $500,000 to $700,000.

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The “Great Mughal Emerald” pendant necklace sold for $982,000.

Jewels from Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., and Austrian jewelry house A. E. Köchert also appeared frequently in Horten’s extensive collection. Several jewels from Tamara Commoli and Marina B. were also up for sale.
There were 22 watches up for sale this round as well, from a variety of high-end brands like Rolex, Richard Mille, Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, and A. Lange & Söhne.
Christie’s went ahead with the Horten sale in spite of calls from several organizations to halt it after a New York Times report detailed how the late Helmut Horten, husband of Heidi Horten, profited when the Nazis forced Jewish people to sell their businesses at low prices.

 Related stories will be right here … 

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses, as well as Jewish organizations like the American Jewish Committee and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called on Christie’s to stop the auction or donate a greater portion of the proceeds to Holocaust education.
Following the backlash, the auction house said it will donate a “significant” portion of the final sale proceeds to unspecified organizations that further Holocaust research and education.
The sale of Horten’s jewels also will benefit The Heidi Horten Foundation, which supports her art museum—The Heidi Horten Collection in Vienna—and other causes.

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