Verdura Cuff, Burmese Sapphire Shine at Bonhams
Several other colored gemstones joined the pieces in the top 10 list.
The gem-set and enamel “Maltese Cross” cuff nearly doubled the high end of its pre-sale estimate, selling for $432,300.
The cuff bangle was designed in 1935 by Sicilian designer Fulco di Verdura, who had just returned to Paris after a year in the United States to resume work with Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.
Later in the decade, “First Lady of American Theater” actress and the first woman to achieve EGOT status, Helen Hayes MacArthur, received the piece as a gift from her husband.
The cuff had remained in the family for the entire time before selling at auction this week, still in the original box and in “pristine condition,” Bonhams said.
The sapphire, an 11.87-carat loose cushion-cut from the estate of the late coin collector Stewart Blay, sold for $660,900, triple its pre-sale estimate.
The 21-lot collection that belonged to Blay, in total, more than doubled its pre-sale estimate of $724,300, achieving $1.5 million.
In total, the 257-lot sale garnered $7.4 million with 88 percent sold by lot and 97 percent sold by value.
“The New York Jewelry sale saw impressive results for the fancy diamonds together with the exceptional collection of colored gemstones,” said Caroline Morrissey, Bonhams director and head of jewelry, New York.
“The rare 1930s Chanel gem-set and enamel ‘Maltese cross’ cuff attributed to Verdura for Chanel formerly owned by American actress Helen Hayes MacArthur achieved double its pre-sale estimate. It was an honor to bring such a rare piece with impeccable provenance to auction for the first time.”
Other highlights of the sale include a 3.91-carat cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire, also from the Blay collection, which achieved $343,400, more than its pre-sale estimate.
Several diamond and colored diamond pieces were also up for sale, including a three-stone fancy intense blue diamond ring, which sold for $381,500, within its estimate of $300,000 to $500,000.
A ring featuring a 6.59-carat emerald-cut diamond accented with colorless and yellow-tinted diamonds sold above its high estimate of $180,000, garnering $203,700.
From the same collection, another ring, featuring a 2.03-carat cushion-cut fancy pink diamond accented with colorless and pink-tinted diamonds sold for $305,300, also achieving above its high estimate, which was $220,000.
Other notable colored diamonds include a 1.37-carat fancy intense purplish pink diamond, a ring featuring a 1.30-carat fancy brownish red diamond, and a necklace featuring a 17.04-carat fancy intense yellow diamond.
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