Auctions

Jewels from France’s Last Empress Heading to Auction

AuctionsNov 11, 2019

Jewels from France’s Last Empress Heading to Auction

Christie’s upcoming London jewelry auction will include rubies and pearls that once belonged to Eugénie de Montijo.

20191111_Eugenie-heart.jpg
This ruby and diamond heart pendant once belonged to Eugénie de Montijo, the last empress of France. It will hit the auction block Nov. 27 at Christie’s London.

London—The last empress of France had not only a great influence on the country’s politics but also on fashion and jewelry.

Now, a few of her historic jewels are heading to auction.

Christie’s Nov. 27 Important Jewels auction in London will feature pieces formerly in the collection of Eugénie de Montijo (1826-1920), wife of Napoleon III.

Born in Granada, Spain, Eugénie was the daughter of a Spanish noble who fought on the French side during Napoleon I’s Peninsular War in Spain, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

She went to Paris when Louis-Napoléon became president of the Second Republic in 1848; the two were married in 1853, after he became the emperor Napoleon III.

Eugénie eventually took an active role in the country’s political affairs, even serving as regent on three occasions—in 1859, 1865, 1870—in her husband’s absence.

She joined her family in exile after the Battle of Sedan in 1870, during which her husband was captured, Britannica said, and continued to play a big role in Bonapartist political activities even after his death.

When her son died in 1879, she assumed the role of the grande dame in exile.

During her reign, Empress Eugénie was vital in enhancing the reputation of French high jewelry, Christie’s said.

With a legendary love of jewelry, Eugénie had many of the French Crown Jewels remounted to suit her personal taste and commissioned new pieces from the most famous jewelers in Paris, like Bapst and Chaumet.

Many of the French Crown Jewels were sold at auction in 1887 by the Third Republic.

Some of those that weren’t now are hitting the auction block at Christie’s.

There will be a mid-19th century circular-cut ruby heart pendant with old- and rose-cut diamonds circa 1850-1860 in the jewelry auction that could sell for up to $19,305.

A glazed compartment on the reverse of the pendant contains a lock of hair that reportedly belonged to Napoleon Ill.

The locket appeared in the 2008 exhibition “Le Musée Chaumet, Le Grand Frisson - Bijoux de Sentiment, de la Renaissance à nos jours,” in Paris.




The heart pendant will be offered for sale alongside an important pair of 19th century natural pearl and diamond earrings (pictured above), estimated to go for $77,220 to $102,960.

In addition to the empress’ jewels, Christie’s Nov. 27 jewelry auction will feature antique, modern and signed jewelry, including a rare medieval sapphire ring, tiaras from the collection of the
late Lady Grantchester, and a Cartier Art Deco Fob Watch and two mid-20th century diamond jewels from a royal house.
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

The Latest

Bulgari high jewelry campaign
FinancialsJul 24, 2024
LVMH’s First-Half Jewelry, Watch Sales Dip 5%

Tiffany & Co. is focusing on its “iconic” collections while the company has made changes at the top at TAG Heuer and Hublot.

Chaumet Paris 2024 Olympics medals
MajorsJul 24, 2024
See Chaumet’s Paris Olympic Medals Inspired by its High Jewelry

The Parisian brand is the first jewelry company in the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to design the medals.

Jewelers Mutual and Union Life and Casualty logos
MajorsJul 24, 2024
Jewelers Mutual Acquires Pawnbroker Insurance Provider

Union Life & Casualty will join JM Insurance Agency Partners, expanding the provider’s pawnbroker coverage.

Untitled design.jpg
Brought to you by
The End of an Era? Lab-Grown Diamonds' Journey Towards Price Stability

As the demand for lab-grown diamond jewelry may still be increasing, the most notable change we are likely to see is price stabilization.

Bradlei Smith
MajorsJul 24, 2024
Ben Bridge Announces 2024 Lonia Tate Scholarship Winner

Los Angeles-based Bradlei Smith was selected for this year’s award.

Weekly QuizJul 18, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge by answering these questions.
Take the Quiz
National Jeweler columnist Peter Smith
ColumnistsJul 23, 2024
Peter Smith: The Case for Optimism in Sales

In his latest column, Smith shares multiple reasons why people who look at the glass as being hall full often make better salespeople.

De Beers rough diamond display
SourcingJul 23, 2024
De Beers’ Production Drops 15% in Q2

The company also reported the $150 million sale of an iron ore royalty right, part of its ongoing effort to divest “non-core” assets.

1872 x 1052 Gemolite.jpg
Brought to you by
Meet Gemology’s Next Generation Microscope: GIA® Gemolite® NXT Professional Edition

GIA®’s most advanced microscope has new features to optimize greater precision and comfort.

Long’s Jewelers giveaway promo
IndependentsJul 23, 2024
Long’s Jewelers Is Giving Away a Luxury Cape Cod Vacation

The giveaway is part of the New England jeweler’s summer bridal event.

Sophia Moreno-Bunge of Isa Isa modeling Guzema’s Hidden Beauty collection
CollectionsJul 23, 2024
Guzema Debuts ‘Flower Power’ Campaign

The ad features three celebrity florists creating floral sculptures while wearing jewelry by Guzema.

Tresia Shituula, Monkgogi Moshaga, Mohamed Samu
Policies & IssuesJul 23, 2024
Diamonds Do Good Announces Its 2024 Entrepreneurship Grant Winners

The grant provided a total of $100,000 to support 13 entrepreneurs from diamond communities in Africa and India.

Ghazi “Gus” Michel Osta
CrimeJul 22, 2024
Florida Jeweler Shot, Killed Following Argument With Customer

Ghazi Michel Osta, or “Gus,” was killed Friday by an 83-year-old man said to be a frequent customer at his store, Volusia Gold & Diamond.

Elyssa Jenkins-Perez and Effie Marinos
Policies & IssuesJul 22, 2024
JVC’s Elyssa Jenkins-Pérez Joins RJC

The organization also announced Effie Marinos as its new specialist advisor for technical standards, as well as four other appointments.

Karen Rentmeesters
SourcingJul 22, 2024
AWDC Names Karen Rentmeesters as CEO

Rentmeesters has served as interim CEO since April following former CEO Ari Epstein’s resignation.

Brian and Jessie Mann
IndependentsJul 19, 2024
Longtime D.C. Jeweler Brian Mann Dies at 70

Mann, whose family’s jewelry store was located inside the Pentagon, is remembered for being a thoughtful champion of the industry.

Tudor store in Denver
IndependentsJul 19, 2024
The 1916 Company Opens New Tudor Boutique

The 500-square-foot boutique is located in Denver’s Cherry Creek Shopping Center.

Messika’s So Move Max Necklace
CollectionsJul 19, 2024
Piece of the Week: Messika’s ‘So Move Max’ Necklace

Dance all night long with the “So Move Max” set’s necklace.

Julien Tornare and Antoine Pin
WatchesJul 18, 2024
TAG Heuer, Hublot Will Have New CEOs

Luxury giant LVMH is reshuffling the leadership in its watches division.

Etsy billboard rendering in NYC
MajorsJul 18, 2024
New Etsy Campaign Prioritizes Creators Amid Backlash

Sellers and shoppers have spoken out against a rise in mass-produced merchandise on the platform meant to highlight handmade goods.

Ariana Grande Modeling in Swarovski Jewelry
MajorsJul 18, 2024
Swarovski Names Ariana Grande as Its New Brand Ambassador

The celebrity will star in Swarovski’s holiday campaign.

Grizzly emerald
SourcingJul 18, 2024
Grizzly Emerald Auction Garners $32.5 million

The miner said an 835-carat emerald saw “stiff competition” in its July sale.

Tahnee Barbee, Gigi Sui, and Daniela Villacorta
Events & AwardsJul 18, 2024
MJSA Education Foundation Announces 3 Scholarship Winners

The winners were awarded $3,000 each to pursue a professional career in jewelry making and design.

Radhika Merchant’s Wedding Portrait
EditorsJul 17, 2024
6 Lavish Looks from the Ambani Wedding

Feast your eyes on the elaborate jewels worn during the wedding celebration of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant.

Smiling Rocks Haute Couture Dream Necklace
Lab-GrownJul 17, 2024
Lab-Grown Diamond ‘Dream’ Necklace Sells for $122K at Charity Auction

The piece, created by Smiling Rocks, was the top lot at the recent Ormeley Dinner.

Diavik Diamond Mine solar power plant
SourcingJul 17, 2024
Rio Tinto’s Diamond Production Down 28% in Q2

The company’s sole remaining diamond operation, Diavik, produced 702,000 carats of diamonds, down from 970,000 a year ago.

Buccellati high jewelry earrings
FinancialsJul 17, 2024
Richemont’s Q1 Jewelry Sales Up 2%

In contrast, the luxury giant’s watch sales fell 14 percent.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the jewelry design contest.
Events & AwardsJul 16, 2024
2024 AGTA Spectrum Awards Open for Entries

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the jewelry design contest and the deadline for entries has just been extended.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy