HONG KONG - Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale 2013 will take place on 7 October at Hall 3, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Specially curated to honour Sotheby’s 40th anniversary in Asia, this season’s sale will highlight a selection of jewels that epitomise the glamour of some of the most stylish personalities of the old and new worlds – from royalty to the celebrated Asian jewellery designer Cindy Chao. This distinguished selection will be complemented by highly sought-after jewellery, from important pink, yellow and colourless diamonds, fabulous Burmese rubies, Colombian emeralds and Kashmir sapphires, to splendid natural pearls and the finest jadeite. Altogether this sale will offer approximately 330 lots estimated to achieve in excess of HK$600 million / US$80 million*.
QUEK Chin Yeow, Deputy Chairman and Head of Jewellery Department, Sotheby’s Asia, said, “In celebration of Sotheby’s 40th anniversary in Asia, our selection this Autumn is marked by unique pieces of illustrious provenance as well as inimitable style and glamour. We are delighted to offer an extravagant set of two jadeite bead necklaces from Republican Shanghai, a Cartier pink diamond ring from the estate of Madam Ji Ing Soong, an extremely glamorous Cartier peacock brooch from a royal private collection, and a unique 8.03-carat Burmese ruby ring which is the result of collaboration between Sotheby’s and celebrated Asian jewellery designer Cindy Chao. We are also offering a varied group of impeccable DIF diamonds as well as coloured diamonds, gemstones, natural pearl and jadeite jewellery which promise to be an enchanting feast for discerning collectors.”
FROM NEW WORLD GLAMOUR TO OLD WORLD ELEGANCE
Primarily corundum with traces of chromium, one of the scarcest elements on earth that manifests itself in a fiery red glow, ruby is one of the world’s rarest gemstones. Burmese rubies from the legendary mine in Mogok Valley, Myanmar, have become increasingly sought after in recent years. Examples of superlative quality and the most desirable fiery “pigeon’s blood” colour are extremely rare and have fetched impressive prices at auction in the past few years. This season’s sale highlights an 8.03-Carat Cushion-Shaped Natural “Pigeon’s Blood” Burmese Ruby Ring designed by one of the most celebrated Asian jewellery designers, Cindy Chao (Est. HK$28 – 33 million / US$3.5 – 4.2 million) to a ribbon floral motif. Originating from Mogok Valley in Burma, this fiery ruby of impressive size is free of inclusions to the naked eye and glows with a rich saturated red colour known as “pigeon’s blood” red. Its rarity and beauty would be highlighted by a unique mount modelled as a diamond-set ribbon exclusively designed by Cindy Chao.
Connoisseurs of rubies and Cartier’s impeccable style will also be delighted by The Cartier Red Peacock Brooch, Property From A Royal Private Collection (Est. HK$3.2 – 4 million / US$400,000 – 500,000). A unique, special commission jewel fashioned by Cartier taking inspiration from its famous animal repertoire, this proud and noble peacock in a platinum brooch features as its centrepiece a cushion-shaped ruby weighing 48.57 carats. The peacock’s plumage is set with brilliant-cut, marquise and pear-shaped rubies and diamonds, altogether weighing a total of approximately 28 carats. The harmonious proportions of the lines of the plumage and
the volume of the ruby centrepiece make this brooch a whimsical, creative, yet elegant part of Cartier’s legacy.
Cartier’s impeccable style is further illustrated in this sale by a 13.19-Carat Emerald Cut Fancy Light Pink Diamond And Diamond Ring, From The Estate Of Ji Ing Soong (Est. HK$4.7 – 6.3 million / US$600,000 – 800,000), the elegant wife of banker, T.A. Soong, the youngest son of businessman Charles Soong and brother of the legendary Soong sisters. Centring an emerald-cut light pink diamond of the purest Type IIa quality, the diamond ring offered was given to Ji Ing by her grandmother. Born Ji Ing Woo in Shanghai in 1920, Ji Ing was educated in Shanghai and Hong Kong before graduating from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1944 and a Master of Arts in Asian Studies in 1972. After marrying T.A. Soong in 1941 she moved to San Francisco where she lived for the rest of her life. Civic-minded with a particular appreciation for the arts, Mrs. Soong established in 1970 the T.A. and Ji Ing Soong Galleries at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum.
Another stunning treasure offered is a Set Of Two Jadeite Bead Necklaces, Circa Republican Period, From The Collection Of An Overseas Chinese Family (Est. HK$22 – 30 million / US$2.8 – 3.8 million). An epitome of old world elegance, these two striking graduating jadeite bead necklaces that glow with superb emerald green colour and fine translucency are an extremely rare treasure that enliven the tales of Old Shanghai in its golden age. With the huge wastage involved in the cutting process, the bead is one of the most extravagant forms of jadeite and it takes a jadeite boulder of considerable size and impeccable quality to yield a strand of matching beads. To put together two strands comprising 254 jadeite beads of such superb and matching colour, translucency and texture would have been an almost impossible feat spanning years. An entire mansion in Shanghai was, therefore, traded over 70 years ago for these 254 matching jadeite beads exhibiting the most coveted properties of top-quality jadeite. These two necklaces have been carefully preserved in the family since then, and will make their first public appearance this autumn.
Pink diamonds have been highly coveted in recent years by connoisseurs for their unique feminine beauty and rarity, and examples of over five carats have been a rare occurrence in the auction market. This 10.94-Carat Pear-Shaped Fancy Light Pink Diamond And Diamond Ring (Est. HK$15 – 18 million / US$1.9 – 2.3 million), centring a Fancy Light pink diamond of significant proportions, sparkles with a soft and lovely pink hue, which is gracefully offset by surrounding marquise white diamonds. Those with a more flamboyant taste will be delighted by a 20.82-Carat Square Emerald-Cut Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond And Diamond Ring (Est. HK$13 – 15 million / US$1.7 -1.9 million). Fashioned in emerald cut, a rare and elegant cut only applied to coloured diamonds of the best colour, this Fancy Vivid yellow diamond glows with an intense and even golden yellow hue that, coupled with is important size of over 20 carats, promises to be headturning.
On the other hand, the high demand for superlative colourless diamonds of important sizes remains apparent in the auction market. Significant examples ranking high on the top ten lists of recent auctions with a 28.86-Carat Brilliant-cut D-colour Flawless Diamond achieving HK$53.88 million / US$6.91 million (Est. HK$38 - 45 million) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Spring Sale in April 2013, setting the World Auction Record Prices Per Carat for D-Flawless Round White Diamonds (for US$239,352 per carat). This season’s sale boasts a magnificent assemblage of diamonds combining the highest calibre in all attributes - D colour and Internally Flawless (IF) as well as Type IIa quality signifying the highest chemical purity and therefore exceptional optical transparency – and the most impressive proportions. These include a 17.74-Carat Pear-shaped DIF Diamond (Est. HK$19 – 21 million / US$2.4 – 2.7 million), a 11.89-Carat Oval-shaped DIF Diamond (Est. HK$13 - 15 million / US$1.65 - 2 million) and, last but not least, A Superb Group Of DIF Diamonds In The Highly Coveted Round Brilliant Cut With Excellent Cut, Polish And Symmetry (Triple Excellent), one weighing 10.82 carats (Est. HK$13 - 15 million / US$1.65 - 2 million), a matching pair weighing 10.03 and 10.04 carats respectively (Est. HK$25 - 30 million / US$3.2 – 3.8 million) and a single stone of 20.05 carats (Est. HK$26 - 30 million / US$3.3 – 3.8 million).
Natural coloured gemstones of top quality from the world’s most famous mines are extremely rare and have been highly sought after in recent years as illustrated by the significant prices realised at auction. Apart from the 8.03-Carat Burmese Ruby Ring designed by Cindy Chao, this season’s sale will offer a Suite of Cushion-Shaped Colombian Emerald And Diamond Ring And Pair Of Matching Pendent Earrings (Emeralds Totalling 22.69 Carats. Est. HK$7.5 – 8.5 million / US$950,000 – 1 million) featuring a trio of well-matched top-quality emeralds of no indication of clarity enhancement as well as highly saturated natural green colour and desirable clarity, which are exceedingly difficult to amass. Equally captivating is a natural untreated 12.60-Carat Cushion-Shaped Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Ring (Est. HK$13 - 15 million / US$1.7 - 2 million) of high transparency and a richly saturated and homogenous velvety blue colour accentuated by gleaming white diamonds for the most elegant effect.
An embodiment of understated glamour and uncontrived beauty, natural pearls have been cherished for centuries and are increasingly rare due to depreciating water quality. An example offered this season is a remarkable Natural Pearl, Emerald and Diamond Necklace (Est. HK$9 - 11 million / US$1.15 – 1.4 million) spaced by seed pearls and attached to a clasp set with a 4.40-carat emerald and diamonds. As good quality natural pearls of over 8mm in diameter are exceedingly rare, this notable necklace comprising 37 perfectly matched graduated round natural saltwater pearls of fine lustre, measuring approximately 11.60 – 7.70 mm, is graded by the Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF as an “Exceptional Natural Pearl Necklace”. This is complemented by a Pair Of Natural Pearl And Diamond Pendent Earrings (Est. HK$2.2 – 2.6 million / US$280,000 – 330,000), each suspending on a matching pair of drop-shaped natural seawater pearl, measuring approximately 10.65 x 10.65 x 15.90mm and 10.15 x 10.15 x 15.35mm respectively.
Highlighted by the exquisite set of jadeite bead necklaces from Republican Shanghai, the selection of jadeite jewellery offered this season represent all the classic forms, from bead necklace to cabochon and bangle, that best accentuate the unique beauty of the saturated green hue, magnificent translucency and fine texture of this fascinating gemstone. The sale features a spectacular Jadeite Cabochon and Diamond Necklace (Est. HK$18 – 23 million / US$2.3 – 3 million), on which nine oval jadeite cabochons and one large pear-shaped jadeite cabochon are flanked by diamonds weighing a total of 43.65 carats that lend a dazzling brilliance to the matching intense emerald green colour and mesmerising translucency of the beautiful jadeite cabochons. This is complemented by a Pair of Jadeite Cabochon And
Diamond Earrings (Est. HK$11 – 13 million / US$1.4 – 1.65 million). Lavender jadeite has also been increasingly appreciated by the collecting community in recent years for its endearing purple hues and feminine allure. This season, connoisseurs will be delighted by a superb Lavender Jadeite Bangle (Est. HK$6.8 – 8 million / US$850,000 – 1 million) of even and saturated lavender purple colour, fine texture and significant proportions with inner diameter and thickness of approximately 59.45 x 12.50mm.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium and prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium.