A sapphire half-parure, previously owned by the Romanov royal family, was sold at Sotheby’s auction in Geneva for 650 thousand francs (over 700 thousand dollars).
The price under the hammer, without auction house fees, was over 700 thousand dollars, with an upper estimate of 500 thousand dollars. The total cost of jewelry exceeded 885 thousand dollars.
“It was a very good auction. The final cost was twice as much as the one for which we sold jewelry in 2009. This suggests that historical jewelry with provenance is increasingly interested in buyers. And this shows the strong position of high-quality sapphires in the market of colored stones,” Olivier Wagner, head of trading, commented on the sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels.
The sapphire half-parure, which belonged to the royal family, consists of a brooch with an oval stone weighing 26.80 carats and a pair of earrings with sapphires. Experts note that the jewelry bears the marks of the manufacturer Sophia Schwan and, possibly, Bolin, a jewelry house that has served several Russian sovereigns since 1791.
The sapphire set previously belonged to Nicholas II’s aunt, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, who, with the help of her close friend, the English aristocrat Albert Henry Stopford, was able to take her treasures to London in 1917. In total, 244 pieces of jewelry belonging to the Romanovs were taken out, including the famous Vladimir Tiara, which is currently the property of the English crown.
In 2009, the sapphire half-parure was first auctioned by Sotheby’s in Geneva and was sold to a European princely family for 480 thousand dollars.