Belle Époque baubles at Christie’s

American copper heiress Huguette M. Clark: with her parents in the early 20s; circa mid-20s; at age 25 in 1930

A selection of jewelry from the late American copper heiress Huguette M. Clark’s estate will go on auction at Christie’s on April 17th, bringing to light an impeccably kept 17-piece collection that has been stored in a bank vault since the 1940s.  Rings, bracelets, earrings, brooches, and even a diamond-and-pearl necklace ranging from the Belle Époque 1910s to the Art Deco 30s will be up for sale, expected to garner $9 – 12 million dollars as part of the sale of her material fortune, which also includes prime manhattan real estate.  Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry for Christie’s Americas, calls this a ‘fairytale collection’ in the world of jewelry, citing further, “Opening the vault to find this treasure trove of period jewels from the best French houses of the early 1900s has certainly been one of the most extraordinary moments of my 15-year career here at Christie’s. The iconic Art Deco design and exceptional craftsmanship of these meticulously preserved jewels are emblematic of the great Gilded Age in American history.”

A famous recluse, Clark died in 2011 at age 104 after shunning public life since 1930.

The riotously popular BBC series Downton Abbey, Marc Jacobs’ F/W 12 Louis Vuitton collection and now Clark’s estate sale point to a serious Belle Époque moment.  Check in with Christie’s to follow the auction and see results in April.

Tiffany & Co. single-strand pearl and diamond necklace

Cartier emerald, pearl and diamond earrings

Cartier rectangular-cut diamond ring, 19.86 carats

Cartier Art Deco emerald and diamond bracelet

Tiffany & Co. ruby, sapphire, emerald, and gold bracelet

Cartier diamond, ruby, and sapphire American flag brooch

Cartier Art Deco diamond and multi-gem bracelet

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