Van Cleef & Arpels Diamond Bracelet that Inspired by the Discovery of Tutankhamun's Tomb

For the coming Jewels and Jadeite Sale, Sotheby’s presents a wide range of exquisite masterpieces by legendary jewellers feature alongside an exceptional curation of rare treasures from nature. The focal point of the sale, besides the top two lots that each estimated over HK$80m, is a rare Art Deco Egyptian revival bracelet by Van Cleef & Arpels. Made in 1925, the bracelet stands as a witness of discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb.

The 190mm bracelet was designed as a band of circular-cut diamonds, decorated with five quatrefoil motifs depicted by buff-top rubies and onyx, alternating with lotus motifs set with similarly cut emeralds and sapphires, mounted in platinum. The simple yet elegant design is a culmination of Egyptian-revival during the 20s.

The Roaring Twenties was a period in Western culture of exuberant creativity and joie de vivre. Having gained the right to vote and proven their competency in jobs that were predominantly male oriented in the past, women of this era were more independent than ever before. They were fearless and fantastical, seeking freedom from the stereotypes of the past.

This vibrancy was reflected in all aspects of their lifestyle as they relished in adorning themselves with white powder, bright red lipstick and dark black eyeliner for a mystical and exotic appearance. Jewellery was quick to respond to these revolutionary changes in fashion, ever evolving to suit the modern woman of the time.

The avant-garde woman found herself completely bedazzled by a fresh wave of archaeological motifs, due to the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter, an outbreak of Egyptomania seized all aspects of aesthetics from the remote Valley of the Kings. Striking chromatic contrasts discovered in the artistry of ancient Egypt captivated the jewellers in Paris for a decade, especially for Van Cleef & Arpels. With their cutting-edge execution in workmanship, they made a series of Egyptomania jewels since 1924, including the present lot.

After nearly a century, the bracelet is a classy and fashionable piece, even for modern women. Estimated at HK$66m-85m, the lot is accompanied by Van Cleef & Arpels certificate of authenticity, and signed Van Cleef Arpels, numbered, French assay and maker's marks.

The most expensive lot from the sale is a jadeite bangle, estimated at HK$80m-100m. Compared to various forms of jadeite jewellery, bangles command one of the highest values due to the extensive wastage of the rough material. This involves a sizeable investment and risk because the centre of jadeite bangles needs to be hollowed out from a single boulder.

The second top lot is a ruby and diamond ring, carrying an estimate of HK$82m-92m. As the ruby mines in Burma and elsewhere produce fewer and fewer stones of important sizes, the discovery of any gemstone that is larger than 5 carats is a cause for celebration among gem connoisseurs. The impressive size of 24.70 carats combined with the well-saturated glowing red colour truly represents an exceptional treasure of nature.



A Rare and Exceptional Gem Set and Diamond Bracelet, Van Cleef & Arpels, 1925

Lot no.: 1783
Certificate: Accompanied by Van Cleef & Arpels certificate of authenticity.
Signed Van Cleef Arpels, numbered, French assay and maker's marks.
Estimate: HK$6,600,000 - 8,500,000

Highly Important and Superb Jadeite Bangle

Lot no.: 1771
Inner circumference: 56.86mm
Thickness: 11.62mm
Note: Accompanied by Hong Kong Jade & Stone Laboratory certificate numbered KJ 97608, dated 2 February 2018, stating that the jadeite is natural, known in the trade as "A Jade".
Estimate: HK$80,000,000 - 100,000,000

An Important and Spectacular Ruby and Diamond Ring

Lot no.: 1779
Weight: 24.70 carats
Size: 7
GIA report:
Also accompanied by sixteen GIA reports, stating that the pear-shaped diamonds weighing from 1.73 to 1.07 carats are all D Colour, Flawless to Internally Flawless; further accompanied by three diamond type classification reports stating that the diamonds weighing 1.52, 1.13 and 1.12 carats are determined to be Type IIa diamonds. Type IIa diamonds are the most chemically pure type of diamond and often have exceptional optical transparency. Also accompanied by four GIA dossiers, stating that the pear-shaped diamonds weighing 0.34 to 0.30 carat are all D Colour, Internally Flawless to VVS1 Clarity.
Accompanied by SSEF report numbered 80220, dated 11 June 2015, Gübelin report numbered 1003549, dated 12 March 2010 and AGL report numbered 8087505, dated 8 March 2018, each stating that the ruby is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating; SSEF further stating that the colour of this ruby may also be called 'pigeon blood red' in the trade.
Estimate: HK$82,000,000 - 92,000,000


Auction details
Auction house: Sotheby’s Hong Kong
Sale: Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite
Lots offered: 283
2018/3/29|10am - 5:30pm
2018/3/30-31|10am - 8pm
2018/4/1-2|10am - 6:30pm
2018/4/3|1:30pm (Lot 1501-1667)
2018/4/3|4:30pm (Lot 1668-1783)