If you were not at the last Sotheby’s auction in Honk Kong, like me, pay close attention to this jadeite piece of jewelry. It’s sold for $24.5 million back to Cartier, setting a new high for a design by the company. Buyer produced exactly the same necklace some time around 1933.
Previously owned by Barbara Hutton, this work is one of the most significant jadeite jewelry in existence. It’s 21” long with 27 beads, which are the biggest measures three fourths of an inch diameter, finished with a ruby-and-diamond clasp. Fascinating find, isn’t it?
Barbara Hutton was a passionate collector of jewelry. It’s not that she only owned them but she knew a great deal about each piece in her collection. She would spend many hours holding the pieces, studying and admiring each one of them not just as the object of commercial value but as a beautiful combination of nature’s and man’s creation. Paris archive have that in 1933 this jadeite necklace insured for $55,000 and left the Cartier house with the French firm that created the elegant clasp. It was one of a jewelry present’s from her father for Barbara’s first marriage to a prince, the Russian aristocrat. Not to mention that one of the present’s was the 53 pearls necklace that had been worn by the Queen Marie Antoinette from France. This celebration took place in Paris and was a huge international society event.
Photo above is Barbara with her first husband, prince at Metropolitan Opera House 1933, NY.