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  • Posts Tagged ‘THE DONNERSMARCK DIAMONDS’’

    THE DONNERSMARCK DIAMONDS AT SOTHEBY’S, GENEVA

    Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

    THE DONNERSMARCK DIAMONDS- image courtesy Sotheby’s

    The Donnersmarck Diamonds, a pair of extraordinary Fancy Intense Yellow diamonds with impeccable aristocratic provenance, will come up at Sotheby’s in Geneva on November 15   Formerly in the collection of the princely family von Donnersmarck they consist of a cushion-shaped diamond weighing 102.54 carats, and a pear-shaped diamond weighing 82.47 carats to be offered as a single lot.  The pair is estimated at $9-14 million.

    David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said: “These stunning diamonds carry with them a fascinating story, full of romance and determination over adversity, which could have inspired some of the greatest novels and operas, from Manon Lescaut to La Traviata. Ten years ago, they were the star of the show when we launched our very first sale dedicated to Noble Jewels here in Geneva. I am delighted to mark a decade of success by presenting these exceptional diamonds once again”.

    The Donnersmarck Diamonds were part of the collection of La Païva, Countess Henckel von Donnersmarck (1819-1884), arguably the most famous of 19th-century French courtesans, whose vertiginous trajectory from modest circumstances in her native Russia to the highest circles of European aristocracy was sensational. Her second husband was Count Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck (1830-1916), one of Europe’s richest men.  In 1855, shortly after they became a couple, La Païva purchased a building plot on the Champs Elysées. Hotel La Païva was to be one of the most lavish mansions ever built there.  La Païva’s lavish parties and literary gatherings soon became the most talked-about events in Paris, often attended by the likes of Gustave Flaubert, Émile Zola, the artist Eugène Delacroix and even the Emperor himself.  The diamonds remained in the family for more than a century until they came up at Sotheby’s in Geneva in 2007.  They have been in a private collection for the past ten year.