Rare gray pearls to fetch up to US$7 mil­lion in HK

The China Post - - LIFE -

A rare gray pearl neck­lace that once be­longed to a Bri­tish aris­to­crat is ex­pected to fetch up to US$7 mil­lion when it goes un­der the ham­mer in Hong Kong, Sotheby’s said Fri­day.

The string of pearls was part of the col­lec­tion of Vis­count­ess Cow­dray, Lady Pear­son — a renowned col­lec­tor in the late 19th and early 20th cen­turies.

It will go for auc­tion in Oc­to­ber as part of Sotheby’s “Mag­nif­i­cent Jewels” au­tumn sale, with an es­ti­mated price of be­tween US$4.5 mil­lion and US$7 mil­lion, the auc­tion house said.

The neck­lace al­ready holds the world record at auc­tion for a nat­u­ral gray pearl neck­lace af­ter it was sold for US$3.35 mil­lion at Christie’s in Lon­don in 2012.

Sotheby’s de­scribed the piece, which com­prises 42 nat­u­ral gray salt­wa­ter pearls and was mounted by Cartier, as “one of the finest and rarest gray pearl neck­laces known.”

The neck­lace com­prises 42 nat­u­ral gray salt­wa­ter pearls and was mounted by Cartier. It also comes with a pair of nat­u­ral gray pearl ear­rings.

The Cow­dray Pearls will go on a world tour be­fore the sale in Hong Kong, in­clud­ing ex­hi­bi­tions in New York, Lon­don, Geneva, Sin­ga­pore and Taipei.

“Nat­u­ral salt­wa­ter gray pearls are rarely seen at auc­tion and the present neck­lace, strung with 42 su­perb gray pearls and of aris­to­cratic prove­nance, is ar­guably the great­est of its kind in ex­is­tence,” said Quek Chin Yeow, deputy chair­man of Sotheby’s Asia.

The neck­lace has also been de­scribed as “ex­cep­tional” by the Swiss Gem­mo­log­i­cal In­sti­tute (SSEF) par­tic­u­larly be­cause of its doc­u­mented his­toric prove­nance, Sotheby’s said.

Vis­count­ess Cow­dray died in 1932 and the pearls first ap­peared for auc­tion in 1937. She was famed for her col­lec­tion of fur­ni­ture and works of art as well as jew­elry.

This hand­out pic­ture taken on Aug. 21 and re­leased by Sotheby’s auc­tion house in Hong Kong on Fri­day, Aug. 28 shows the Cow­dray Pearls.

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