The jewels of the Maharajas of the Al Thani collection sold by Christie’s at an auction of 109 million dollars ♦ ︎
It seems that the era of the maharajas retains a great charm. And, in particular, they have fascinated the opulent jewels that were part of the celebrated Al Thani collection, emir of Qatar. Indeed, judging by the outcome of the Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence auction organized by Christie’s in New York, these jewels beat everyone. Thanks also to the tour organized by Christie’s in London, Shanghai, Geneva and Hong Kong, in addition to the New York exhibition, which welcomed 50,000 visitors.
The auction that included the jewels of Indian nobles ended after a 12-hour marathon. Result: sales of 109.3 million dollars (equal to 97.5 million euros), with 93% of the pieces sold. No wonder the auction has established the highest total for any sale of Indian and Mughal art objects, and the second highest auction total for a private jewelry collection.
The sale was presented in partnership between Christie’s jewelry department and the World Art department, together with the independent art consultancy The Fine Art Group.
It’s worth going into detail: during the sale, three worldwide auction records for Indian works of art were touched and 29 lots were sold for over 1 million dollars. The top lot has been touched by a devant-de-corsage jewel (that is, worn on the chest), the Belle Époque era by Cartier, Paris, 1912, sold for 10.6 million to a private collector. Among the other lots that have reached top prices, there is also the Diamond of Paradise diamond, 52.58 carats, D Color, IF, which reached 6.5 million, while a dagger with carved jade handle, Lo Shah Jahan Dagger, was sold for 3.4 million, a record for an object of Indian jade and record for a piece Shah Jahan.
We are very honored to have been entrusted with this magnificent and diverse selection of jewels, art and objects from the larger Al Thani Collection. The strong results today, after twelve hours of non-stop bidding, in front of a packed room and with phone and online bidders from all over the world, reflect the exceptional quality of this special collection and position it among the most storied private collections ever featured at auction.
Guillaume Cerutti, CEO of Christie’s
Let’s go back to jewels: an ancient necklace of imperial spinel, pearls and emeralds was sold for 3 million, the Golconda Diamond Rivière necklace, from the collection of the Nizams of Hyderabad, which was sold for 2.4 million. And a necklace of emeralds Imperial Moghul Necklace and earrings, were sold for 1.9 million.
But the auction was not only occupied by the jewels of the maharajas. For example, all the contemporary pieces by Jar and Bhagat have been sold, far exceeding the estimates. Federico Graglia