The Pink Star, the most valuable diamond ever to be offered at auction, will go on public view this week in Hong Kong, the first stop on a worldwide tour before it is offered for sale on Nov. 13 at Sotheby’s in Geneva.
The 59.6-carat oval-cut diamond, the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America, will be on view in New York from Nov. 1-3 at Sotheby’s gallery, 1334 York Ave.
Described as “one of the earth’s greatest natural treasures,” the Pink Star is estimated to sell for more than $60 million.
The diamond was cut from a 132.5-carat rough diamond mined somewhere in Africa in 1999. It was transformed into a gemstone after being cut and polished over a two-year period.
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Although the world economy remains weak, the jewelry market remains remarkably buoyant, especially for diamonds, the world’s most popular gemstone.
At Grogan & Co.’s two-day auction at its Dedham gallery starting next Sunday at noon and the following Monday, there will be a wide choice of diamonds among the 200 lots of jewelry, the largest assemblage of jewelry offered in the company’s 25-year history.
The jewelry department has been expanded under the direction of Lucy Grogan, who recently joined the family firm, of which her parents, Michael and Nancy, are president and vice president, respectively.
The jewelry is being sold on Sunday and is from several collections, including an early-20th-century collection that descended in the family of the late Adelaide Downey Hastings, widow of Henry de Groot Hastings and daughter of the late New York banker John Downey, whose construction company built the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Highlights of the collection are a Black, Starr & Frost platinum ring set with a 1.8-carat brilliant-cut diamond flanked by two pear-shaped fancy yellow diamonds and an 18-karat yellow and white gold brooch set with a .95-carat pear-shaped diamond, two old European-cut diamonds, and 10 round-cut diamonds. The ring and brooch each have a $10,000-$15,000 estimate.
Sunday’s auction also features over 130 lots of fine art, highlighted by a Venetian canal scene by the Boston artist John Leslie Breck (1860-99) and a 1949 gouache of spirals and moons by Alexander Calder (1898-1978), each with a $20,000-$30,000 estimate. The gouache is one of four Calder works being auctioned, three gouaches and an ink on paper, that were gifts to his Roxbury, Conn., neighbors William and Virginia Chess, in whose family the works descended.
Another offering of note is a set of five oil-on-canvas panels depicting Christ and the Four Evangelists ($5,000-$10,000) that was created in 1898 by Tiffany Glass & Decorating Co., and was for years in the Mount Vernon Church at Beacon Street and Massachusetts Avenue. Fortunately the panels had been removed before the 1970s, when the church was destroyed in a fire.
The Monday auction is highlighted by a circa 1790 Aaron Willard tall case clock with a revolving moon phase dial and a paper on the interior with the handwritten names of its various owners. Estimated to bring $10,000-
$20,000, the clock descended in the family of Prince William Ewer of Nantucket, who was captain of the whaling ship Emily Morgan on its three voyages from New Bedford to the South Pacific between 1842 and 1854.
Portraits of Captain Ewer (1809-70) and his son Albert (1842-98) will be offered at Sunday’s auction, each with a $5,000-$10,000 estimate. They were painted by James S. Hathaway, an itinerant artist who painted portraits of many of Nantucket’s preeminent citizens in the 1830s and ’40s, when the island was the whaling capital of the world.
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An 18th-century Chinese rhinoceros horn libation cup consigned by a New England museum highlights Skinner’s Asian Works of Art Auction Saturday at 11 a.m. at its Boston gallery.
The 7-inch cup, which depicts a hollowed-out magnolia, has a $30,000-
Other expected top sellers include a 19th-century nine-panel wood screen with porcelain inlays depicting the Eight Immortals and Shoulao, the God of Longevity ($20,000-$30,000), and an 18th-century Persian small ornate papier-mâché box ($16,000-$20,000).
Among the jade offerings are a 19th-/20th-century archaic style elliptical vase ($6,000-$10,000) and an 18th-
century belt hook carved with a dragon head ($4,000-$6,000). This also is the estimate for an 18th-/19th-century Chinese textile panel embroidered with a Buddhist figure.
The Japanese works are as varied as a 1956 woodblock “Woman With Hawk” ($5,000-$7,000) by Munakata Shiko (1903-75) and a 19th-century wood carving of the Three Wise Monkeys in their see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil poses ($500-$700).
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A pin designed by Alexander Calder as a brass coil was the top seller at Skinner’s Fine Jewelry Auction last month.
The three-inch pin, which the late Boston-born Henry Sayles Francis (1902-94), a longtime curator at the Cleveland Museum of Art, commissioned in 1939 for his wife, sold for $111,000 more than tripling the high of its $20,000-$30,000 estimate.
The natural saltwater pearl necklace that Henry Fairfield Osborn (1857-1935), president of the Museum of Natural History from 1908-33, gave to his wife on their 25th wedding anniversary in 1906 brought the auction’s third-highest price of $36,000. The estimate was $25,000-$30,000.
The eight other top 10 lots featured diamonds with prices ranging from $50,400 (estimate $50,000-$60,000) for a pair of ear studs, one set with a 2.54-carat diamond and the other with a 2.24-carat diamond to $19,200 (estimate $12,000-$15,000) for a 2.45-carat solitaire.
All four lots of the jewelry designed by Nora Copley (1916-2006), who described her designs as “surrealist inspired,” found buyers. A hand-hammered silver necktie brought $3,960 against an $800-$1,200 estimate; an 18-karat gold bangle designed from one of her house keys fetched $1,722; an 18-karat gold ring designed as a screw split in half brought $1,920; and an 18-karat bicolored gold “candy box” sold for $2,640. The last three each had $1,500-$2,000 estimates.
Virginia Bohlin can be reached at