Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence: The Auction of Records

Sale registrants from 45 countries across five continents for the last Christie's jewelry event in New York, the second auction for results ever


Six million two hundred thousand dollars. Such was the difference between the auction that since 2011 holds the absolute world record in value achieved in a single event dedicated to jewelry - The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor: The Legendary Jewels, Evening Sale, which reached $ 115.9 million - and Maharajas & Moghul Magnificence, which last week totaled $ 109,271,875 million. 29 lots achieved over $1 million. Firstly, a private collector in the room has bought A Belle Époque Devant-de-corsage, by Cartier, Paris, 1912, for $10,603,500. Additional top lots included The Mirror of Paradise, 52.58 carats, D Color, IF, which achieved $6,517,500; The Shah Jahan Dagger which sold for $3,375,000, establishing the record price for an Indian jade object and record for a piece with Shah Jahan provenance; An Antique Imperial Spinel, Pearl and Emerald Necklace, which realized $3,015,000; and the Golconda Diamond Rivière Necklace, from the collection of the Nizams of Hyderabad, which sold for $2,415,000.Contemporary pieces by JAR and Bhagat were also 100% sold, greatly exceeding estimates. Impressive prices were achieved for bejeweled Mughal objects including An Enameled and Gem Set Model of a Parrot, which realized $1,035,000; and an Enameled and Gem Set Huqqa, that achieved $759,000, establishing the world auction record for an Indian huqqa.Over incredible numbers concerne the visitors, virtual and not, to the collection before the auction: with over 17 million page views, and 1.8 million page views across the various web features to Christie’s Online Magazine, and 3.6 million views for the 41 unique videos created for the collection.The attendance for the global tours in London, Shanghai, Geneva, and Hong Kong, combined with the New York exhibition welcomed 50,000 visitors with tremendous attention over the five-day public exhibition in New York, averaging 1,500 visitors per day.

Commenting on the exceptional result of the auction, has intervened Guillaume Cerutti, Chief Executive Officer of Christie’s: “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.”

These objects were offered from The Al Thani Collection. From next year, works of art from this encyclopedic collection, which includes over 6,000 objects, will be shown at a new museum space in Paris. In addition to new acquisitions, sale proceeds will support ongoing initiatives of The Al Thani Collection Foundation which extend from exhibitions, publications and lectures to sponsorships of projects at museums around the world.

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