Billionaire Patricia Kluge Sells Jewels at Sotheby's
When a woman who was once married to a billionaire decides it is time to part with the jewels he gave her over the course of their marriage, you can rest assured that you are going to be dazzled by the magnificence of a collection comparable to one that might belong to royalty.
The collection that belonged to philanthropist and vintner Patricia Kluge certainly lives up to that image. This week, her jewelry was sold by Sotheby's during its Magnificent Jewels sale, with many pieces selling for above pre-sale estimates. The collection well-represented Kluge's sophisticated appreciation of workmanship and her refined taste.
Ms. Kluge is the former wife of mogul John Kluge, who's Metromedia Inc. pioneered independent TV stations operations through the 1960's and 1970's. Kluge became one of the richest Americans after he sold his company to Rupert Murdoch during the mid-1980's for nearly $2 billion. Kluge made a second fortune in telecommunications and he was also a major owner of Orion Pictures. The Kluge's divorced nearly 20 years ago.
Gallery: Patricia Kluge's Magnificent Jewels
Kluge's magnificent pieces include a variety of white diamonds such as an impressive pair of platinum and diamond pendant ear clips, set with almost 64 carats of pear-shaped diamonds. While the estimate for these earrings was $600,000 to $800,000, they sold for $1,058,500 (including the buyer's premium).
There were several other pieces that sold for well above their pre-sale estimates. Kluge's sapphire and diamond Panthère Wristwatch by Cartier (circa 1985, seen above) had a pre-sale estimate of $100,000 to $150,000, and sold for a hammer price of $686,500 (including buyer's premium). Ms. Kluge's pear-shaped diamond ring, weighing 20.15 carats, sold for a hammer price of $962,000 (including buyer's premium), which was well over its pre-sale estimate of $150,000 to $200,000.
In a unique joint sale offering, Sotheby's International Realty is selling Ms. Kluge's famous home, Albemarle House while Sotheby's will sell the contents on the grounds of the estate in June.
The 45-room Georgian mansion situated on 300-plus acres in Charlottesville, Virginia, is a showpiece of architecture, design and antiques. Together with renowned designer David Easton, Ms. Kluge conceived the 45-room English country manor house - which neighbors such historic estates as Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and James Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland - and filled the home with Georgian furniture, decorative objects and paintings.
Sotheby's will sell the contents of the house on the grounds of the estate on June 8th and 9th. This highly anticipated event will present collectors the opportunity to explore the extraordinary backdrop which Mrs. Kluge created for her distinctive collection. An additional selection of Patricia Kluge's decorative jewels will be offered in June at Albemarle House.
Albemarle House is listed and offered currently by Sotheby's International Realty. The listing price is $48 million, which is well below its original asking price of $100 million.
Also included in the Magnificent Jewels sale at Sotheby's was the ruby ring that once belonged to Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924). The cushion-shaped 8.66 carat ruby ring sold for $2.098 million, including the buyer's premium. Its pre-sale estimate was $1 million to $1.5 million.