Historic Jade Necklace to be sold by Sotheby's
An important and historic Chinese imperial jadeite bead necklace, owned by the family of Oei Tiong Ham family, will be sold by Sotheby's in New York on December 10. Its pre-sale estimate is $1.9 million to $2.2 million, but it is quite possible deep-pocked jade collectors in Asia will drive the hammer price much higher.
The sale of the magnificent neckalce marks the first time in more than 30 years that a jadeite jewel of major historical importance will appear at auction at Sotheby's in New York.
The story of The Oei Tiong Ham Necklace began more than 100 years ago when Oei Tiong Ham, a successful Chinese businessman, is said to have purchased two necklaces composed of beads from an Imperial court necklace from the leading jadeite dealer in Peking, who had reputedly obtained them from the family of Emperor Puyi. After descending through multiple generations of the family, the exceptional necklace is offered by a direct descendant of Oei Tiong Ham.
Gallery: Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels
The large, uniform beads, the size of the holes, and the fine quality of the stone and polish all attest to this origin. Originally given to Oei's eldest daughter Tjong-lan, the necklace is composed of 30 jadeite beads measuring approximately 13.3 to 13.4 millimeters, each displaying a harmonious combination of glowing transparency and brilliant emerald green color.
In addition to the jadelite necklace, on December 9, Sotheby's will offer collectors a remarkable selection of exceptional gemstones and signed jewels, including three spectacular diamonds, including a magnificent Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond ring centering an impressive cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut diamond weighing 54.20 carats, VS1 clarity (excellent polish and excellent symmetry). Its estimate is $2.5 million to $4 million.
Another auction highlight is a Magnificent and Rare Light Pink Diamond Ring featuring a diamond linked to the famed Golconda mines of India. The oval light pink diamond weighs 10.46 carats, is Internally Flawless and type IIa, and retains in its antique cut the charm and character of its time. Its estimate $1.4 to $1.6 million.
The Sotheby's auction offers a total of 450 lots estimated in excess of $40 million in total. Highlights of the auction traveled around the world, from Geneva to Los Angeles and Hong Kong. All lots are currently on view at the New York gallery through November 8th. The auction catalog is available to view online.