Covering five centuries of history and presenting the incredible jewelry skills of the Indian culture, the Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence collection has showcased pieces that comprised everything worth collecting from Golconda diamonds including the Mirror of Paradise and Arcot II to ravishing precious stones. And bidders from 45 countries fought against each other for the chance to acquire these unique pieces. Institutions and European museums were also present, bidding for the most desirable jewelry pieces.
It’s worth mentioning that Christie’s offered almost 400 lots, fetching historic sales of $109,271,875. “The highest for any auction of Indian art and Mughal objects, and the second-highest for a private jewelry collection,” says Christie’s. Evidently, the results have overpassed analysts’ estimates and some dazzling pieces reached unprecedented sums. Despite impressive results, the auction didn’t become Christie’s highest recorded sale as the top position still belongs to Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection.
Some standout pieces that became the core of the auction were a 19th century antique diamond Rivière necklace formerly owned by the Nizams of Hyderabad estimated at $1,200,000- $1,500,000 and sold for $2,415,000, a five-strand natural pearl and diamond necklace Bhagat that was estimated at $800,000- $1,200,000 and sold for $1,695,000, and a 19th-century antique emerald bead and pearl necklace fetched $855,000.
Other highly coveted pieces that reached well past their original estimates were an elephant brooch by JAR that fetched $555,000 and a Belle Époque diamond Gigha sold for $1,815,000.
The Patiala Ruby Choker sold for $975,000. This was one of the most exquisite pieces of the collection, resulting from the collaboration between the Maharaja of Patiala and Cartier.
According to estimates only 10 percent of the Al Thani Collection was auctioned by Christie’s while the remaining part will be hosted at a museum space in Paris at Hôtel de la Marine.