Russian imperial jewelry, secretly exported by a British diplomat during the 1917 revolution, will be sold at auction next week in Geneva.
Among the most impressive jewelry in the collection are the favorite earrings and the oval brooch with sapphire and diamond of the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, who is the aunt of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II.
The bidding will be held by the Sotheby’s auction house on November 10. A British diplomat saved the collection before the Bolsheviks came to power. Maria Pavlovna herself fled the revolution and died in France in 1920.
The sapphire jewels are expected to fetch up to $530,000.
The orange-pink diamond weighs 25.62 carats and is estimated to fetch up to $5.8 million.
A pair of flawless white diamond earrings could fetch up to $5.49 million.
“The jewelry belonged to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, who was the queen of secular life in St. Petersburg. She was the wife of Grand Duke Vladimir, son of Alexander II and had a fantastic collection of jewelry, she loved jewelry. She ran away. from Russia in 1919. Before that, in 1917, she gave the jewelry to a friend who was a British diplomat. It was Mr. Albert Henry Stopford who saved her favorite things, “explained leading jewelry expert Olivier Wagner.
“So, the market is currently very dynamic. People are very keen to buy jewelry again and to buy something tangible, that they can enjoy. We had a very good sale in May this year and we have seen some very positive signals from all around the world in the market”, the head of sale and jewellery expert at Sotheby’s Geneva.