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Le Grand Mazarin, The Diamond in the Crown


A legendary 19.07 carat pink diamond of historic Royal French provenance will be offered for sale at Christie’s Magnificent Jewelsauction in Geneva on 14 November 2017. The magnificent stone has been in the collection of four kings, four queens, two emperors and two empresses, starting with the Sun King, Louis XIV.

One of the most famous and important Golconda diamonds in the world, this spectacular gem presents an unprecedented opportunity to acquire an incomparable jewel of French History. Since the famous sale of the French Crown Jewels in 1887 in which this spectacular diamond was sold, this is the only other time that LE GRAND MAZARIN has been offered at public auction.  Estimate on request.

Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Jewellery: “Over the course of our 251-year history and since the sale of the jewels belonging to Madame du Barry, mistress of Louis XV, for a momentous £8,714 in 1795, Christie’s has had the privilege of selling numerous great treasures from the French Crown Jewels. Having been set in the Crowns of almost all Kings and Emperors of France since Louis XV LE GRAND MAZARIN is undoubtedly The Diamond in the Crown of the French Crown Jewels. It is our great honour to bring it to market since its first appearance at auction 130 years ago.”

Tracing back to the ancient mines of Golconda in South Central India, the source of the world’s most coveted historic diamonds, LE GRAND MAZARIN was first recorded in the 17th Century holdings of Cardinal Mazarin, an Italian cardinal, diplomat, and politician, who served as the Chief Minister to Kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV. Upon his death in 1661, LE GRAND MAZARIN was bequeathed by Cardinal Mazarin to Louis XIV alongside the famous Mazarin diamonds including the Sancy which is now at the Louvre Museum; it remarkably remained in the French Crown Jewels for the next 225 years.

“LE GRAND MAZARIN, a legendary 19 carat pink diamond, is a unique testimony of French History. During its 250 years in the French Crown Treasury, it was set in the spectacular jewels of no less than 4 kings, 4 queens, 2 emperors and 2 empresses, starting with the Sun King, Louis XIV. An exceptional gem from the Golconda mines, LE GRAND MAZARIN is also the diamond with the most prestigious and historic provenance still to be in private hands. It is an extraordinary privilege for Christie’s to lead LE GRAND MAZARIN to its new home during our Geneva auctions in November,” commented François Curiel, Chairman Christie’s Europe & Asia.

LE GRAND MAZARIN will be exhibited at Christie’s London on 18-19 October and at Christie’s New York on 6-7 November. Starting on 9 November, the Geneva pre-sale exhibition will be taking place at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, with the diamond finally being offered on the evening of 14 November in the Magnificent Jewels auction.

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world’s leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in first half of 2017 that totalled £2.35 billion / $3 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.

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