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Christie’s Winter Luxury Auctions in London

London   – WEBWIRE

Christie’s Winter Luxury Auctions in London this November will offer some of the finest handbags, jewels, and wines and spirits across its three sales.  Highlights on view at King Street will include limited edition and diamond rarities by Hermès, and handbags from the collection of Jacquelyn Miller Matisse; important historic jewels from renowned collectors including the Late Betty, Lady Grantchester; and fine wines and spirits including Salon Le Mesnil, Champagne Boërl & Kroff, and a sought-after bottle of The Glenlivet Winchester 50 Year Old 1967.


Christie’s Handbags & Accessories auction will present over 200 of the most collectible handbags, led by the Hermès Himalaya Birkin 25 with palladium hardware (estimate: £60,000-80,000) and 30 (estimate: £60,000-80,000) , as well as an exceptional diamond Kelly 35 (estimate: £70,000-90,000) and diamond Birkin 30 (estimate: £50,000-70,000). The collection of Jacquelyn Miller Matisse is also featured in this sale, with proceeds being used to benefit Société Française du Cancer, The National Foundation for Autism Research, Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association, and The Art Institute of Chicago. All lots from this collection are offered without reserve, and the selection will be highlighted by a Black calf box leather So Black Birkin 30 ( estimate: £10,000-15,000).
Further leading lots of the sale include limited-edition and rare varieties of handbag from designers such as Hermès, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton, such as a bleu de prusse togo, swift & clémence leather ‘’Endless Road’’ Hac Hermès Birkin 50 with palladium hardware (estimate: £25,000-30,000), alongside a bleu du nord swift leather & osier Mini Picnic Kelly 20 with palladium hardware (estimate: £20,000-30,000). For collectors of Louis Vuitton, a limited edition Prism Keepal 50 by Virgil Ablosh (estimate: £1,5000-2,000) will be offered, along with a canvas aluminium bound trunk, circa 1896, (estimate: £6,000-8,000) and a set of monogram canvas iconoclast boxing gloves, mat & case by Karl Lagerfeld (estimate: £3,000-5,000).
Fendi Baguettes spanning 30 years of the iconic design are also offered, as well as archival Dior together with current iterations of the Saddle bag.


The Important Jewels auction will present a diverse array of antique, modern and signed jewellery including a rare medieval sapphire ring, important pearl earrings and a ruby locket from direct descendants of  Eugenie, the last Empress of France, and elegant jewels from the collection of the late Lady Grantchester. Amongst other highlights there is an exemplary selection of diamond and gem Georgian jewels, as well as the now traditional dedicated Cartier selection.

Highlighting the auction will be an exquisite multigem and diamond art déco fob watch by Cartier (estimate: £800,000-1,500,000). First travelling to India in 1911, Jacques Cartier met with Sayaji Rao III, the Gaekwar of Baroda, who, following their meeting, commissioned Cartier to reset his entire jewellery collection in the new precious metal, platinum. This proved an important turning point for Cartier; which until this time had remained loyal to the traditional Belle Epoque motifs. In 1913, Cartier New York held an exhibition of fifty ‘jewels from the Hindoo, Persian, Arab, Russian and Chinese’, For the next quarter of a century Indian rulers asked Cartier to transform their jewels, including The Maharajah of Patiala. In 1928, before returning some reworked jewels to Patiala, Cartier exhibited them in their showrooms on the rue de la Paix, which attracted huge publicity and  dramatically increased Indo-Persian inspired commissions both from India, Europe and the United States. 

Of all gemstones, emeralds are the most closely associated with India, due to the long established tradition of Indian rulers acquiring and wearing the best examples of Colombian mined stones, which were often carved with typical Mughal floral sprays and in the case of this pendant watch with a flowering plant on the obverse and a peacock on the reverse. This jewel is an extraordinary example of the Indian influence prevalent in Cartier’s work during the 1920 and 30s, combining richly coloured gems and brilliant-cut diamonds with a 19th  century carved emerald inset with a modern miniature skeletonised watch.

The earliest jewel offered in the sale is a rare medieval sapphire iconographic ring (estimate: £25,000-35,000). Dated to the 15th century, a sapphire of this size and quality is highly unusual in jewels of this period, as is its faceting. Most surviving examples are set with sapphires cut en cabochon, in a domed form. The source of the sapphire is from the East, and is likely to have been sourced from one of the traditional mines in either Ceylon, Burma or Kashmir, before being subsequently brought across Asia to a Mediterranean seaport. The stone would have then been sold in Genoa or Venice where it was customary for merchants to acquire precious stones to trade in the cities of the north. Prized for its intrinsic value, beauty and rarity, the sapphire was believed to keep the wearer from poverty and, being the colour of the Virgin and of the heavens, protected the wearer’s chastity, comforted the heart, expelled envy and detected fraud and witchcraft. This ring is also engraved on the shoulders with depictions of the infant Christ and of St. Elizabeth of Hungary evoking the age of faith, epitomising the late medieval world. 

From the collection of the Late Betty, Lady Grantchester, the auction will present a selection of exceptional pocket watches and signed jewels, led by a beautiful pearl and diamond ’holly wreath’ tiara, circa 1895, (estimate: £30,000-40,000, illustrated page one). Born in 1925 to the entrepreneur John Moores, founder of the Littlewoods empire, and his wife Ruby, Betty was raised in the context of her father’s extraordinary success. In 1977 Betty, joined the Littlewoods board where her commercial acumen and drive set her apart as an extraordinary business woman, and by 1982 Littlewoods was the largest privately run company in Europe, success due in no little part to the contribution of Betty, by then Lady Grantchester, after marrying Kenneth Suenson-Taylor, Baron Grantchester.

Formerly in the collection of Eugénie, The Last Empress Of France, an important pair of 19th century natural pearl earrings (estimate: £60,000-80,000), alongside a mid-19th century ruby and diamond heart locket pendant, circa 1850-60, (estimate: £10,000-15,000), will be offered. Adorned with circular-cut rubies and old and rose-cut diamonds, a glazed compartment on the reverse of the pendant contains a lock of hair reputedly belonging to Napoleon Ill. For the dedicated release, please click here.


Christie’s two-day auction of Finest and Rarest Wines and Spirits on 28 and 29 November will offer over 1100 lots.  The sale opens with a superlative collection from a continental cellar, focused primarily on the rarest wines of Burgundy and Champagne. The collector had extremely close links to some of the greatest winemakers in Europe and bought directly from them or their importers – the provenance here is exceptional.

The sale will also include direct-from-producer consignments from one of the finest producers in Spain – La Rioja Alta, presenting rarities direct from this historic estate and covering the period 1964–2005 including their legendary Gran Reserva 890 and 904.
Highlighting the selection of Champagne, Christie’s is delighted to work directly with Champagne Boërl & Kroff, one of the rarest and most sought-after wines in the region. Only made in the greatest years, they spend a minimum of 12 years on their lees and are made in minute quantities, at most 2500 magnums, but in certain vintages it can be as low as 800 bottles. This is a rare opportunity to acquire these legendary wines.

Finally, the auction will showcase a superb selection of spirits, highlighted by some extremely rare whisky including a superb bottle of The Glenlivet Winchester 50 Year Old 1967 and a bottle of The Balvenie 40 Year Old George Cleverley.

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world’s leading art business, had auction sales in the first half of 2019 that totalled £2.2 billion / $2.8 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. 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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