A SUPERB KASHMIR SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND BROOCH,

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 177
A SUPERB KASHMIR SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND BROOCH,
CIRCA 1910

Sold for US$ 1,110,312 inc. premium

New York Jewels

7 Dec 2020, 10:00 EST

New York

A SUPERB KASHMIR SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND BROOCH, CIRCA 1910
Centering a cushion-shaped mixed-cut sapphire, weighing 17.21 carats, flanked by marquise-shaped and pear-shaped table-cut diamonds; estimated total diamond weight 4.80 carats, mounted in platinum, length 1 7/8 in.

Footnotes

  • Accompanied by Gübelin report no. 20102063, dated 27 October 2020, stating that the sapphire, weighing 17.21 carats, is Royal Blue color, of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating (NTE).

    Together with an appendix letter from Gübelin stating that the sapphire, 'possesses a richly saturated and homogeneous colour, combined with a high degree of transparency, and a finely proportioned cut. In addition, this remarkable gemstone has been spared of thermal treatment. Such a combination of characteristics is rare in natural Kashmir sapphires of this size.'

    Accompanied by AGL report no. 1110484, dated 21 October 2020, stating that the sapphire, weighing 17.21 carats, is of Kashmir origin, no geological evidence of heat enhancement and no clarity enhancement.


    The rich blue color of a sapphire has long been coveted and even more fabled are the stones from the Kashmir mines in India. Since Ancient Greek and Roman times, the stone has been thought to protect its owners from harm. On an expedition through the Gobi Desert, Marco Polo used sapphires as calling cards. Clergy members in the Middle Ages wore sapphires as a symbol of heaven. Some of the most exquisite sapphires have adorned royalty in all corners of the world. From India to Europe, royal jewelry collections contain incredibly rare sapphires of significant size and legendary origin. While various regions of the world have produced sapphires, the most significant were mined for a handful of years after a landslide in the Himalaya mountains of Kashmir revealed unusually bright blue stones.

    At first, locals traded the stones for salt and other goods but by 1881 the Maharajah of Kashmir, recognizing their beauty, took control of the mines and claimed the stones, preventing all private trading. The original mine operated for only six years, and while small deposits have occasionally been discovered, the vast majority of Kashmir sapphires came from the original mine. The sole source of a Kashmir sapphire today is to purchase a stone from the past.

    This exquisite stone, set in a brooch dating from the turn of the century, is an elegant mix of a velvety blue sapphire of exceptional size and color with a fascinating origin. Weighing 17.21 carats and determined to be of Kashmir origin, a sapphire of this size and color is exceptionally rare.

    The Swiss gemological lab Gübelin determined it to be of Royal Blue color, describing the stone as possessing, "a richly saturated and homogenous colour, combined with a high degree of transparency, and a finely proportioned cut. In addition, this remarkable gemstone has been spared of thermal treatment. Such a combination of characteristics is rare in natural Kashmir sapphire of this size."

    Along with its brilliant quality, this Kashmir sapphire is rich in American history and remained in the same prominent New England family for more than a century. The Smith family of Vermont were politicians, entrepreneurs, farmers, philosophers, philanthropists and writers. The patriarch, Gov. J. Gregory Smith, led Vermont in the 1860's during the Civil War and was one of the founders of the Northern Pacific Railway. His wife, Ann Eliza Smith, was an American author whose father was a prominent figure in the Underground Railroad and used his home and other properties to hide freedom seekers.

    The son of Gov. J. Gregory Smith, Edward Curtis Smith, also served as the governor of Vermont and acquired this remarkable brooch for his wife, Anna Bailey James Smith. In their wedding announcement in the Montpelier Daily Journal on October 4, 1888, titled "A Notable Wedding," the event was described as, "the most brilliant society event that the Maple City has ever seen, and the marriage was solemnized in the presence of a large and fashionable assemblage of invited guests from New England, New York and Canada." Passed down through generations, the jewel was later worn by Margaret Smith at Richard Nixon's inauguration. Margaret wore the brooch frequently throughout her life, never realizing the rare history of the stone.

    Having remained in the same family for over a century, a Kashmir sapphire of this size, quality and heritage is exceptionally rare and Bonhams is honored to be offering it for sale.

Contacts
A SUPERB KASHMIR SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND BROOCH,
A SUPERB KASHMIR SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND BROOCH,
A SUPERB KASHMIR SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND BROOCH,
A SUPERB KASHMIR SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND BROOCH,
A SUPERB KASHMIR SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND BROOCH,
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins and Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, Wine & Whisky

27.5% on the first $12,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $12,500 up to and including $600,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $600,000 up to and including $6,000,000;
and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of $6,000,000.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card for returning clients only. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

App