Pearl of an Auction: Vienna 1900
Roskin Gem News Report

Vienna 1900 – An Imperial and Royal Collection

Sotheby’s
6 November 2023
Geneva

If you like natural pearls, this auction should get your heart racing!

In association with Philipp Württemberg Art Advisory GmbH.

With a provenance of several European Royal Houses, all linked to the Austrian Habsburg dynasty, VIENNA 1900 fascinatingly depicts the grandeur of Viennese court life, the most brilliant court at the turn of the century. The sale provides an extraordinary journey into the private lives and mementos of Central Europe’s most influential ruling families, testifying to their alliances, tastes and style. Therefore, the extra ordinary single owner sale VIENNA 1900 is a once-in a lifetime opportunity to immerse oneself in the history, glamour and romance of a scintillating bygone era.

Not to mention the extraordinary numbers of magnificent natural pearls! – gr

Superb natural pearl and diamond brooch, circa 1865
Natural drop measuring approx. 13 x 19 x 25mm

Estimate: 270,000 – 450,000 CHF

Superb natural pearl and diamond brooch, circa 1865
Drop shape natural pearl measuring approx. 13 x 19 x 25!

This fabulous brooch is set with a slightly baroque button-shaped natural pearl at the top, measuring approximately 13.75 – 14.60 x 10.00mm within a border of cushion-shaped (Old Mine Cut) diamonds, supporting a detachable pendant set with a slightly baroque drop-shaped natural pearl measuring approximately 13.30 – 18.90 x 24.45mm, the surmount enhanced with cushion-shaped Old Mine Cut diamonds, fitted case stamped Emil Biedermann.

Accompanied by SSEF report no. 131216, stating that the pearls were found to be natural, saltwater; together with an appendix letter.

Accompanied by a typed note from the inventory of Archduchess Maria Immaculata of Austria-Tuscany (1878-1968) attesting to the provenance.

The SSEF report (no. 131216), states that the slightly baroque drop- and button-shaped pearls weighing 38.55 and 14.83 carats, measuring approximately 13.30 – 18.90 x 24.45mm and 13.75 – 14.60 x 10.00mm respectively, were found to be natural, saltwater; together with an appendix letter.

Drop-shaped natural pearl of white body colour, partly with green and rosé overtones, minor wrinkling of the skin near the top, more apparent to the reverse, the reverse flattened and with areas of stronger overtones, bottom of the drop-shaped pearl with minor nodoling to one side.

Button-shaped pearl of white body colour, partly with green and rosé overtones, slight blemishes to the nacre.

Both pearls with a fine satin-like luster.

Diamonds estimated to weigh a total of approximately 9.00 – 11.00 carats, on average I-K colour, VS-SI clarity. Tarnish, oxidation and scratches to the metal consistent with normal wear. In good condition overall. Measuring approximately 80 x 30mm, upper cluster measuring approximately 30 x 30mm, pendant detachable. Accompanied by a fitted case stamped EMIL BIEDERMANN.

Most Important
Exceptional and highly important natural pearl and diamond devant-de-corsage, circa 1865

Estimate: 270,000 – 450,000 CHF

Designed as a floral wreath set throughout with cushion-shaped (Old Mine Cut) and rose diamonds.

The central flowerhead is set with a drop-shaped natural pearl supporting three detachable drop-shaped pearl pendants capped by diamond-set surmounts.

The stamen of each remaining flowerhead set with a button-shaped natural pearl, each flowerhead detachable, fitting for wearing the central flowerhead and three pendants as a brooch, two small diamonds deficient, fitted case stamped Emil Biedermann.

Accompanied by SSEF report no. 131219, stating that the pearls were found to be natural, saltwater; together with an appendix letter.

Accompanied by a typed note from the inventory of Archduchess Maria Immaculata of Austria-Tuscany (1878-1968) attesting to the provenance.

Accompanied by an SSEF report (no. 131219), stating that the drop- and button-shaped pearls, measuring from approximately 10.50 – 14.05 x 21.20mm to approximately 8.40 – 8.45 x 7.35mm, were found to be natural, saltwater; together with an appendix letter.

Natural pearls of white to slightly cream body colour, partly with green and rosé overtones.

The drop-shaped pearls with light scratching, minor peeling of skins and minor wrinkling near the caps; the reverse of the pearls with typical flattening, the central pearl with uneven surface and areas of thinner orient, with good luster.

The drop-shaped pearl at top with light scratching, pin-point areas of peeling and of generally good symmetry, with good luster. The button-shaped pearls with light scratching; the pearl at the base with indications of an internal fracture when light passes through, but not apparent in normal lighting circumstances and not impacting its structural integrity, with good luster.

Diamonds estimated to weigh a total of approximately 60.00 – 75.00 carats, on average I-K, some L-P colour, VS-I clarity, as gauged and graded in the mount.

Tarnish, scratches and scuffs to the metal consistent with age and wear, signs of soldering. Reinforcement with metal threads to the pearl pendants. Two small diamonds deficient. In good condition overall. Measuring approximately 170 x 130mm, central flower head measuring approximately 60 x 40mm. Detachable in nine parts, fitting for wearing the central flowerhead and three pendants as a brooch. Total gross weight approximately 137 grams. Accompanied by a fitted case stamped EMIL BIEDERMANN.

Historical and important natural pearl and diamond tiara, Köchert, late 19th century

Of openwork, garland design, set with drop- to slightly baroque drop-shaped natural pearls measuring approximately from 10.50 – 12.65 x 18.60mm to 7.70 – 7.75 x 9.70mm, set throughout with cushion-shaped (Old Mine) and circular-cut (Old European) diamonds, inner circumference approximately 240mm, unsigned, maker’s marks for Köchert, Austrian assay marks for gold, screwdriver, brooch and comb fittings for the central element, two hairpin fittings, five central elements detachable, thirteen pearl pendants detachable, fitted case stamped Köchert.

Accompanied by SSEF report no. 131220, stating that the pearls were found to be natural, saltwater; together with an appendix letter.

Accompanied by a typed note from the inventory of Archduchess Maria Immaculata of Austria-Tuscany (1878-1968) attesting to the provenance.

Accompanied by an SSEF report (no. 131220), stating that the drop- to slightly baroque drop-shaped pearls, measuring from approximately 10.50 – 12.65 x 18.60mm to approximately 7.70 – 7.75 x 9.70mm, were found to be natural, saltwater; together with an appendix letter.

Unsigned, maker’s marks for Köchert. Austrian assay marks for 14 carat gold between 1872 and 1922, further marked A for Vienna.

Natural pearls of white to slightly cream body colour, partly with green and rosé overtones, minor pitting and scratches, uneven surface structure and blemishes, crazing and peeling skins to some pearls, indentations and discolouration to the reverse of some pearls. Pearls of good to high luster, with some minor areas lacking in orient.

Nine of the pearls drill-set with diamonds. Diamonds estimated to weigh a total of approximately 55.00 – 60.00 carats, on average J-L, some M+ colour, SI-I clarity, as gauged and graded in the mount.

Tarnish, oxidation and scratches to the metal consistent with age and wear. In good condition overall. Height approximately 85mm. Screwdriver, brooch and comb fittings for the central element, two hairpin fittings for the lateral floral elements. Five central elements detachable. Thirteen pearl pendants detachable, each detachable element indicated at the reverse by a blue enamel numeral. Total gross weight approximately 168 grams. Accompanied by a fitted case stamped A:E:KOCHERT NEUER MARKT 15 WIEN.

Impressive ruby and diamond tiara, circa 1896

Estimate: 180,000 – 350,000 CHF

From the Collection of Duchess Isabella of Württemberg, Princess of Saxony (1871-1904)

Of bow and ribbon design, set with oval and cushion-shaped rubies, set throughout with cushion-shaped and circular-cut diamonds, inner circumference approximately 260mm, unsigned, three bow-shaped motifs and four arches detachable, screwdriver, additional fittings for wear as a circlet, hairpin fittings in a case stamped Köchert. 

Accompanied by SSEF report no. 131222, stating that the rubies are of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating.

Accompanied by a handwritten note from Albrecht, Duke and Crown Prince of Württemberg (1865-1939), dated 04.07.1904, attesting to the provenance.

Accompanied by an SSEF report (no. 131222), stating that the roundish to oval rubies, measuring from approximately 9.55 x 9.30 x 2.50mm to approximately 5.55 x 5.40 x 3.75mm, are of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating.

Unsigned. Rubies estimated to weigh a total of approximately 10.00 – 12.00 carats, pinkish red to red of medium strong saturation, slightly to moderately included, some surface reaching, dark crystals, chips and nicks.

Diamonds estimated to weigh a total of approximately 40.00 – 46.00 carats, on average I-K colour, SI clarity, as gauged and graded in the mount.

Tarnish, discolouration and scratches to the metal consistent with normal wear. In good condition overall. Three bow-shaped motifs and four arches detachable. Detachable elements indicated on the reverse with blue enamel numerals. Screwdriver, additional fittings to create a circlet, three hairpin fittings in a case stamped A:E:KOCHERT, NEUER MARKT 15. Height approximately 60mm. Total gross weight approximately 144 grams.

Superb natural pearl and diamond necklace, attributed to Köchert, late 19th century

From the Collection of Princess Maria Immaculata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Archduchess of Austria-Tuscany (1844–1899)

Superb natural pearl and diamond necklace, attributed to Köchert

late 19th century

Composed of five slightly graduated rows of oval, button- and barrel-shaped natural pearls measuring approximately from 8.20 to 5.35mm, the clasp of foliate design collet-set with a cushion-shaped diamond, enhanced with cushion-shaped and rose diamonds, shortest length approximately 350mm, each row detachable, fitted case stamped Köchert.

Accompanied by SSEF report no. 131298, stating that two hundred and seventy-two pearls were found to be natural, saltwater.

Accompanied by a typed note from the inventory of Archduchess Maria Immaculata of Austria-Tuscany (1878-1968) attesting to the provenance.

Accompanied by SSEF report no. 131298, stating that two hundred and seventy-two roundish to oval, button- and barrel-shaped pearls, measuring 5.85 – 6.55 – 7.90 – 6.65 – 6.30mm, 6.30 – 6.50 – 8.20 – 6.65 – 5.55, 6.60 – 6.60 – 8.10 – 6.70 – 6.30mm, 5.50 – 6.65 – 8.15 – 6.65 – 5.40mm and 5.35 – 6.90 – 8.05 – 6.70 – 5.90mm respectively, were found to be natural, saltwater.

Pearls of slightly cream to cream body colour with green and rosé overtones, minute to moderate pitting, a few examples with significant pitting, blemishes and uneven surfaces, minor peeling of the skins and crazing, minor discolouration to some pearls, good to high luster.

Cushion-shaped diamond estimated to weigh approximately 5.50 – 6.20 carats, L-M colour, SI2-I1 clarity as gauged and graded in the mount. Remaining diamonds weighing a total of approximately 3.50 – 4.20 carats, on average I-K, some M colour, SI-I clarity as gauged and graded in the mount.

Tarnish and discolouration to the metal consistent with age and wear. In good condition overall. Each strand detachable. Strands measuring approximately 330mm, 350mm, 380mm, 410mm and 470mm respectively. Gross weight approximately 127 grams. Accompanied by a fitted case stamped A:E:KOCHERT NEUER MARKT 15 WIEN.

Natural pearl and diamond brooch, attributed to Moritz Hübner, late 19th century

Estimate: 90,000 – 180,000 CHF

Designed as a flowerhead set with a button-shaped natural pearl measuring 14.21 – 15.27 x 11.67mm, the petals enhanced with cushion-shaped and rose diamonds, supporting a detachable pendant set with a drop-shaped natural pearl measuring 12.31 – 12.52 x 18.12mm, capped by a surmount of foliate design set with rose diamonds, unsigned, one small diamond deficient, fitted case stamped Moritz Hübner. 

Accompanied by SSEF report no. 131215, stating that the pearls were found to be natural, saltwater.

Accompanied by SSEF report no. 131215, stating that the button- and drop-shaped pearls weighing 17.19 and 16.57 carats, measuring 14.21 – 15.27 x 11.67mm and 12.31 – 12.52 x 18.12mm respectively, were found to be natural, saltwater.

Unsigned. Natural pearls of slightly grey body colour, partly with green and rosé overtones. The button-shaped pearl with high luster, minor pitting and slight scratching, uneven surface structure and blemishes to the nacre.

The drop-shaped pearl nicely symmetrical, the high luster interrupted by peeling skins, crazing and circular growth.

Diamonds estimated to weigh a total of approximately 3.50 – 3.50 carats, on average K-M colour, SI, some I clarity, as gauged and graded in the mount. One small diamond deficient.

Tarnish, discolouration and scratches to the metal consistent with age and wear. In good condition overal. Measuring approximately 60 x 30mm, central flowerhead measuring approximately 35 x 30mm. Gross weight approximately 15 grams. Accompanied by a fitted case stamped MORITZ HUBNER, KOHLMARKT 8 WIEN. follow for more Roskingemnewsreport

Spinel and diamond pendent necklace, circa 1910

Estimate: 7,000 – 11,000 CHF

Of lavalière design, each pendant collet-set with a pear-shaped spinel within a frame of circular-cut diamonds surmounted by a bow, supported from a bow-shaped motif set with circular-cut diamonds, on a cable-link chain enhanced at the front with single-cut diamonds, length approximately 460mm. 

Accompanied by SSEF report no. 131266, stating that the spinels are of Tajikistan and Tanzanian origin respectively, with no indications of treatment.

Accompanied by an SSEF report (no. 131266), stating that the oval spinels, measuring approximately 20.90 x 13.70 x 2.70mm and 20.90 x 14.00 x 3.60mm, are of Tajikistan and Tanzanian origin respectively, with no indications of treatment.

Spinels purplish pink of medium saturation, very slightly included, with chips and nicks, abrasions to the facet edges.

Diamonds estimated to weigh a total of approximately 3.00 – 3.80 carats, on average H-J colour, VS-SI clarity, as gauged and graded in the mount.

Tarnish, oxidation and scratches to the metal consistent with age and wear. In good condition overall. Pendant measuring approximately 80 x 25mm. Gross weight approximately 19 grams.

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