Heiress Huguette Clark's Jewels Head to Auction

Huguette Clark wore these two bracelets in her last known photograph, taken in 1930.  The diamond and emerald bracelet is valued between $20,000 and $30,000; the other is estimated at $300,000 to $500,000.
Huguette Clark wore these two bracelets in her last known photograph, taken in 1930. The diamond and emerald bracelet is valued between $20,000 and $30,000; the other is estimated at $300,000 to $500,000.
(Christie's)

The jewels of reclusive copper heiress Huguette Clark, who died at age 104 in May 2011, will be going up for auction at Christie’s in April.

Seventeen pieces of jewelry are expected to bring somewhere between 9 to 12 million dollars. They have only recently emerged from a bank vault after having been placed there in the 1940s; multimillionaire Clark began to disappear from the public eye as early as 1930, when only in her mid-20s. A dispute is ongoing over her $400 million+ estate.

Among the collection's many standouts, are signed Art Deco jewels by Cartier, Dreicer & Co., and Tiffany & Co.

The undoubted star of the collection is a 9-carat pink diamond ring created around 1910 by Dreicer & Co. and believed to have originally belonged to Clark’s mother. Another highlight is an exceptional colorless diamond ring of 19.86 carats, by Cartier in its original box from the 1920s. It is estimated to fetch $2-3 million.

There are a number of bracelets in the collection, including two Art Deco wristlets by Cartier.  Both circa 1925, the all diamond bracelet is estimated to go for between $300,000 and $500,000, while the diamond and emerald bracelet is estimated at $50,000-$70,000.

A personalized frame by Cartier, made out of onyx, turquoise and diamond, will also be sold.  It currently contains a miniature, thought to be a portrait of her older sister Andrée who died of meningitis in 1919, but the image will not be sold. 

Prior to the auction in New York on April 17, Christie’s will hold public exhibitions of the collection at its sales sites in Hong Kong, Geneva and London.  There will also be a three-day public exhibition starting Saturday, April 14 at Christie’s New York.

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