Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The New Storage Wars & Hoarders Show, or...Huguette Clark's Safety Deposit Box Is Opened

Score another one for Christie's.  Still recovering from their record setting auction of Elizabeth Taylor's personal jewel collection, on April 17th, Christie's will handle the disposition of the rare and outstanding gems and jewelry recently found when late copper mining heiress, Huguette Clark's, safety deposit box was opened.  Sealed for more than seven decades, head of jewelry for Christie's, Rahul Kadakia, said it was like "chasing a rainbow" when he finally saw the gems.  I agree with Mr. Kadakia,who further said, "Opening the vault to find this treasure trove of period jewels from the best French houses of the early 1900's has certainly been one of the most extraordinary moments in my 15 year career here at Christie's."  However I keep thinking this was some kind of A&E's Storage Wars for the rich.

Every piece was still in it's original, vintage box and includes this Cartier 19.86 carat, D, potentially internally flawless, diamond ring from the 1930's, with an estimated value of $2 to $3 million dollars...which seems low to me. 
And then there was the extremely rare Belle Epoque, 9 carat, fancy, vivid purple-pink, diamond by Dreicer & Co., circa 1910, valued at $6 to $8 million dollars, which she inherited from her mother.

Among the 17 items found were two unbelievable Cartier bracelets.  This one is an art deco diamond and emerald piece valued at $50,000 to $70,000.
And the other is this all diamond bracelet which has been estimated at $300,000 to $500,000. Seen wearing them in the photo above, this was one of the last known images of Clark, which was taken after she signed her divorce papers and right before she went into seclusion. 

Not to mention the real estate.  Clark left three New York apartments which overlook Central Park and are believed to be the biggest in the city.  Two occupy the entire 8th floor of a Fifth Avenue address.  The third unit takes up one half of the 12th floor at the same address and was used to store her doll collection.  Cue the tinkly, creepy "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" music.  The real estate is estimated to fetch in the neighborhood of $55 million dollars.

Of course there are two wills, and the contesting will go on for years. Huguette had no children and reportedly left the bulk of her $400 million fortune to her nurse.  This person should look both ways before she crosses those busy New York streets.

1 comment:

Amela Jones said...

Is there any further reading you would recommend on this?

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