Christie’s Announces the Largest and Most Valuable Private Jewellery Collection to Come to Auction

See Heidi Horten’s incredible pieces from Harry Winston, Bulgari, and more.

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Christie’s Auction House is set to host one of the most significant jewellery auctions in history. ‘The World of Heidi Horten,’ a collection of exquisite jewels from the late Mrs. Heidi Horten, is the largest and most valuable ever to come to auction, with a pre-sale estimate of more than $150 million. The collection is poised to join and even eclipse the previous record sales at Christie’s for The Elizabeth Taylor Collection at $115 million and the Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence auction at $109 million. 

Consigned by the Heidi Horten Estate, the collection will be offered this May in Geneva, with all proceeds of the sale benefiting The Heidi Horten Foundation. Established in 2020 to support the museum of modern and contemporary art founded by Mrs. Horten in Vienna, Austria, The Heidi Horten Collection will also support medical research and other philanthropic activities that Mrs. Horten supported for many decades.

Heidi Horten wearing the Briollete of India, copyright The Heidi Horten Foundation

Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewellery, remarked “The World of Heidi Horten is the collection of a lifetime. From Bulgari to Van Cleef & Arpels, from a small personal memory piece to the Briolette of India, this is a collector’s dream. Building from extraordinary early pieces she acquired in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Mrs. Horten continued to grow and curate her sophisticated collection, eloquently combining vintage and modern designs from the leading jewellery houses of the world that today represent some of the finest examples ever to come to market.”

Christie’s will present 400 of the 700 jewels across two live auctions at The Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva during Luxury Week this spring, in addition to one online sale in May, followed by another online sale in November 2023. Part 1 of the auction series will begin on Wednesday, 10 May, followed by a Part II live auction on Friday, 12 May 2023. The first online sale will open on 3 May, running until 15 May, followed by a second online sale in November, offering the remaining jewels from the collection.

Anthea Peers, President Christie’s EMEA, commented “This is a historic moment for Christie’s to have the privilege of offering one of the world’s finest and most important jewellery collections originating from Europe. Furthermore, to witness a philanthropic effort of this scale is as rare as it is remarkable. Today, with the establishment of The Heidi Horten Foundation, the late Mrs. Horten has created an important framework to secure the operation of her museum for decades to come, ensuring the enjoyment of the arts for enthusiasts around the globe.”

Heidi Horten wearing a 63 cts emerald necklace, copyright The Heidi Horten Foundation

Among the dozens of extraordinary pieces, the Briolette of India, a 90-carat, D-color diamond necklace by Harry Winston, is one of the most remarkable pieces in the collection. It was originally sold by Cartier in 1909. Mrs. Horten was photographed wearing this piece, which will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the auction. The collection also includes a stunning emerald and diamond necklace by Bulgari, a magnificent sapphire and diamond ring by Cartier, and a rare set of diamond and emerald earrings by JAR.

Mrs. Horten acquired extraordinary early pieces as early as the 1970s and continued to grow the record breaking collection we see today. The collection is a testament to her exquisite taste and her passion for collecting the finest jewels for the worlds finest jewelers. The World of Heidi Horten is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for collectors and jewellery enthusiasts alike. With its unrivaled collection of jewels and the unique philanthropic vision of its owner, this auction promises to be one of the most significant events in the history of jewellery auctions. 

Lot 74: A Bulgari Cuff


Coming to auction is this Bulgari bracelet with a cushion cut diamond of 32.23 carats, square-shaped buff top emeralds, round, and baguette cut diamonds, and round yellow diamonds set in 18k yellow gold

Lot 76: A Bulgari Diamond Necklace


This Bulgari diamond necklace features a round brilliant cut diamond of 46.56 carats, baguette cut diamonds, square-shaped cabochon sapphires, and square-shaped cabochon emeralds, set in 18k yellow gold

Lot 88: A Colored Diamond Brooch


This Bulgari diamond brooch is dotted with colored diamonds, including a fancy intense orange pear brilliant cut diamond of 5.14 carats, fancy intense purple-pink heart portrait cut diamond of 5 carats, a fancy blue marquise cut diamond of 4.26 carats, a fancy intense yellow marquise cut diamond of 3.82 carats, plus baguette-cut and round diamonds set in platinum.

Lot 46: The Harry Winston ‘Briolette of India’


This famous necklace features a Briolette cut diamond of 90.38 carats with marquise and pear-shaped diamonds set in platinum. Two portions of the chain are detachable and may be worn as bracelets. The pendant is also detachable, with one bracelet with Jacques Timey’s maker’s mark.

Lot 54: Natural Pink Diamond Ring


This Natural Fancy pink pear-shaped diamond weighs 20.06 carats and is set with round diamonds in 18k white and yellow gold. 

Lot 1&2: Van Cleef & Arpels and Rene Boivin Brooches


Van Cleef & Arpels ruby and diamond Bird of Paradise brooch and Rene Boivin diamond and multi-gem lion brooch and lionhead earrings.