Commissioned in the late 1920s, it has been in the Spanish royal family ever since. Sur
A stunning and unique gem with an impeccable royal provenance is to be offered at Sotheby’s in Geneva next month by a member of the Spanish royal family.
The sumptuous conch pearl Cartier bracelet once belonged to Queen Victoria Eugenia - grand-daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom - and has remained within the Spanish royal family ever since.
Now, intriguingly, it has been offered for sale by an unnamed family member with a guide price of E618, 700 - E1,082,750 ($800,000 - $1,400,000). Sotheby’s would only say: “The consignor does not want to be identified.”
David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s jewellery department in Europe and the Middle East, said of the sale on November 14: “Set with charming and rare conch pearls, this unique, sumptuous and truly royal bracelet - unquestionably one of the greatest jewels designed by Cartier during the 1920s - is offered alongside exceptional gemstones and period jewels, many of them from noble and aristocratic collections.”
The Cartier piece was owned by Queen Victoria Eugenia - grandmother of the present king - since it was commissioned in the late 20s. Born at Balmoral in Scotland in 1887, “Ena”, as she was known to her family and the British public, was a considered a great beauty of her time.
She married King Alfonso XIII of Spain in 1906 and when she died in 1969, she left behind an impressive collection of jewels. The illustrious provenance of the bracelet combined with its exceptional design and the distinctive nature of the materials employed makes it one of the most important jewels created by Cartier in the inter-war years.
Although the fruiting vine central motif is shared with other “tutti frutti” bracelets introduced by Cartier in 1925, the use of conch pearls in the jeweller’s creations of this period is unique. It is assumed by Sotheby’s experts that such an element was requested or provided by the client.
The bracelet was singled out amongst the extraordinary jewels of the 19th and 20th centuries and illustrated in the recently released book, ‘Celebrating Jewellery’, by David Bennett and Daniela Mascetti.