Surat (Gujarat) [India], October 19 : Sotheby’s, a global art business that offers the world’s rarest and most exceptional treasures, will auction the set of jewels belonging to the Romanov family on November 10, which were smuggled out of Russia during the 1917 revolution.
According to the Rapaport Group, the priced collection of jewels of the Romanov family include an oval-shaped, 26.80-carat Ceylon sapphire and diamond brooch and matching ear clips weighing 6.69 and 9.63 carats. The valuation of the historic jewels is estimated at $500,000.
Once belonging to the aunt of Emperor Nicholas II, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, the jewels were entrusted to her friend, British antique dealer and aristocrat Albert Henry Stopford, to transport them out of Russia and into London. Dressed in workman’s clothes, Stopford collected the jewels from the grand duchess’s home, dismantled them, wrapped the pieces in old newspapers, and brought them, along with 241 other pieces of Pavlovna’s jewelry, on a 10-day journey across the North Sea. Pavlovna never made it to London to collect the jewels, and they were instead passed down to her daughter, Princess Elena of Greece and Denmark, Sotheby’s explained.
“We rarely come across jewelry with a more storied provenance than these stunning sapphire and diamond pieces,” said Olivier Wagner, head of the Geneva sale. “Theirs is a truly remarkable survival, having made their way from one of the Romanov palaces, out of revolutionary Russia, across war-torn Europe and into the vaults of a London bank. Often referred to as ‘The Queen of St. Petersburg,’ the grand duchess was by all accounts a glittering figure who fought to hold on to the trimmings of splendor during the revolution. Here we get a glimpse into her long-forgotten jewelry box, bravely spirited out of Russia by one of her closest friends.”