Romanov Dynasty – Jewels of the Russian Imperial Family auctioned in Geneva

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A brooch, earrings and rings, all of which belonged to the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, aunt of Nicholas II, will be sold by Sotheby’s on Wednesday.

A brooch and a pair of clip-on earrings that belonged to the family of the last Czar of Russia, of the Romanov dynasty, will be auctioned off in Geneva on Wednesday by Sotheby’s. This set of sapphires and diamonds was the property of the aunt of Tsar Nicholas II, the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (1854-1920), who had brought it out of Russia following the revolutionary movement of 1917 which ended the regime. tsarist.

The Grand Duchess had a legendary passion for jewelry. And “during the revolution, she entrusted her jewelry to a trusted man, the English diplomat Albert Henry Stopford (1860-1939)” who was responsible for keeping them safe in London “, explains Olivier Wagner, expert at Sotheby’s .

A trip from Russia to London, via Scandinavia

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“After an incredible journey through all the countries of Scandinavia, he arrived in London by boat, where he deposited the jewels in a bank safe, including the famous set of sapphires and diamonds. The Grand Duchess was one of the last Romanovs to leave the country, in 1919. It was only in 1920 that she found her entire collection of jewelry in London. “

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The set is set with deep blue Ceylon sapphires, which have not been heated to be enhanced. “The stone in the center of the brooch weighs more than 26 carats and, on the earrings, you have two stones of more than 9 and more than 6 carats”, emphasizes Olivier Wagner, holding the brooch in his hands, of the similar size of an egg.

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In 2009, these jewels had already been auctioned by the British house. They had then been bought by a European princely family for almost $ 500,000. “Today, the estimate is between 300,000 and 500,000 dollars, a very conservative estimate given that the sapphires market has also grown a lot in the last ten years”, analyzed the expert, who expects to a “very good result”.

A 25.62 carat pink-orange diamond mounted on a ring

In 2009, jewelry and items that belonged to Maria Pavlovna were found in Swedish government archives and returned to the heirs of the Russian imperial family. The Grand Duchess, who had fled Russia in the face of advancing Bolshevik forces, died in September 1920 in the thermal spa of Contrexéville, in eastern France.

During the sale on Wednesday in Geneva, Sotheby’s will also offer two absolutely identical square-cut diamonds, each weighing 25.88 carats and mounted as an earring. The lot is estimated between 4.4 million and 5.4 million dollars.

A ring set with a pink-orange diamond should also raise the stakes. Weighing 25.62 carats, it is valued between 3.8 and 5.8 million dollars.


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