Bulgari - Jewels New York Friday, June 7, 2019 | Phillips

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    • Bulgari

    • A pear-shaped sapphire, 5.10 carats
      A pear-shaped diamond, 2.50 carats
      Tapered baguette- and baguette-cut diamonds
      Signed, platinum, size 4 1/2

    Gübelin Report: Kashmir, no indications of heating
    AGL Report: Kashmir, no gemological evidence of heat
    GIA Report: I color, VS2 clarity

  • Catalogue Essay

    A landslide in the early 1800s laid bear a deposit of intense blue stones with a unique velvety texture in Kashmir, the Himalayan state in northern India. Nearly one century later, in 1882, the Indian Museum confirmed that the stones unearthed in the remote Kudi Valley by an unexpected geological event, were indeed the mineral corundum.

    Upon learning news that the vein was replete with crystal Kashmir sapphires, the Maharaja of Kashmir swiftly purchased the land, which he mined aggressively until 1887 when the supply was depleted and production was officially halted. Though poachers continued to excavate the earth through 1906- the Kashmir mine was officially active for only five years.

    Since their discovery, Kashmir sapphires have acquired a legendary status for their unmatched rich blue hue, velvet texture, and rarity. Kashmir sapphires constitute a minuscule percentage of the globe’s total sapphire supply. Thus, finding an example is a truly unusual stroke of good fortune. Discovering an unheated gem quality Kashmir surpassing five carats, as in the present example, is a remarkable event.

    Time and time again gemologists and geologists have returned to Kashmir desperate to uncover another mythical blue deposit but without success- making the production mined through 1887 increasingly desirable. For this reason, auction is one of the few existing avenues whereby gem connoisseurs can attain the revered stones.

    Though gem quality sapphires are discovered in Burma, Madagascar and Sri Lanka, no other deposit comes close to rivaling the deep royal blue hue and vivid color born out of Kashmir's mountains- a region that is today divided among three countries: Pakistan; India, and the People’s Republic of China.

  • Artist Biography



    Originally from Kalarites, Greece, Sotirios Voulgaris emigrated to Rome because of Greece's rising poverty and difficulty separating from the Ottoman Empire. He set foot on Italian soil in 1880 with little money in his pocket and spent the next four years preparing what would go on to become Italy's oldest jewelry company. 

    In 1884, Bulgari opened its doors to the Italian people with its offering of jewelry and accessories. Bulgari's style takes from traditions in Greek and Roman craftsmanship to elegantly balance volume and subtlety. Later, in the late 1960s, Bulgari bridged classicism and modernity by introducing its seductive, now-iconic Serpenti collection of snake-shaped coil bracelets and watches. It is through its meticulous combination of influences that Bulgari has garnered an international and loyal high-profile clientele, which included Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. These Hollywood stars have immortalized the house's unique gem-adorned bracelets, necklaces and earrings in rounded forms. 

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An Important Sapphire, Diamond and Platinum Ring

A pear-shaped sapphire, 5.10 carats
A pear-shaped diamond, 2.50 carats
Tapered baguette- and baguette-cut diamonds
Signed, platinum, size 4 1/2

$280,000 - 350,000 

Contact Specialist

Susan Abeles
Head of Department, Americas and Senior International Specialist
New York
+1 212 940 1383
[email protected]


New York Auction 7 June 2019