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  • Catalogue Essay

    Never underestimate the power of pearls. - Pierre Cartier

    Being one of the earliest gemstones known to mankind, pearls have been coveted for its purity, luster and natural beauty since ancient times. However, this gem has always been rare and extremely difficult to procure. They are formed under accidental circumstances when an irritant enters a mollusc which activates the production of nacre that becomes the layers of coating that lent a pearl its unique optical properties.
    Such natural accidents only take place approximately once in every ten thousand saltwater oysters and very few of those are of gem quality. Due to the uncertainty of supply, natural pearls are among the most consistently valuable gems in history with an almost exclusive association with royalties. They are prized and collected in the West, as much as they are treasured and worshipped in the East.

    Story was told that Cleopatra dissolved grinded pearls in her wine to impress the Roman Empire of Egypt’s unrivalled wealth. In the 16th century Elizabeth I Queen of England was the central figure in ‘The Great Age of Pearl’, whose obsession with this gemstone was documented by portraits where she covered herself in pounds of pearls. In the Orient, Empress Dowager Cixi believed ingesting pearl powder helped to improve her complexion and calm her mind. In India, treasuries of Maharajas were filled with casket and casket of pearls that royals wore as extravagant strands in their bosoms.

    To put together a row of natural pearls in matching high quality is no mean feat. When a necklace assembles a significant number of uniformly-coloured pearls with perfect round shape, fine lustre and attractive overtones, it represents an esteemed degree of opulence that commands great wealth.

    This very necklace on offer assembles over two hundred pearls of not only the most desirable cream white body colour, but most importantly matching rose overtones. Over a thousand round natural pearls were required to make this meticulous selection, in order to achieve a gentle graduation of elegance.

    In mid 1910’s, Cartier put a double-strand of Persian natural pearl on display in their newly-established New York salon. This necklace, which was the most expensive necklace at the time, immediately caught the eye of Maisie Plant, the wife of railroad tycoon Morton Plant. Plant eventually struck a deal with Pierre Cartier by trading an entire mansion in New York for the natural pearl necklace. This mansion is now known as the famous Cartier building on 5th Avenue New York.

    This triple-strand necklace is a superb example of the finest natural pearl necklaces available on the market --- its power not to be underestimated, and its importance not to be questioned.

  • Artist Biography

    Verdura

    American

    Duke Fulco di Verdura was born into an aristocratic family in the late nineteenth century and quickly became a man with a vast imagination. Raised in a world of fairy tale-themed costume parties, Verdura conceptualized jewelry inspired by the animal aesthetics from his lavish childhood.

    With a youthful, refreshing approach to jewelry making and an international sensibility, Verdura prospered in the interwar years and capitalized on the wealth of tourists who visited Venice and Palermo. He caught the attention of Cole Porter, who became a long-lasting patron and appreciated the value in Verdura's diamond, gold, and pearl accessories.

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597

A Very Fine Natural Pearl and Diamond Triple-strand Necklace, Clasp signed Verdura Paris

Platinum clasp signed Verdura Paris
Length approximately 410mm

Estimate
HK$3,300,000 - 4,000,000 
$420,000-500,000

Contact Specialist
Terry Chu
Head of Jewellery, Asia, Senior Director
+852 2318 2038

Jewels and Jadeite

Hong Kong Auction 26 November 2018