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  5. Auction of the Century: The Fabulous Imperial Jewelry Collection at Sotheby's

Auction of the Century: The Fabulous Imperial Jewelry Collection at Sotheby's

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Auction of the Century: The Fabulous Imperial Jewelry Collection at Sotheby's

On November 6 and 7, an extraordinary event is set to take place in Geneva: Sotheby's opens its doors for a sale that will make history, bringing to light almost 250 priceless historical pieces. These treasures come from Europe's greatest princely families, offering a fascinating glimpse into the continent's imperial and royal heritage.

The Epic Voyage of Princess Eudoxie of Bulgaria

At the heart of this sale lies a heroic story, that of Princess Eudoxia of Bulgaria, a powerful woman who crossed Europe to escape the Russian advance at the end of the Second World War. Her life resembles an Odyssey, as the Russians occupied Bulgaria.

For a year, she was their prisoner, under house arrest in her own home. Her precious jewels were buried in the garden, waiting for better times. However, when she learned that she had only 24 hours to leave the country, Princess Eudoxia performed an extraordinary act of bravery. She managed to get her treasure out, concealing it in a wheelbarrow under some books, which she pretended to carry to a friend.

Princess Eudoxie's journey is just beginning.

A Royal Adventure in Quest of Freedom

From Bulgaria to Greece by train, then from Alexandria to Italy by boat, Eudoxia eventually makes her way to Switzerland in a moving truck, finally reaching Germany. Throughout this epic journey, she carries almost nothing but three leather bags, loaded with jewels.

These jewels tell not only the story of her family, but also European history through the great houses of Habsburg, Bourbon-Parme, Bourbon-des-Deux-Siciles and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

"Vienna 1900: The Imperial and Royal Collection" - A Treasure Rediscovered

These three bags that crossed Europe are now the stars of an exceptional sale organized by Sotheby's on November 6 and 7 in Geneva. The collection is called "Vienna 1900: The Imperial and Royal Collection," and highlights nearly 250 exceptional pieces.

These treasures, some of which have been hidden in a bank vault in Germany since 1946, were rediscovered only a few months ago after half a century of oblivion. This impressive collection constitutes the largest collection of imperial and royal jewelry ever put up for auction.

 

A Return to the Splendor of the Viennese Court in the 19th Century

The collection transports us to the past splendor of the Viennese court in the 19th century. Highlights include a ruby and diamond rose necklace, given by Emperor Franz Joseph to his niece, made by the famous jeweler Köchert.

 

The finesse of a corsage front created around 1865 by Viennese jeweler Biedermann is also breathtaking. A tiara of pearls and diamonds and a cross in chrysoprase, diamonds and rubies embody the magnificence of this era.

A Unique and Moving Collection

Multiple sizes of diamonds, colors of Burmese rubies of unparalleled rarity, rivers of diamonds, fully removable jewels to wear as necklaces, tiaras or brooches... These jewels are much more than mere ornaments, they are the last witnesses to the Viennese court and the history of Europe. Some are accompanied by original drawings, documents and order books, adding a layer of preciousness to their history.

Other jewels, simpler in appearance, are imbued with poetry and emotion, telling unique stories, such as a fine brooch imitating a branch adorned with willow catkins or a 25-pearl bracelet, celebrating 25 years of marriage, with a clasp representing a flower with ruby pistil and 9-diamond petals, symbolizing the couple's children.

This exceptional sale promises to be an unforgettable moment for jewelry lovers, collectors and history buffs alike. "Vienna 1900: The Imperial and Royal Collection" offers a rare opportunity to acquire jewels that have survived through the ages, carrying with them the stories of imperial and royal Europe. An opportunity not to be missed, to relive the pomp and grandeur of a bygone era.

Sotheby's invites you to discover these treasures of European history at this extraordinary sale.

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