Jewelry of reclusive heiress sells for $18.3 million at auction
Precious stones had not seen the outside of a bank vault since the 1940s
The beautiful precious stones and jewelry had not really served their
owner while she was alive. When she passed away in May of last year at
the age of 104, the multimillionaire heiress Huguette M. Clark had spent
the last years of her life in city hospitals, forgotten by the world.
Her jewelry has now sold for $18.3 million at auction, far above the
pre-sale estimate of $8.5 million to $12 million.
These emerald, pearl and diamond ear pendants were sold at far above their asking prices at auction.
As the last surviving child of U.S. Sen. William Andrews Clark, who passed away in 1925, Huguette Clark has been the subject of countless articles and profiles detailing her vacant properties and the management of her fortune.
Hundreds of people filed through Christie's at Rockefeller Center to see her jewels over the weekend.
By far the most sought-after item was a rare 9-carat purplish-pink diamond ring, sold for $14 million, plus commission, for a total outlay of $15,762,500. The buyer was later identified as Brett Stettner of Stettner Investment Diamonds.
The pace was set with the first two items, onyx photo frames estimated at about $6,000. They each sold for $60,000. A pair of art deco bracelets sold for $90,000 and $480,000. The total for all Clark items, with commissions, was $20.8 million.
"It was like chasing a rainbow and you had this big pot of gold at the end. It was fantastic," auctioneer Kadakia, head of jewelry for Christie's, told television reporters. "They were all in this original boxes, in this bank vault, since the 1940s."
In addition to bidders at Christie's at Rockefeller Center in New York, bidders were online and on the telephone in Texas, Bahrain and Japan. Bidders were alerted that parties with a potential financial interest were bidding on several of the less-expensive items.
Many non-Clark items in the jewelry auction also sold well above their estimates, including a 24.68-carat diamond that sold for $420,000, or more than twice its high estimate.
In addition, one of Clark's three mysterious apartments - rarely visited, if at all by the heiress -- on New York's Fifth Avenue found a buyer soon after they hit the market in March. The top-floor apartment, listed at $24 million, sold in less than a month for an undisclosed price. The two others remain on the market, at $19 million and $12 million. Each apartment has about 5,000 square feet of space. Clark's country home in New Canaan, Connecticut, is also on the auction block at $19.8 million.
Proceeds from the properties and jewelry will be used to pay estate expenses, with the rest held for the eventual winner of the legal battle over her $400 million fortune.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Huguette Clark, jewelry, auction, millions, heiress
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