Onassis jewellery to go on sale in London


Jewellery that belonged to Christina Onassis is seen in an undated handout photo from Christie's - Photo : AFP
LONDON, April 11, 2008 (AFP) - Dazzling jewellery from the collection of Greek shipping heiress Christina Onassis is to go under the hammer in London on June 11, auction house Christie's told AFP on Friday, April 18th.

The items are part of a jewellery sale comprising some 230 rings, bracelets, necklaces, pearls, single stones and pieces from jewellers such as Cartier.

The total sale is expected to fetch more than eight million pounds (16 million dollars, 10 million euros), with individual items estimated between 2,000 pounds and 2.2 million pounds.

The New York-born daughter of shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, Christina, who married and divorced four times, took over his empire after his death.

She died in 1988, aged 37, of fluid in the lungs and is survived by daughter Athina.

Leading the collection of Onassis's jewels is a pear-shaped 38-carat diamond, which she wore on a diamond pendant necklace. It is estimated at between 1.8 and 2.2 million pounds.

Other jewels belonging to the heiress include a ruby and diamond necklace by Van Cleef and Arpels (30,000 to 40,000 pounds) and a sapphire and diamond necklace by Harry Winston (120,000 to 150,000 pounds).

The collection also features an exceptionally rare bowenite Buddha by Carl Faberge which took pride of place on Onassis's yacht. The item is valued at 250,000 to 350,000 pounds.

Beyond the Onassis jewels, Christie's said one of the largest, most exceptional 19th-century diamond necklaces to be offered at auction in many years was also going under the hammer.

The sale includes a 15.02-carat heart-shaped diamond pendant estimated at between 600,000 and 800,000 pounds.

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