Six sales, five categories and several hundred lots with everything from Birkin bags to Rolex watches.
The end of the year is approaching and the Monte Carlo auction house HVMC is preparing for a series of exceptional sales. Between remarkable pieces of fine jewellery, luxury watches, works of art and archeology, here are nine highlights:
The series of sales will open with two sessions dedicated to fine jewellery, totalling 216 lots. We note this magnificent daisy ring ring, one of the flagship lots of the first auction, in a flat white gold band and centred with a large oval-cut ruby weighing 8.03 carats. The stone, set with yellow gold claws, rests in an entourage of round diamonds.
The dispersion of jewellery will continue the next day with, among other wonders, a platinum ring from Bulgari. The jewel is centred on a rare sugar loaf sapphire weighing no less than 17.37 carats, which is supported by two troid diamonds, each weighing approximately 0.80 carats.
Watchmaking will be in the spotlight later in the evening, with a catalogue of 69 lots combining pocket watches, wristwatches, bag watches and fabulous signed clocks.
Jaeger LeCoultre, Cartier, Chanel, Longines, Audermars Piguet… there is no shortage of big names in watchmaking. Among them, we find the Rolex brand with a Daytona for men in 18K white gold chronograph type. The model has a ceramic bezel, a black dial with diamond indexes forming the hours, a counter and a calibre 4130 automatic mechanical movement.
Another marvel from the brand of the man nicknamed the 'King of diamonds', Harry Winston, this pink gold men's wristwatch known as the Ocean Tourbillon stands out as the undisputed flagship lot of the selection. In addition to its sumptuous midnight blue skeleton-type dial, the 2008 model features Arabic numerals and a self-winding mechanical movement.
The selection of vintage leather goods and accessories includes 136 lots from the greatest luxury houses. Fendi, Louis Vuitton, YSL, Chanel and Dior will be there, as well as the essential brand of the category, Hermès. Hermès bags, the legendary Kelly and the iconic Birkin, are the most collectable pieces of leather goods and have reigned supreme on the auction market for decades.
This superb Birkin Ghillies in Iris Blue, Malta Blue and Sapphire Blue leather is a limited edition from 2014 and features a permabrass metal trim, a sheathed padlock, keys and a bell.
Jacques de Lange, a painter active in Antwerp in the 16th century, is considered by experts as one of the most beautiful rediscoveries of the last 25 years in the field of Nordic painting. He is the artist of the Holy Family, kept at the Noordbrabants museum in Hertogenbosch, alongside two altarpieces and a number of other Caravaggio paintings from the Utrecht school. Allegory of Youth and Allegory of Mature Age are two stretcher-mounted brass instruments that echo two series of similar compositions on the Seven Deadly Sins.
These two works with luminous effects are between Mannerist elegance and Caravaggio chiaroscuro, and constitute a real contribution to the work of the artist and to the Antwerp painting of the time.
A superb procession of putti carefully carved in an alabaster plate joins our selection. Featuring four dancing putti, this relief comes from the workshop of the German sculptor Leonhard Kern (later taken over by his nephew Johann Georg Kern), as evidenced by the monogram 'LK'. Kern worked on behalf of wealthy princely sponsors and was appointed official court sculptor to Elector Brandenburg.
The workshop built its reputation on its small sculptures in precious materials inspired by the great Italian artists of the Renaissance, and testifies to the evolution of European sculpture of the 17th century.
Among the works of art, a laureate bust of Napoleon I stands out, which, according to a document which has now disappeared, was given by the Emperor himself to his sister Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples, and then passed on to her son Lucien.
This cameo on agate dated 1810-12 shows the sovereign in profile to the left, wearing a laurel wreath. The representation of the Emperor is idealised and refers to the portraits of the great heads of Imperial Rome, such as Caesar or Augustus.
Experts have identified the portrait as that of Napoleon in middle age (by characteristic physiognomic features such as the shape of the skull and the width of the neck), and include this cameo in the production of contemporary medals. Coming from a private collection, the cameo is presented in its red morocco case engraved with gilded iron with the imperial number.
The year 2020 will end in a historic manner for the auction house, with an archeology session comprising 336 lots. Dating from the Hellenistic art of the 1st century BC to 2nd century AD is this important portrait of the mythological hero Meleager in greywacke from Wadi Hammamat, a stone highly prized by the Egyptians for its colour imitating bronze and its conservation characteristics. The portrait with juvenile features expresses a timeless beauty and is similar to the representations of Meleager kept at the British Museum and at the Galerie Chiaramonti.