History of Famous Jewels and Collections
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Re: Facts, archives and Russian pearls
Ok Vincent, I'll take it from you as I have read your publications and note that they are indeed factual and learned. The topic has created much more debate than I anticipated and that is a positive, so thank you Vincent and all the others for their valid contributions.
I don’t think that was the case in 1878, when queen Isabel sold her jewels. If you refer to the famous Luxembourg auction at Sotheby’s, I should know, it was my article published In Pount de Vue who started a kind of revolution in Luxembourg City, because many People were unhappy about that auction. The grand duke officially issued a statement saying that he had decided to cancel the whole auction. But my post was not about that. It was only about the provenance of the pearl necklace. was simply pointing out that Fernando Rayon published an invoice with the name of king Alfonso XII, the date (1877) the weight of the pearl which were much bigger than the one sold by queen Isabel in Paris in 1878. One year later. This invoice was published by him with the official backing of the royal palace of Madrid. His story his proven, to challenge it, we need another official document with names, dates, facts. This is the reason I have no doubts the Russian provenance he mentions is the right one.
Good day to you Vincent. I take it that when jewels go to auction, royals and most aristocratic persons usually retain the services of a connoisseur you know someone to really disguise their identity and their is evidence of this where certain jewels go to the block, you would see stuff like "from a noble family", "from a royal house" etc., 'so it is possible bearing in mind the closeness of the sale of the pearls to the death Queen Isabella that their could have been a clever transaction done to not highlight the obvious. They are cases I believe in the Luxemburg or Belgium Royal family where jewels were earmarked for the block and then were retained by some members or the main line of the family.
Sorry, but I don’t agree on the topic of pearls. The documents found in the royal palace archives and published by Fernando Rayon in his book Las joyas de las Reinas de Espana, are related to : “a necklace of 41 pearls weighing 2105 grains” bought for 215 000 francs from Jean Vaillant who apparently was ŕ french jeweller established in Saint Petersburg. The date of the invoice is 25th of October 1877. The auction of queen Isabelle’s jewels was one year later in Paris and the pearl necklace sold is described in the catalogue as : “a necklace of 37 pearls weighing 1570 grains” it was much smaller than the Russian one and sold AFTER il the Russian one was bought. I know there is a rumour insisting on the fact that some of queen Isabel’s jewels were “saved” at one point for the royal family. And there would have been a “private” auction of some of her jewels organised for her family after her death in Paris, but so far I have never seen any documents proving this.