Christie’s to auction Austrian billionaire Heidi Horten’s jewellery collection

Christie’s auction house will start the sale of hundreds of jewels that belonged to the late Austrian billionaire Heidi Horten, whose fortune was derived from her German businessman husband who amassed wealth through the Nazi period.
The prestigious public sale home will provide 700 heaps from Horten’s assortment, showcasing rare and distinctive pieces from famend 20th-century designers corresponding to Cartier, Harry Winston, Bulgari, and Van Cleef & Arpels. The entire assortment has an estimated value of over US$150 million.
The sale could doubtlessly surpass previous auction data set by Christie’s, together with the gross sales of properties belonging to the late actress Elizabeth Taylor in 2011 and the “Maharajas and Mughal Magnificence” assortment in 2019, each of which exceeded US$100 million.
A standout item in the assortment is a Cartier ruby and diamond ring, weighing 25.fifty nine carats and boasting a rich pigeon-blood pink hue and impressive purity, as described by the auction home.

According to Max Fawcett, Head of Jewellery at Christie’s in Geneva, the collection is especially noteworthy owing to the variability and high quality of the gemstones on show. Unusual added that the items vary from costume jewelry and bespoke haute joaillerie gadgets to historic jewels with significant provenance. Heidi Horten, who handed away last year on the age of 81, had an estimated internet price of US$2.9 billion, in accordance with Forbes.
The Horten Foundation, which commissioned historians to study Helmut Horten’s background, printed a report in January 2022 which revealed his Nazi party membership earlier than being expelled.
In 1936, three years after Adolf Hitler seized power in Germany, Horten assumed control of the Alsberg textile firm primarily based in Duisburg following the departure of its Jewish homeowners. He later took over a quantity of other shops beforehand owned by Jewish proprietors before the struggle. Historians questioned the methods employed by the then 27 year previous to realize control of a serious department store and whether or not he intimidated the Jewish sellers.
The lack of knowledge about his actions in the course of the interval between 1933 and 1945 led to the prevailing picture of an unscrupulous profiteer. After the struggle, the Allied denazification committee exonerated Helmut Horten.
Christie’s web site acknowledges the documented evidence of Horten’s business practices in the course of the Nazi era, together with his acquisition of Jewish businesses sold under duress. Guillaume Cerutti, the auction house’s CEO, conveyed in a statement to AFP that their decision to proceed with the sale was made after careful deliberation. Cerutti added that Christie’s by no means meant to conceal details about Horten’s historical past, making certain that the pertinent facts are made clear on the sale supplies and website.
Christie’s emphasised that the sale proceeds shall be directed in the direction of the Heidi Horten Foundation, established in 2021 to help the eponymous art collection, in addition to medical research, youngster welfare, and different philanthropic initiatives related to the wealthy heiress..

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