A Historic Jewellery Auction: The World of Heidi Horten

Christie’s recently announced the upcoming auction of The World of Heidi Horten, the extraordinary jewellery collection belonging to the late Mrs Heidi Horten (1941-2022).

With a pre-sale estimate exceeding $150 million, this unparalleled private jewellery assemblage is the most sizable and valuable to ever appear at auction, surpassing previous record-holders like The Elizabeth Taylor Collection (2011) and the Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence auction (2019).

A Historic Jewellery Auction: The World of Heidi Horten
Lot 76 Bulgari-a diamond, sapphire and emerald necklace

Unprecedented Legacy: The Heidi Horten Estate

This May, the Heidi Horten Estate will present the collection in Geneva, dedicating all proceeds to philanthropy in accordance with Mrs Horten’s wishes.

The Heidi Horten Foundation, founded in 2020, will receive the estate’s proceeds to support The Heidi Horten Collection, a modern and contemporary art museum in Vienna, Austria, as well as medical research and other philanthropic initiatives long championed by Mrs Horten.

Exceptional Jewellery Highlights

The auction will feature an impressive array of exquisite pieces, including:

  • The breathtaking 90-carat Briolette of India Diamond Necklace by Harry Winston, first sold by Cartier in 1909 (estimate upon request)
  • A magnificent Three Strand Natural Pearl Necklace by Harry Winston, adorned with an 11-carat cushion-shaped pink diamond clasp (estimated at $7-10 million)
  • The remarkable Sunrise Ruby and Diamond ring by Cartier, featuring a 25-carat pigeon blood ruby of outstanding purity (estimated at $15-20 million)
  • A significant collection of Bulgari masterpieces from the 1970s to the present, showcasing over five decades of the company’s iconic Italian craftsmanship
  • An extraordinary Diamond Bracelet by Harry Winston (estimated at $5-7 million)
  • The awe-inspiring Great Mughal Emerald Pendant Necklace by Harry Winston (estimated at $500,000-700,000)
A Historic Jewellery Auction: The World of Heidi Horten
Lot 253 Harry Winston-The Great Mughal emerald and diamond necklace

Christie’s Luxury Week: A Series of Unforgettable Auctions

During Luxury Week this spring, Christie’s will showcase 400 of the 700 jewels at The Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva through two live auctions and one online sale in May, followed by another online sale in November 2023.

Part 1 of the auction series commences on Wednesday, 10 May, with Part II taking place on Friday, 12 May 2023.

The initial online sale will run from 3 May to 15 May, with the second online sale in November offering the remaining pieces from the collection.

Celebrating the Life of Heidi Horten (1941-2022)

Heidi Horten (née Jelinek) was born and raised in Vienna, Austria. After attending the Hospitality Management School of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, she worked as a secretary in a Viennese law firm.

Early exposure to beautiful objects through her father, an engraver, and her first marriage to Helmut Horten, helped her develop a discerning eye for art and jewellery. Following her husband’s passing, Mrs Horten passionately engaged in social welfare, sports, and medical research for decades.

In the 1990s, Mrs Horten began amassing her private collection of modern and contemporary art, starting with works by Moise Kiesling and Emmanuel Mané-Katz purchased at a 1994 Tel Aviv auction.

Her collection expanded over two decades and was first displayed to the public in 2018 at the Leopold Museum in an exhibition titled WOW! Inspired by the event’s success, Mrs Horten established a permanent home for her collection at The Heidi Horten Collection, a modern art museum in Vienna. The grand opening took place on 2 June 2022, which Mrs Horten proudly attended online, just ten days before her passing.

A Historic Jewellery Auction: The World of Heidi Horten
Heidi Horten wearing the Briolette of India, a 90 cts, D-colour diamond necklace by Harry Winston, Estimate on request – copyright The Heidi Horten Foundation

The World of Heidi Horten: A Testament to Her Passion for Beauty and Philanthropy

The upcoming auction of The World of Heidi Horten collection at Christie’s Geneva is not only a testament to her refined taste and passion for exquisite jewellery but also her unwavering dedication to philanthropy.

As the most valuable private jewellery collection ever to come to auction, it is set to create a lasting legacy in the world of art, jewellery, and philanthropy, forever commemorating the life and contributions of Mrs Heidi Horten.

With the proceeds benefiting The Heidi Horten Foundation, her vision for supporting modern and contemporary art, medical research, and philanthropic initiatives will continue to make a difference in the lives of many, leaving an indelible mark on the world.

As this monumental auction approaches, enthusiasts and collectors worldwide eagerly anticipate the chance to become part of this extraordinary story, witnessing first-hand the unrivalled beauty and craftsmanship of The World of Heidi Horten collection.

Images: Christie’s

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