New York–An “over-the-top gorgeous” diamond necklace that belonged to one very quotable actress known for her glamorous lifestyle and multiple husbands is going up for auction.
Next month in New York, Bonhams will offer the late Zsa Zsa Gabor’s diamond rivière necklace as part of its Dec. 4 Fine Jewelry sale.
Featuring 45 graduated round brilliants totaling 66 carats, the necklace was created by Harry Winston in 1964.
The five central diamonds weigh 8.07, 6.34, 6.33, 5.35 and 4.88 carats, and their quality ranges from F to I color and they are VVS2 clarity.
This image of Zsa Zsa Gabor accompanies the lot. Bonhams said that almost every photograph taken of the late actress shows her “dripping in diamonds.”
According to Bonhams, the diamond rivière necklace was a “much-loved piece” in Gabor’s collection, and she was photographed wearing it frequently when she was out and about, particularly in the 1960s.
At some point, the necklace was sold; Bonhams said it came to them via a private client, not Gabor’s estate.
The necklace is estimated to sell for $1.2 to $1.5 million, though jewels with a known provenance, particularly a celebrity provenance, tend to easily top estimates. (See: the white-glove sale Sotheby’s recorded with the jewelry of Vivien Leigh earlier this year and the remarkable Elizabeth Taylor results from Christie’s back in 2011.)
One of three sisters born in Hungary to a Jewish family who immigrated to the United States, Gabor’s film credits include the 1952 version of “Moulin Rouge.” (Her two sisters, Magda and “Green Acres” star Eva, also were actresses and her mother, interestingly, was a jeweler.)
Aside from her acting, she is, perhaps, just as well known for her glamorous lifestyle and her many marriages–Gabor wed a total of nine times, including one very brief marriage that was quickly annulled (and might not have been legal in the first place).
She also was a known lover of jewelry, particularly diamonds, and the combination of the two provided some of the best quotes attributed to her, including “I never hated a man enough to give him his diamonds back,” and “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and dogs are a man’s best friend. Now you know which sex has more sense.”
“Zsa Zsa Gabor’s life was all about ‘more is more fabulous,’ and when it came to jewelry, it was always ‘more, more, more,’” said Susan Abeles, head of jewelry for Bonhams U.S.
She said this particular necklace epitomizes Zsa Zsa to a tee: “It’s not just gorgeous, it is over-the-top gorgeous.”
Gabor, the last surviving of the three sisters, died last year at the age of 99.
Another shot of Gabor’s Harry Winston diamond rivière necklace, in which the five largest stones range in size from 8.07 to 4.88 carats.
Previews of the auction featuring the Gabor necklace will take place Nov. 18-20 in Los Angeles, Nov. 22-25 in Hong Kong and Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 in New York.
Bonhams Fine Jewelry sale is scheduled to take place Dec. 4 in New York. Bids can be placed online, via telephone, in writing and in person on the day of the sale.
To see the complete catalog for the sale, visit Bonhams.com.