However, more than 700 jewels owned by Horton, who was also an art collector, are estimated to fetch more than $150 million in total in a series of auctions at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva and online in May and November, according to Christie’s auction house.
A necklace, which can be worn as a pendant or bracelet, of briolette-cut, 90.38-carat diamond by Harry Winston will be on sale. credits: courtesy Christie’s
The pieces include a 90-carat “Briolette of India” diamond necklace by Harry Winston, a ruby and diamond Cartier ring that is “pigeon blood” in color, a series of modern and decades-old Bulgari creations, and items from other luxury names such as Tiffany and Van Cleef & Arpels.
“The World of Heidi Horten is the collection of a lifetime,” said Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s international head of jewelry, in a press release. “From Bulgari to Van Cleef & Arpels, from a small personal memory piece to the Briolette of India, this is a collector’s dream.”
“Building from the extraordinary early pieces she acquired in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Mrs. Horten continued to grow and curate her sophisticated collection, eloquently combining vintage and modern designs from the leading jewelery houses of the world that today represent some of the finest examples ever to come to market,” Kadakia added.
A Bulgari bracelet with colored diamonds of 32.23 carats, and square-shaped emeralds. credits: courtesy Christie’s
Christie’s said the proceeds will go to The Heidi Horten Foundation, which supports The Heidi Horten Collection, the museum she established in Vienna, Austria, before her death, as well as medical research, child welfare and other causes.
“This is a historic moment for Christie’s to have the privilege of offering one of the world’s finest and most important jewelery collections originating from Europe,” said Anthea Peers, president at Christie’s EMEA, in the release.
Here, Heidi Horten is seen wearing the “Briolette of India.” credits: courtesy Christie’s/The Heidi Horten Foundation
Horten had a net worth of around $3 billion when she died in June last year, according to Forbes. She inherited $1 billion from her first husband, German businessman Helmut Horten, after he died in 1987.
Horten was introduced to the allure of beautiful objects from a young age as his father was an engraver. Her love for jewelry and art deepened after her marriage, according to the auction house.
Van Cleef & Arpels ruby and diamond “Bird of Paradise” brooch, and a René Boivin multi-gem lion brooch and unsigned lionhead earrings. credits: courtesy Christie’s
She went on to possess an array of decorative, modern and contemporary artworks, some of which are housed in her museum.
Helmut Horten accumulated wealth through his purchases of Jewish businesses which sold under duress during the Nazi era, said Christie’s. The auction house said it plans to make a “significant contribution” from its auction proceeds to an organization advancing Holocaust research and education.