An early 20th Century diamond encrusted tiara will be sold at auction on Sunday.
An early 20th Century diamond-encrusted tiara will be up for grabs at Webb’s auction house on Sunday, the first the company has ever seen.
“It’s pretty exceptional,” said Christine Power, head of fine jewels at Webb’s.
“The story behind it is that [the owner’s] father purchased it for her before her wedding and she wore it on her wedding day.”
The auction includes leather bags for Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton as well as a large collection of vintage jewelery.
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The center diamond piece of the tiara is detachable and – along with a 9-carat gold pin – can be worn as a brooch.
Power said it was fairly common for tiaras to have a dual purpose.
“It dates back to legal times when [tiaras were] really only worn by royalty. If you weren’t royalty you were allowed to wear a tiara if you were getting married,” she said.
“That’s why, to give it some extra use, they usually have the brooch capability in the middle as well, so that they weren’t such a restrictive piece of jewels.”
Kavinda Herath / Stuff
Auctioneer Lynzy Francis says you can’t recreate the excitement and social connection of a live online auction.
The tiara, manufactured in the 1920s and bought in the 1960s, made its way to New Zealand from the United Kingdom five years ago.
Power – who has been “working in diamonds” for the last 26 years – said it’s the first tiara she’s ever seen.
“I’m absolutely excited. I always admired [tiaras], and I’d never seen one in person. It’s something that attracts me.
“When I first started at Webb’s, the first thing that I put out there was that I wanted a tiara. And we got one!”
The tiara is valued between $20,000 to $27,000.
Power said the sale will also include “the most Hermès we have ever offered in one auction.”
“It’s the biggest range we’ve ever had. That covers pieces from a Pourht to a Kelly to Birkin,” she said.
The live auction will be held at 2:30pm this Sunday, March 12, at 33a Normanby Road, Mt Eden, Auckland.
Bidding will also be available online.