The Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace: An Emerald in Barbara Hutton's Collection
Amid the pantheon of historic jewelry, one piece that has stood the test of time and captured the collective imagination of gem connoisseurs is the Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace. Known for its exceptional beauty and significant historical relevance, this priceless artifact tells a fascinating tale of luxury, legacy, and love.
The Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace: History and Significance
The history of the Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace is intertwined with the saga of two glamorous women: Barbara Hutton and Nina Mdivani. Barbara Hutton, heiress to the Woolworth fortune, was one of the wealthiest women in the world and was known for her extraordinary collection of jewels. Nina Mdivani was the sister-in-law of Barbara, who was given the necklace as a wedding gift when she married Alexis Mdivani in 1933. Thus, the necklace gets its distinctive name from these two former owners.
Crafted during the Chinese Qing dynasty, the necklace is made of 27 colossal jadeite beads, graduated in size and of extraordinary color and translucency. The clasp, designed by Cartier, is a clasp made of ruby and diamond, forming an artful contrast with the vibrant green beads. The necklace's jadeite beads are famed for their 'old mine' status, meaning they were sourced from the period of the richest and best Burmese jadeite production.
Barbara Hutton's Collection
Barbara Hutton was an avid collector of fine jewelry. The Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace was merely one of the remarkable pieces in her collection, which also included the Hope Diamond, the Pasha Diamond, and a breathtaking collection of royal jewels from India, Russia, and other parts of the world. Hutton's predilection for Asian-inspired jewelry was evident, and the Jadeite Necklace embodied this fascination perfectly.
Hutton's extraordinary wealth allowed her to indulge in jewels of the highest order, often causing a stir in society with her opulent purchases. However, her passion for jewelry was not solely driven by her fortune but also by her keen eye for aesthetics, rarity, and historic significance, which is evident in her collection's diverse and exotic range.
Current Value and Recent Auction
The Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace has escalated significantly in value over the years. Its value lies not just in its material worth but also in its historical significance, rarity, and the intrigue of its former owners. At an auction conducted by Sotheby's in 2014, the necklace fetched an astonishing $27.44 million, surpassing its pre-sale estimate and setting a world auction record for a jadeite jewel. This value demonstrates the importance of the piece in the global jewelry market and cements its status as one of the most coveted jewels of all time.
The Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace is a remarkable piece of jewelry history, bearing the legacies of two glamorous women, a luxurious past, and the splendor of one of the finest jadeite specimens in the world. The necklace is a symbol of Hutton's discerning taste, her love for unique and historically significant jewels, and the enduring appeal of jadeite in the world of luxury jewelry. Its staggering value at auction speaks volumes about its worth, not only in monetary terms but also as a priceless artifact of history, rarity, and exceptional beauty. As part of Barbara Hutton's extraordinary collection, the Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace continues to be a shining beacon in the world of fine jewelry.