Exceptional Burmese Ruby
Once in a while, exceptional jewels enter the auction market. More often than not, they are rarities and with a provenance. On December 11, 2019, Christie's New York put the duPont Ruby Brooch to auction, estimating its sale price to fetch between $3.5 to $5.5 million.
After all the hero of this stellar offering was a 11.20-ct Burmese ruby surrounded by equally opulent side diamonds, pearls, and emeralds.
Mrs. Alfred I duPont owned the piece and among others, bequeathed it to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The duPonts earned their fortune in the 19th century by manufacturing gunpowder.
Mrs. Jessie Ball duPont was an inspired philanthropist who oversaw the disbursement of duPonts fortune to numerous worthwhile charities throughout her lifetime and beyond. After her husband died in 1935 she continued taking care of the charities they were passionate about.
This spectacular Belle Epoque brooch was part of her personal collection during her life and continues to make an impact for the good decades after her passing in 1970.
When the final hammer came down for bidding, this treasured jewel sold for nearly $9-Million US, well over its expected earnings. The proceeds will benefit future VMFA accquisitions.
Well done, Mrs. duPont.