Strong Prices for Jewelry from the Collection of Alice Appleton Hay, Daughter-in-Law of President Lincoln's Private Secretary John Hay
The spectacular ruby ring by Cartier was the highlight of the jewelry collection of Alice Appleton Hay (1894-1987) which was offered in a special section of the auction. Mrs. Hay was the daughter-in-law of John Hay, President Lincoln's private secretary and later Secretary of State under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.
Also from the Hay Collection was a very rare and important gold pocket watch and perfume sprinkler in the form a miniature flintlock pistol that achieved $482,500, several times its estimate of $100,000-150,000. When the trigger is pulled on this circa 1805 pistol, a diminutive flower emerges from the barrel sprinkling the target with perfume. Attributed to the Geneva firm of Moulinie, Bautte & Cie and manufactured for the Chinese market, the piece is one of fewer than fifteen examples known to exist.
Bearing an Imperial provenance was an antique diamond Currant Leaf 'en pampille' brooch, circa 1850, that soared past its estimate of $50,000-70,000 to reach $332,500. The brooch was part of the French Crown Jewels sold at an historic auction in the Louvre in 1887 following the fall of Napoleon III and his wife, Empress Eugenie. Tiffany & Co. was the largest purchaser at that sale, successfully buying almost a third of the crown jewels. The diamond brooch came in an antique box from Tiffany's Paris showroom together with an inscribed card from legendary American banker J. Pierpont Morgan presenting the brooch as a gift to one of Mrs. Hay's forebears.
In all, Doyle New York's April 13 Important Estate Jewelry auction totaled over $9 million, far exceeding the pre-sale estimate of $4-6 million.
Images of highlights from the auction may be viewed at http://www.doylenewyork.com/.
SOURCE Doyle New York