PRECIOUS SOUVENIR: Audrey Hepburn may not have known how to say goodbye to Gregory Peck at the end of her “Roman Holiday,” but she certainly did it in style.
The necklace she wore as Crown Princess Ann in the final scene of the 1953 romantic comedy that enthroned the British actress as Hollywood royalty will be go under the hammer as part of an upcoming jewelry auction at Christie’s.
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Made of two strands of round cultured pearls holding an 18-karat white gold motif outlined with 6 carats of diamonds and set with round and oval-shaped sapphire cabochons, the necklace is the work of Fürst, a noted Italian jeweler of the post-W period.
According to the auction house, pearl afficionado Hepburn chose the design out of a wide array brought by the jeweler on set in Rome. The necklace is estimated between 18,000 and 26,000 Swiss francs, or $21,000 to $29,000.
Known for unique designs that caught the eye of a well-heeled clientele and of Hollywood stars, the jeweler is today run by the third generation of the family, descended from Austro-Hungarian jeweler Moric Fürst, who moved to Turin in the 1850s and became a supplier to the court of Savoy.
Brussels-born Hepburn had arrived in the U.S. from London’s West End in 1951 to star in “Gigi” on Broadway, before being cast as Peck’s love interest in the film directed by William Wyler. It became her breakout role, netting her an Academy Award for Best Actress and catapulting her into stardom.
Other highlights among the 200-plus lots of the sale will include an Art Deco bracelet with charms including a mouse trap and race car; a coral, enamel and diamond brooch in the shape of a ladybug as well as a diamond, emerald and onyx “Panthère” brooch, both by Cartier; as well as a collection of gold nuggets from a private collection. Jewels by Van Cleef & Arpels, Graff and Boucheron will also be included.
Bidding for the “Jewels Online: The Geneva Edit” will start on the auction house’s website on Friday at 2 p.m. CET and close on Nov. 16.
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