New York: A necklace of 68 rare natural pearls that were once part of the treasury of the Maharaja of Baroda sold for $7 million (Rs28.55 crore) at Christie’s on Wednesday.
The Baroda necklace was assembled for Maharaja Khande Rao of Baroda in the 1850s and had seven strands of pearls until it was broken up sometime after 1948, Christie’s spokeswoman Kate Swan said.
Sixty-eight of the largest and finest pearls fastened with a Cartier clasp were made into the two-strand necklace that sold Wednesday at Christie’s Rockefeller Center showroom. The pearls are as big as marbles, with a luminous pink glow.
The lot also included a pair of natural pearl and diamond ear pendants, a pearl-and-diamond brooch and a platinum ring with a button pearl flanked by diamonds.
The buyer was an anonymous phone bidder, and Christie’s did not identify the seller. The price includes the auction house’s commission.
The Maharajas of Baroda reigned in what is now the state of Gujarat in India and were famous for their treasuries overflowing with diamonds and pearls from the 18th century onward.