Replace 6 Mightsince publishing this story, the New York Instances has revealed the controversial origins of Heidi Horten’s German husband, Helmut Horten’s huge wealth. The investigation brings to gentle that Horten constructed up his companies through the Holocaust benefitting from the strain placed on Jewish households to promote their enterprise property. There have been requires the charity public sale to additionally profit organisations that additional Holocaust training and analysis. Christie’s has since up to date its web site saying it is going to make a “important” donation to those organisations after the public sale.

Right here is the extract from Christie’s web site: ‘For our half, Christie’s will make a big contribution from its remaining proceeds of the public sale to organisations that additional advance Holocaust analysis and training.’

The New York Instances provides: ‘In a press release, Christie’s CEO Guillaume Cerutti mentioned: “It was by no means Christie’s intention to cover details about the well-documented historical past of Mr. Horten and we have now added related data to our sale supplies and web site to make sure that the details are clear to all.”‘ On the time of publishing this text Christie’s had not revealed this data.

On 8 Might Christie’s replied to my request for data on the matter with this electronic mail:


Christie’s resolution to tackle the sale of jewelry from the Property of Heidi Horten was made after cautious consideration.

We had been conscious of the historical past of Helmut Horten’s actions through the Nazi interval, when he bought Jewish companies that had been bought below duress. His actions had been properly documented and supplied the inspiration for his later wealth. Nonetheless—and with out ignoring or excusing Mr. Horten’s actions in any method— the jewellery assortment of his spouse, Heidi Horten, was assembled a long time later, between the start of the Nineteen Seventies and 2022, the 12 months of her dying.  As with all property entrusted to Christie’s, this assortment has undergone a radical verification course of. The provenance of every of the 700 objects up for public sale is properly documented, with detailed indications of buy, and none of those jewels come from a spoliation or a pressured sale from a Jewish proprietor. These jewels had been acquired from prestigious homes equivalent to Bulgari, Cartier, Tiffany, Harry Winston and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Moreover, all of the Property’s proceeds from the sale of this jewellery assortment will likely be donated to a basis that helps philanthropic causes, together with medical analysis, kids’s welfare, and entry to the humanities, pursuant to Mrs. Horten’s needs. This charitable dimension was an important factor in Christie’s resolution to take on the sale.  Christie’s has additionally dedicated to donate a good portion of our fee to organizations that contribute to vitally essential Holocaust analysis and training. It will likely be as much as these organizations, if they need, to speak about these donations.

By means of this public sale, organized in a clear method, we try, for our half,  to work to protect the reminiscence of probably the most painful interval in historical past and of those that had been tragically its victims.”


The unique story printed previous to this data is under.

When you ever puzzled which fortunate girl had the most important and most valuable assortment of jewels to come back to public sale, the reply has lastly been revealed. Christie’s sale of Heidi Horten’s assortment confirms that the Austrian collector’s cache of gems is the most important and most useful personal assortment of jewelry ever to come back to below the hammer.

Elizabeth Taylor would have blanched to know that her 2011 record-breaking jewelry sale that achieved over US$100 million pales compared to the sheer amount and overwhelming high quality of Heidi Horten’s assortment.  The pre-sale estimate for the Heidi Horten assortment is US$150 million, 50% larger than Taylor’s spectacular hoard.  There have solely ever been two jewelry gross sales at Christies’s to high the US$1 million mark: The Elizabeth Taylor Assortment and Maharajas and Mughal Magnificence in 2019 and Heidi Horten is about to eclipse them each. One can solely speculate whether or not Elizabeth Taylor was conscious of Heidi’s enviable assortment however the reverse is undeniably true.  Whereas Taylor’s assortment focussed on vintage jewels and items from the Fifties to the Nineteen Seventies, Heidi’s is a extra modern choice, with an emphasis of the easiest of the most effective.

Lot 74  Bulgari colored diamond, emerald bracelet

Heidi Horten (1941-2022) was born in Vienna, Austria and met her first husband Helmut Horten (1909-1987), the longer term division retailer magnate of Germany, on vacation in Krumpendorf when she was simply 17, already a tall, blonde pure magnificence with piercingly clear inexperienced eyes.  Helmut’s 1966 wedding ceremony present to Heidi was nothing lower than the historic Wittelsbach Blue 35.56-carat diamond, previously a part of the Austrian and Bavaria crown jewels. Heidi and Helmut started buying artwork and her ardour for gathering expanded into jewelry, guided by information in addition to a real love for the items.

‘Heidi was a delicate and passionate collector with a deep appreciation for jewelry,’ says Max Fawcett, head of Jewelry at Christie’s in Geneva. ‘She had a discerning eye and curated a classy assortment that includes a number of the best jewels ever to come back to market.’

Spanning the Nineteen Seventies via to the Nineteen Nineties Heidi amassed 700 items of jewelry and till the very finish was nonetheless shopping for jewels. At this later stage she was eager on extra wearable jewels from manufacturers equivalent to Tamara Comolli in Germany, of which she would order a number of color variations.

Lot 76 Bulgari diamond, sapphire and emerald necklace

Her cherry-picked Bulgari jewels are thought of one of many high 5 Bulgari collections on the earth and contains many bespoke items and essential gem stones.  Heidi additionally had jewels by Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Harry Winston in addition to classic jewels together with stellar names equivalent to Boivin. Such was the worth of her customized, that many items had been handed between the homes to be remodelled and tailored, a service not often provided to anybody however a very powerful purchasers.

One of many star Bulgari items is a stunning, colour-saturated diamond, sapphire and emerald necklace, set with a 46.56-carat spherical brilliant-cut diamond at its centre (lot 76 above). Like all essential jewels, the jewel has a narrative to inform. The diamond was initially set in a hoop by Cartier in 1975. The identical diamond was purchased by Harry Winston and in flip Bulgari made it the centre stone of a necklace that in 1994 caught Heidi’s eye.

Every jewel was meticulously catalogued and stored in a field embossed together with her HH monogram.  Heidi herself was not often seen bidding at auctions as she had two assistants overseeing her jewelry assortment. All the time searching for distinctive high quality and with a penchant for emeralds, jade and huge cabochon gem stones and yellow gold, the gathering is refined in addition to very private.

Probably the most precious jewel within the Heidi Horten sale is the ruby and diamond ring by Cartier (lot 96). The 25.59 carats ‘Dawn Ruby’ is a extremely fascinating saturated pigeon-blood purple color and intensely clear. In line with Fawcett of Christie’s it’s ‘one of the crucial sought-after rubies on Earth.’

Lot 46 Harry Winston The Briolette of India

One other spotlight is the magnificent Harry Winston 90.38-carat ‘Briolette of India’ diamond necklace (lot 46 above). Once more, this diamond has had an interesting journey. Historian Hans Nadelhoffer recounts that the stone was lower right into a briolette form in Paris and bought to Cartier within the early twentieth century. In 1911 Cartier set it in a brooch that was purchased by George Blumenthal, the German-born American banking mogul. In 1950 Harry Winston purchased the diamond and made it into the necklace, which Heidi purchased in 1971.

Lot 253 Harry Winston The Nice Mughal necklace

In addition to spectacular emeralds and diamonds, the Nice Mughal necklace (lot 253 above) is an absolute showstopper. A 362.45-carat C19th carved emerald depicting a scene from the Indian epic poem Ramayana was set right into a necklace by Harry Winston and purchased by Heidi in 1972.

It’s stunning to know that Heidi was a connoisseur of jade. ‘To discover a assortment in Europe with such essential jade is extraordinarily uncommon,’ says Fawcett, explaining that jade is normally favoured by Asian collectors for its associations with luck and prosperity. ‘Heidi collected jade over a protracted interval, so it was clearly one thing she was very enthusiastic about.’

Lot 15 and 17 jadeite cabochon and diamond ring double strand jadeite bead necklace diamond clasp by cartier

Heidi’s love jade is clear within the 25-bead jade necklace with a diamond clasp (lot 21 above), that she purchased in 2009. In line with Fawcett, the dimensions, color and translucency of the jade make it one of the crucial essential jade necklaces ever provided at public sale. 

Following Horten’s needs, all the sale proceeds will profit the Heidi Horten Basis, that features the Heidi Horten Assortment museum in Vienna – residence to her trendy and modern artwork – in addition to medical analysis and different philanthropic actions.

The jewels will likely be bought on-line and at reside public sale. The on-line sale opens for bidding from 3 to fifteen Might. The The World of Heidi Horten: Magnificent Jewels Half I sale will begin on 10 Might in Geneva adopted by a Half II public sale on 12 Might.


  • Click on right here to look at an Instagram reel about Christie’s sale of Heidi Horten jewels
  • Click on right here to look at an Instagram reel about Christie’s sale of Heidi Horten jewels



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