The Hope Pearl
Large Baroque Pearl Weighing Three Ounces
The Hope Pearl has a diameter of four and one half inches. Read what Kunz and Stevenson said about this pearl.
In the first half of the last century, Henry Philip Hope, a London banker, brought together a great collection of gems, among which were many pearls.
The most famous of these was the often-described pearl owned by Mr. Hope, one of the largest known; the value of which, however, is not in proportion to its size, owing to its irregular formation.
As described in the catalogue of the Hope collection, published in 1839, this oriental pearl is of an irregular pear-shape, weighs 1800 grains, or three ounces, measures two inches in length, and in circumference four and one half inches at the broadest and three and one fourth inches at the narrowest end.
The color at the larger end is of a bronze or a dark green copper tint, this gradually clearing into a fine white luster for within one and one half inches of the smaller end.
This baroque pearl was firmly attached to the shell, and it yet shows the point of attachment, which has been polished so as to correspond to the remaining portion.
It is attractively mounted, the smaller end being capped with an arched crown of red enameled gold set with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. (Hertz, "Catalogue of the Collection of Pearls and Precious Stones Formed by Henry Philip Hope, Esq," London, 1839.)
After remaining in the Hope jewel collection at the South Kensington Museum for many years, it was sold at auction, at Christie's, in 1886, when that collection was placed on the market. This pearl is now held by Messrs. Garrard & Company of London, at the price of 9,000 pounds.Information from 1908 on The Hope Pearl as recorded by Kunz and Stevenson in "The Book of the Pearl".
Note: The Hope Pearl's more recent selling price was $200,000 in 1974.Go to Main Famous Pearls and Collections after the Hope Pearl.Read about the Hope Collection.
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