Pearl brooch, likely from Russian crown jewels, sold in N.J.

 (Courtesy photo Rago Arts and Auction Center | Hunterdon County Democrat)

(Courtesy photo Rago Arts and Auction Center | Hunterdon County Democrat)

Pearl brooch, likely from Russian crown jewels, sold in N.J.


The world's largest known near-round, natural saltwater pearl has sold at a Rago Arts auction for $813,750. The piece was probably once part of the Russian crown jewels.

Sarah Churgin, who directs the jewelry and silver department at Rago, described the Putilov brooch as one with “a pearl the size of a quail egg on a cracker of diamonds.” The surrounding mine-cut diamonds total about 28 carats. The pearl has not been removed from its setting, therefore a precise weight is not known.

She said the sellers of the Putilov brooch are "modest people" who sold the family piece because they are caring for an elderly mother at home and needed help with costs.

The Putilov name is familiar in Russian history for the role the family's large iron works factory played in the February 1917 revolution that led to a czar's abdication.

Churgin and Katherine Van Dell, a jewelry specialist at Rago, reconstructed the 19th-century brooch's history over the past 100 years, and its flight from Russia to France to the United States.

Article source: http://www.nj.com/hunterdon-county-democrat/index.ssf/2014/12/pearl_brooch_sold_at_lambertvi.html"

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