An auction of historical jewelry raises 196 million dollars in two days

Despite fierce criticism of the origins of Nazi-era collector Heidi Horten’s fortune, the late Austrian billionaire’s jewelry auction has become the most expensive public sale in history.

Her rare collection of jewelry was shown over the course of 3 days, in a group of live and direct auctions in Geneva on May 10 and 12 and the third online auction ends on May 15, which holds a treasure trove of necklaces, bracelets, earrings and tiaras, with a pre-sale value of $150 million.

The total on the first day of the value of the exhibits was 138.3 million Swiss francs ($ 154 million), already setting a world record for the sale of jewelry to one owner. The second auction, which featured fewer large pieces of art, raised 37.8 million francs, bringing the current total to 176 million francs.

The previous record was set in 2011, when a series of auctions on the late actress Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry generated about $137 million at Christie’s, according to Bloomberg, and Al viewed it.

Horten died last year at the age of 81, shortly after the opening of a museum bearing her name in Vienna. Her wealth was derived from her late husband, Helmut, who made his fortune partly by buying some supermarkets at rock-bottom prices from Jews who sold them under duress during the Third Reich.

The auction was criticized in particular by the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, whose president, Jonathan Arvi, said: “This auction is inappropriate, adding that the money that made it possible to obtain these jewels resulted in part from a confiscation of Jewish property carried out by Nazi Germany.”

“The sale will contribute to a foundation whose mission is to ensure that the name of the former Nazism survives for future generations,” Arvi stressed.

For its part, Christie’s has acknowledged the origins of Horton’s fortune. A statement from Christie’s EMEA President Anthea Beers noted that all items up for auction were purchased beginning in the 1970s and that “all proceeds from the sale of this jewelery collection will be donated to an organization that supports charitable causes, including medical research, childcare, and access to the arts, in accordance with Mrs. Horton’s wishes.”

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