Nazi-linked jewelry breaks sales record at auction
Jewelery of an Austrian billionaire with ties to the Nazi regime has broken records, selling for $196 million at public auction.
The jewelery belonged to Heidi Horten, who died last year at the age of 81 and was married to Helmut Holten. Horten made most of his wealth by buying stores from Jews who forced them to sell them at discounted prices in Nazi Germany. .
The sale was split over two days, May 10th and 12th, and included a large number of necklaces, bracelets, earrings and more, with initial estimates totaling $150 million.
Some items sold for $154 million on the first day of the sale, and additional jewelry sold for $22 million on the second day. The previous record for jewelry sold at a public auction was set in 2011 when Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry sold for $137 million.
There was considerable criticism over the sale of Horten’s jewelry.
“We condemn this sale twice. First, because the funds that enabled the purchase of these gems were partly the result of the confiscation of Jewish property carried out by Nazi Germany. ‘ said Yonathan Alfie, president of the French representative council. Jewish Institution (CRIF).
“Second, the proceeds will be donated to a fund aimed at ensuring that the names of former Nazi sympathizers are remembered for posterity,” he said.
Christie’s Auction House, which was in charge of the jewelry auction, denied those claims.
“All of the jewelry for sale has been purchased since the 1970s, with all proceeds going to charity-supporting funds,” said Anthea Pierce, regional manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Christie’s. claimed. In line with Mrs. Horton’s wishes, she set goals such as medical research, child welfare, and access to the arts. ”
Colleagues also said, “We have committed to donating a significant portion of the committee to organizations that contribute to Holocaust research and education. It is up to these organizations to accept our donations.” .
The jewelry sold is considered very luxurious. On the first day of the sale, half sold for more than $1 million each.
A standout item was a 17.4-carat gold ring that sold for $720,000 and ultimately $2 million. A Bvlgari ring with a 6.99 carat pink diamond sold for $10.1 million, up from an initial bid of $10.1 million. $5 million.