Sotheby’s has collaborated with Chinese jewelry designer Anna Hu on a five-piece collection featuring a 100-carat, fancy-intense-yellow diamond necklace.
Hu’s Silk Road Music Collection will go under the hammer at the October Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite auction in Hong Kong, with the Dunhuang Pipa piece leading the sale. Inspired by the image of a lady playing the pipa — a four-stringed Chinese lute — the necklace transforms into a brooch and an earring, Sotheby’s said last week. It carries a presale estimate of $5 million to $6.25 million.
The Silk Road was a network of trade routes connecting east and west Asia, used by merchants in the lucrative silk industry. It was also responsible for the spread of musical styles between cultures, which is the focus of Hu’s collection.
“We are excited to present the latest jewelry creations by the talented Anna Hu, who has transformed top-quality gemstones into inspirational jewelry masterpieces,” said Yvonne Chu, acting head of jewelry for Sotheby’s. “The Dunhaung Pipa necklace is one of the most important jewelry pieces on offer this season.”
The collection also includes a piece called Ellington, featuring earrings containing conch pearls, sapphires and diamonds, and another named Cello, a jadeite, diamond and pink-sapphire brooch. Both of those pieces are valued at $280,000 to $350,000 each. Blue Magpie, a conch-pearl, gem-set and diamond brooch containing over 500 gems, will be offered for $190,000 to $225,000, while a ruby and diamond ring, called Appassionata, is estimated at $80,000 to $100,000.
In 2013, a brooch designed by Hu achieved $4.6 million at auction in Geneva, setting a record at the time for the highest price for a piece by a contemporary jewelry artist. Her pieces are worn by celebrities including Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson.
“I want this collection to speak to my Chinese roots, and I thought the beauty of jewels could be enhanced with a touch of the traditional-yet-exotic music that once flowed through the Silk Road,” Hu explained.
Image: The 100.02-carat Anna Hu Dunhuang Pipa Necklace. (Sotheby’s )