Jewelry with Nazi links sells for record $196 million at auction


Hundreds of pieces from the late billionaire Heidi Horton’s estate hit the block at Christie’s

Despite much criticism, a late Austrian billionaire’s jewelery that is claimed to be of Nazi-era origin has become the most expensive public sale in history.

Spread over the course of two live auctions in Geneva on May 10 and 12 (the third online auction ends May 15), the hoard of necklaces, bracelets, earrings and tiaras belonging to Heidi Horton fetched a pre-sale estimate of $150 million. The former cost 138.3 million Swiss francs ($154 million), already setting a world record for a single-owner jewelry sale. A Bloomberg report said the second, which had fewer big-ticket lots, brought in 37.8 million francs, pushing the total to 176 million francs.

The previous record was set in 2011, when a series of auctions featuring late actress Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry fetched nearly $137 million at Christie’s, the report said.

Horton passed away last year at the age of 81. She inherited her wealth from her late husband Helmut, who made his fortune by buying department stores at heavily discounted prices from Jews sold under duress during the Third Reich, Bloomberg reports. ,

“This auction is doubly indecent: the funds that made it possible to acquire these jewels were partly the result of the Aryanization of Jewish property carried out by Nazi Germany,” said Jonathan Arfi, president of the CRIF (Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions). Are.” , wrote a statement posted on the organization’s website. “Plus, this sale will contribute to a foundation whose mission is to ensure the former Nazi’s name is preserved for the future!”

According to forbes, He was worth 2.9 billion dollars. His collection included “unique and extravagant pieces” from 20th-century designers including Cartier, Harry Winston, Bulgari and Van Cleef & Arpels. According to estimates, the estimated value of the entire collection is more than $150 million.

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