On December 5, the famed auction house Sotheby’s is honored to offer exceptional diamonds and signed jewels from the collections of Estée Lauder and Evelyn H. Lauder, sold to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, an organization founded and championed by Evelyn Lauder. Highlighting the Lauder jewels are two particularly special diamonds: a beautiful Fancy Intense Pink diamond ring of 6.54 carats and a heart-shaped Fancy Intense Yellow diamond of 47.14 carats, set in a diamond necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels for Estée Lauder, and once owned by the Duchess of Windsor. The collections also feature a spectacular D color diamond of 22.16 carats by Graff and a very fine selection of wearable evening and daytime jewelry, all reflecting the classic style and refined taste of the women who wore them.
The Magnificent Jewels sale also includes a compelling array of white and fancy colored diamonds, precious gemstones, period designs and jewels signed by esteemed European and American jewelers of the past and present. Leading the selection of magnificent diamonds from private collections are the 52.73 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond ring and the 33.84 carat D color diamond ring. Jewels crafted by Suzanne Belperron, Mauboussin and Fouquet highlight the vintage jewels on offer, and designs by Nirav Modi and Michele della Valle will appeal to collectors seeking more contemporary styles.
Select highlights from the Magnificent Jewels auction will be on public exhibition at Sotheby’s locations in Los Angeles on November 18 and in London from November 23-26. This is an extraordinary sale, to be sold alongside magnificent jewels from the collection of Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, and Sotheby’s will present all of the jewels at the pubic exhibition opening in New York on December 1.
Leonard A. Lauder, Chairman Emeritus, The Estée Lauder Companies and Acting Chairman of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation stated, “On behalf of the Lauder family, we are pleased to be partnering with Sotheby’s for this important auction. Each piece of jewelry is unique and very special. They were each designed to be timeless pieces that also manifest exceptional style and taste. I know that both my mother Estée and my dear wife Evelyn would be pleased that these items are being sold to raise funds for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Our mission is to help women around the world so that one day this disease will be a thing of the past.”
A visionary entrepreneur who believed all women could be beautiful, Estée Lauder (1906-2004) instinctively understood the power of beauty. Her dedication and hard work transformed the fledgling business she launched in 1946 with four products into today’s global leader in prestige beauty. Mrs. Lauder got her start selling skin care products developed by her uncle, a chemist, in local beauty salons and hotels. She believed in the power of word of mouth and that sampling products sealed a sale, pioneering personalized beauty consultation and Gift with Purchase promotions. She was the recipient of many prestigious honors, including France’s Legion of Honor in 1978 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004. She traveled and entertained extensively, and socialized with world leaders, Hollywood royalty and celebrities.
Evelyn H. Lauder (1936-2011) was the Senior Corporate Vice President and Head of Fragrance Development Worldwide for The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. Her life is a remarkable American success story: born in Vienna, Austria, her parents fled from Europe at the outset of World War II, eventually settling in New York City. She was proud to have attended New York City public schools and Hunter College, where she met Leonard A. Lauder as a freshman. The two married in 1959, and Mrs. Lauder began her more than 50 years with the family company, contributing her invaluable insights into fashion trends, consumers’ changing needs, and new approaches to the development of innovative skin care, makeup and fragrance products.
Mrs. Lauder was perhaps best known to the public for her work in bringing global awareness to the importance of women’s health. In 1992, Mrs. Lauder co-created the now-ubiquitous Pink Ribbon with SELF magazine, and launched The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign (bcacampaign.com). Mrs. Lauder was also Chairman of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which she founded in 1993. She was passionately committed to preventing and finding a cure for breast cancer.
Mrs. Lauder was also a dedicated photographer, and her photographs are in the collection of The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and leading medical facilities worldwide. She has had two photography books published of her own work, and in 2006 she published a healthy-living cookbook – in keeping with her passion for philanthropy, the royalties from each of Mrs. Lauder’s books and exhibitions supported The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The many honors she received in recognition of her work include: France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur; the prestigious 2007 Partners in Progress Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology; two appearances in Crain’s New York Business magazine’s list of New York’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business; and being nominated to the International Best Dressed List in 2008.
Founded by Evelyn H. Lauder in 1993, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) has raised more than $390 million to advance the most promising breast cancer research worldwide that will help lead to prevention and a cure in our lifetime. In 2012-2013, BCRF grants totaling $40 million are supporting 197 dedicated researchers at major medical institutions across the globe. Currently, 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF is directed towards breast cancer research and awareness programs. BCRF remains one of the most fiscally responsible charities in the country. For the tenth time since 2002, it has earned 4 stars from Charity Navigator. Additionally, BCRF is the only cancer organization rated an “A+” by CharityWatch. For more information about BCRF, visit bcrfcure.org.