High end jewelry pieces for sale at a Christie’s auction denounced by Jewish group for its links to Nazi Germany failed to reach their target prices, ABC News reported.
The enormous collection of 700 items of luxury jewelry included a ruby ring and a diamond necklace that did not receive bids matching the auction’s listed targets.
Despite outrage, British auction house Christie’s refused to cancel the planned auction of the $150 million jewelry collection belonging to Heidi Horton, The Guardian reported. Her husband, Helmut Horten, made a fortune buying businesses from Jews who were forced to sell in Nazi Germany and “aryanizing” them.
A freeze on the auction, which is being conducted in Swiss francs, had been called for by numerous Jewish organizations, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), who called for a suspension of the sale “until full research of links to Nazi era acquisitions are completed.”
The ruby ring, featuring a 26-carat “Sunrise Ruby” that Horten purchased in 2015 for $30 million USD, sold on Wednesday for only $14.6 million, including fees and a “buyer’s premium.” The auction’s target price was around $20 million.
The 90-carat “Briolette of India” diamond, which had been mounted in a necklace containing smaller diamonds, sold for only approximately $7 million, while its target price was listed as between $10 and $15 million.
According to Christie’s, the auction featuring diamonds, emeralds and sapphires, which began this week and continues until Friday, has so far taken in $156 million overall, including fees, slightly higher than the lower target of $139 million.
The auction house has defended the sale, describing the collection as containing pieces that were purchased starting in the 1970s, decades after the end of Nazi Germany. They added that they agreed to hold the auction on the condition that all profits would be given to charity.