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Umm Kulthum's jewels to glitter at Dubai auction


Following the historic sale in Dubai last year of Umm Kulthum's pearl necklace for $1.4 million (Dhs5.1 million), a small group of her personal jewels will be offered at an auction of jewels and watches organised by Christie's on April 28 in Dubai.

The sale will include rare coloured gemstones and exquisite natural pearls alongside watches by Patek Philippe, Breguet, Cartier and Rolex.

The sale will be followed by Christie's auction of international modern and contemporary art, which will be held on April 29. Both the sales are sponsored by Credit Suisse, one of the leading global providers of financial products and services in Private Banking, Investment Banking, and Asset Management.

Umm Kulthum, the greatest Arab singer of the 20th century, was known as the Shining Star of the Middle East (Kawab El Sharq). The sale will include four items from her jewellery collection, the highlight of which is an emerald, diamond and pearl set comprising a brooch, a bracelet and a pair of ear pendants, estimated at $40,000­ 60,000.

Also included is an impressive Indian multi-strand pearl and turquoise necklace, the front designed as a stylised peacock, which is estimated at $15,000­25,000, a cultured pearl and paste "festoon" brooch, which was a gift from the late Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi (1919-1980) to Umm Kulthum on the occasion of his wedding to Princess Fawzia, the sister of King Farouk, the late King of Egypt (estimated at $3,000-5,000) and a lady's cultured pearl and diamond wristwatch (estimated at $4,000­6,000).

"We are delighted to have been entrusted with this rare group of jewels from Umm Kulthum and, as always in our Dubai sales, we have sought to offer some exquisite pieces of jewellery and fine watches," said David Warren, director of Jewellery, Middle East.

"By sponsoring the Christie's auction, Credit Suisse provides investors and the wider Middle East audience a rare glimpse of contemporary and ageless pieces of art, enfolding both aesthetic and economic value", said Raj Sehgal, branch manager of Credit Suisse Dubai.

Other highlights


Other highlights in the sale include a pair of diamond three-stone ear pendants, estimated at $300,000-500,000. The quality and size of the diamonds is rare ­ the larger stones weighing 5.29 and 5.07 carats. Other important diamonds include a pair of diamond ear studs, each set with a circular-cut diamond weighing 12.56 and 11.65 carats with an estimate of $150,000-200,000 and a diamond kite-shaped pendant weighing 5.01 carats, D colour, internally flawless (estimated at $160,000-180,000).

Coloured gemstones in the sale include an emerald and diamond parure by Tabbah comprising a bracelet, a pair of earrings and ring with an estimate of $180,000-220,000, a rectangular emerald ring weighing 16.71 carats (estimated at $130,000-140,000), and a cushion-shaped Burmese ruby and diamond ring of 5.07 carats which is estimated at $130,000-150,000.

Appropriately for the Gulf, Christie's Dubai sales have always featured a fine group of natural pearls. A sumptuous pearl, multi-gem and enamel Indian necklace, the pearls set with a line of 17 graduated drop-shaped earls, are included with an estimate of $140,000-180,000 alongside a classic single-row natural pearl necklace estimated at $160,000-180,000.


A private collection of around 20 watches from the Middle East will also be offered among the 50 watches for the sale by international watch-makers, including Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Omega and Lange & Sohne.

A limited edition wristwatch, decorated with an enamel and cloisonné view of St Basil's in Red Square and presented in an enamel "egg", is estimated at $80,000-120,000.


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