Throughout her trailblazing career, Barbara Walters dazzled millions of T.V. viewers. Now you, too, can sparkle like the late broadcast journalist, whose collection of high jewelry is heading to auction.
Starting November 6, you’ll can place your bid on glittering selects from Walters’s 120-piece treasure trove, as well as other rare pieces from her $8 million estate, via Bonhams. Dubbed Barbara Walters: American Icon, the event will also give collectors the chance to snag over 300 items, ranging from fine China to Beaux Arts-style works by artists such as John Singer Sargent and Frank W. Benson.
The auction’s leading jewelry lot is a 13.8-carat, emerald-cut diamond ring by Harry Winston. And the bling has some sentiment attached as well: Walters’s late husband, Merv Adelson, gave the piece to her as an engagement gift. The stunning offering is estimated to fetch between $600,000 and $900,000 but may leave the auction block for more.
A bespoke pair of gem-set earrings by French jeweler, JAR, is the runner-up that could sell for between $200,000 and $300,000 at auction. The duo feature alternating oval-shaped spessartite garnet or rubellite tourmaline gems at their center, plus round brilliant-cut diamonds. The final spot in the trio of top lots is taken by a different pair of JAR earrings that feature a paisley design and are set with peridot, sapphire, tourmaline, and diamonds. Bonhams says they were a personal favorite of Walters, which may explain their $180,000 to $250,000 estimate.
Other jewels of note include a statement-making floral brooch set with square-cut rubies and round brilliant-cut diamonds that is estimated to sell for between $12,000 and $18,000. Walters was photographed in the piece with Audrey Hepburn at the eighth annual Night of Stars fashion festival at Waldorf Astoria in New York, in 1991. A belle époque diamond brooch she wore to Sir Elton John’s 60th birthday party in 2007 will also be yours for the taking with an estimate of between $15,000 and $20,000.
“Jewelry was incredibly special to Barbara Walters, and her collection included everything one could want in a jewelry collection,” says Jean Ghika, Bonhams global head of jewelry in a statement. The auction house’s CEO Bruno Vinciguerra also chimed in, stating, “we are privileged to present her collection and recognize the immense importance of preserving her legacy.”
Bonhams will display highlights from Barbara Walters: American Icon at salesrooms in Boston, Los Angeles, Paris, London, and Hong Kong ahead of the live auction in New York on November 6. An online sale, Barbara Walters Online, will run from October 29 through November 7.