Next to Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot, there was another European actress in the 50s and 60s that captured our imaginations with her sultry looks and sassy attitude. She is Gina Lollobrigida.
She was a bombshell in the file and ranks of Marilyn Monroe. In the early 60s, she starred in two movies with Rock Hudson (my favorite leading man of the era!); Come September 1961 and Strange Bedfellows 1965. Come September also starred Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee and it is on this set that the two fell in love . . .
At the height of her popularity, Ms. Lollobrigida wined and dined with international superstars like Salvador Dali and wore the most exquisite jewels to Hollywood parties. A small collection of her jewels are up for auction at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels May 14th Geneva sale.
Being the glamazon that she was, I was not surprised to see the caliber of her large diamond and precious gems. However, one lot up for sale (lot 648) really surprised me. It is a rough diamond octahedron embedded in Kimberlite blue ground that she made into a heart and mounted in gold to be worn as a pendant with her initials ‘GL’ inscribed in the back.
The piece of rough was given to her in 1971 by Harry Frederick Oppenheimer (Oppenheimer is the family that started DeBeers in the late 1800s in South Africa) when she went to visit the mines.
This perfect little diamond rough with a piece of Hollywood history attached is estimated for 11,500 – 17,500 CHF. After seeing this lot, I like Ms. Lollibrigida even more. She saw the raw beauty of the rough diamond in matrix and pretty much left it in its natural state. Fascinating stuff!
From the Sotheby’s catalogue:
This piece was presented to Miss Lollobrigida by Harry Frederick Oppenheimer when visiting one of his diamond mines in Kimberley, South Africa, in 1971. She subsequently had the ore fashioned into the shape of a heart and mounted as a pendant. On the same day the or was given to Miss Lollobrigida, the ninth largest rough diamond in the world was found in the Kimberley mines.
All images courtesy of Sotheby’s