By Ashley Davis
A close-up of “The Dunhuang Pipa Necklace” by contemporary jewelry designer Anna Hu, part of the Sotheby’s fall jewelry auction in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong—The Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn sale will highlight the works of one contemporary jewelry visionary.

Chinese high jeweler Anna Hu has designed a five-piece collection titled “Silk Road Music,” inspired by the ancient trade route between East and West and the resulting intersection of various cultures and musical styles.

20190909 Sothebys yellow1The Dunhuang Pipa Necklace

Headlining the collection and sale is “The Dunhuang Pipa Necklace,” featuring a 100.02-carat fancy intense yellow diamond. It derives its name from the pipa, a four-string Chinese lute, and specifically, the curving depictions of the instrument in the Dunhuang murals.

The underground cave murals near the city of Dunhaung in northwestern China, a stop on the Silk Road, were created around the 4th century and artists continued to paint in them for 1,000 years.

The Dunhuang Pipa Necklace, which also transforms into a brooch and earring, is expected to sell for as much as $6.25 million.

“It is absolutely a pleasure to collaborate with Sotheby’s on this project, and be given the opportunity to work with the 100.02-carat yellow diamond, which is a true gift from nature,” Hu said in a statement from Sotheby’s.

“I want this collection to speak to my Chinese root, and I thought the beauty of jewels could be enhanced with a touch of the traditional-yet-exotic music that once flowed through the Silk Road.”

20190909 Sothebys celloThe “Cello” brooch by Anna Hu

Though she was born in Taiwan to gemstone dealer parents, Hu’s first love was music. The budding cellist turned to jewelry when a shoulder injury forced her to cut her musical career short, but her early influence is features prominently in “Silk Road Music.”

Another piece of the collection, the “Cello” brooch, features jadeite ranging in size from 1.43 to 34.93 carats accented with yellow, white and pink diamonds.

It’s expected to sell for $280,000 to $350,000 and was inspired by Pablo Picasso’s painting “Violin Hanging on the Wall” in Switzerland’s Museum of Fine Arts Bern.

20190909 Sothebys magpie

The “Blue Magpie” brooch (sale estimate: $190,000-$225,000) takes inspiration from an antique porcelain plate from China’s National Museum of History, as well as the works of painter at China’s imperial court and Jesuit missionary, Giuseppe Castiglione.

The scene of two magpies comes to life in Hu’s hands, with a conch pearl standing in for a bird’s egg and the birds set with more than 500 sapphires and diamonds.

20190909 Sothebys musicnote“Ellington” earrings by Anna Hu

Conch pearls make another appearance in the “Ellington” earrings, featuring blue sapphire and baguette- and modified-cut diamonds meant to resemble musical notes. They are expected to garner $280,000 to $350,000.

20190909 Sothebys rubyring 

Piano keys and jazz were the inspiration for the “Apassionata” ring set with rubies and diamonds, which is predicted to sell for $80,000 to $100,000.

In addition to Hu’s contemporary high jewelry works, Sotheby’s fall jewelry auction in Hong Kong features a Type IIa fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond weighing 10.64 carats in an 18-karat white and rose gold ring with trapeze diamonds, seen below.

20190909 Sothebys pink

It is accompanied by a special Gemological Institute of America monograph that reads: “Unlike other purplish-pink color sensations in nature—like the sky at dawn or the delicate petals of a spring flower—the alluring color of the 10.64-carat fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond is enduring, captured and preserved in the resilient structure of the diamond for posterity to witness and admire.”

The ring is expected to sell for between $19.14 million and $25.52 million at the Oct. 7 jewelry auction.

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