Black, Starr & Frost
Black, Starr & Frost is an American jewelry company. Founded in 1810, the company is the oldest continuously operating jewelry firm in the United States; the Molina Group relocated its headquarters to Phoenix. Since Alfredo J. Molina has served as chairman and CEO. Founded in 1810 by Isaac Marquand – a silversmith whose family immigrated from France – Black, Starr & Frost opened as Marquand & Co. in New York City, making it the oldest continuously operating jewelry firm in the United States. At that time, two store clerks – William Black and Henry Ball – joined the firm, which became Black, Ball & Company. In 1912, the company – by named Black, Starr & Frost – moved to New York City offices at the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and 48th Street, known as the diamond district. Black, Starr & Frost has had a number of notable clients, such as the Rockefellers, Carnigies, Bunny Mellon, Elizabeth Taylor and Zsa Zsa Gabor. 1833: Black, Starr & Frost is the first to use plate-glass windows to display merchandise to pedestrians.
1837: Black, Starr & Frost crafted first class ring for West Point. Famous West Point grads who wore Black, Starr & Frost rings include President Ulysses S. Grant, General George A. Custer and General Douglas MacArthur. 1851: Black Starr & Frost's pure gold four-piece tea service displayed at the London Crystal Palace Exhibition.1859: Black, Starr & Frost provided more than $100,000 in pearls and diamonds to the bride Frances Amelia Bartlett as a gift from the groom Don Esteban Santa Cruz de Oviedo in the “Diamond Wedding” at St. Patrick's Cathedral. 1860: The Company received an order for more than $12,000 of jewelry and silverware from Edward, Prince of Wales. 1860: Built the finest business structure and most famous shop of its time on Broadway and Prince Street. The first fireproof building in New York, it was constructed of white marble, in its vaults the modern safe deposit system was fashioned. 1863: Created the Gillmore Medal, the inspiration for the first Congressional Medal of Honor.
Medal, created by Ball, Black & Co. was issued on October 28, 1863, by Major General Quincy A. Gillmore, Commander of Union troops. Given to those who served during the Fort Sumter battle, the medal was among the first to recognize honor on the battlefield. Only about 400 were issued. 1863: The company created the Kearny Cross for acts of valor during war. 1865: Mary Todd Lincoln owed $64,000 to the firm at the time her husband was assassinated, which represents $11 million today. 1876: Cortlandt Starr and Aaron Frost joined the company, which became known as Black Starr & Frost. 1876: Black, Starr & Frost built the first apartment building and jewelry salon on 28th Street and Fifth Avenue. 1911: Black, Starr & Frost made the key for the ceremonial opening of the New York Public Library. 1912: The C. T. Cook residence on Fifth Avenue and 48th Street was converted into the new home of Black, Starr & Frost. Not until the 1920s did other jewelers and diamond dealers join Black, Starr & Frost in this part of the city, recognized worldwide today as New York City's “Diamond District.”
1915: The first auto-racing trophy, known as The Astor Cup, was created by Black, Starr & Frost. 1917: Black, Starr & Frost sold a diamond necklace for $200,000 to stage star Peggy Hopkins Joyce, the inspiration for Marilyn Monroe's character in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” 1921: Designed and produced the silver platter for The Davis Cup for the U. S. Lawn Tennis Association. 1928: Sold the 127-carat Portuguese Diamond for $373,000 to Hopkins Joyce. Today the diamond is housed in the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution and is the largest faceted diamond in that collection. 1929: Black, Starr & Frost merged with Gorham Corporation, was renamed Black, Frost-Gorham. 1930: Black, Starr & Frost acquired the diamonds and jewels of “Diamond Jim Brady,” a financier. 1931: Acquired the 25-carat “Lucky” Baldwin Ruby, named after California gold mining pioneer E. J. “Lucky” Baldwin. The ruby was purchased from a gemstone broker. 1939: Displayed two unique jewel-encrusted Mystery Clocks – the only square-faced Mystery Clock in the world and the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” clock – at the New York World's Fair.
Black Starr & Frost was one of five jewelers invited to exhibit at the New York World's Fair that year. 1949: Carol Channing played Lorelei Lee, inspired by Peggy Hopkins Joyce, on Broadway and is the first to sing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” which mentions Black Starr & Frost. 1953: Marilyn Monroe portrays Lorelei Lee on the big screen in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and sings “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” with the verse “Tiffany, Black, Frost-Gorham. Talk to me Harry Winston. Tell me all about it.” 1956: Manufactured the “Princeton Mace” – a ceremonial club – used at Princeton University for key observances at the school. 1962: Marcus and Company acquired Black, Frost-Gorham, restored the name to Black, Starr & Frost. 1962: Black, Starr & Frost purchased Cartier USA. This was the first of many steps that expanded Starr & Frost. 1972: Kay Jewelers acquired Black, Starr & Frost and expanded to 33 locations. 1986: New York's The Plaza Hotel became home to another Black, Starr & Frost jewelry salon.
1990: Sterling Inc. acquired Kay Jewelers and Black, Starr & Frost.1991: Paul Lam, Costa Mesa, acquired Black, Starr & Frost. 2006: The Molina Group acquired Black, Starr & Frost.2012: Black, Starr & Frost sold the Archduke Joseph Diamond, a 76-carat, D-color, internally flawless diamond, the largest D color internally flawless Golconda diamond in the world for $21.5 million at Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction, setting three world recor
A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond is transparent with no hue, or color. However, in reality no gem-sized natural diamonds are perfect; the color of a diamond may be affected by chemical impurities and/or structural defects in the crystal lattice. Depending on the hue and intensity of a diamond's coloration, a diamond's color can either detract from or enhance its value. For example, most white diamonds are discounted in price when more yellow hue is detectable, while intense pink diamonds or blue diamonds can be more valuable. Of all colored diamonds, red diamonds are the rarest; the Aurora Pyramid of Hope displays a spectacular array of colored diamonds, including red diamonds. Diamonds occur in a variety of colors—steel gray, blue, orange, green, pink to purple and black. Colored diamonds contain interstitial impurities or structural defects that cause the coloration, pure diamonds are transparent and colorless. Diamonds are scientifically classed into two main types and several subtypes, according to the nature of impurities present and how these impurities affect light absorption: Type I diamonds have nitrogen atoms as the main impurity at a concentration of 0.1%.
If the nitrogen atoms are in pairs they do not affect the diamond's color. If the nitrogen atoms are in large even-numbered aggregates they impart a yellow to brown tint. About 98% of gem diamonds are type Ia, most of these are a mixture of IaA and IaB material: these diamonds belong to the Cape series, named after the diamond-rich region known as Cape Province in North Africa, whose deposits are Type Ia. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed throughout the crystal in isolated sites, they give the stone an intense yellow or brown tint. Synthetic diamond containing nitrogen is Type Ib. Type I diamonds absorb from 320 nm, they have a characteristic fluorescence and visible absorption spectrum. Type II diamonds have no measurable nitrogen impurities. Type II diamonds absorb in a different region of the infrared, transmit in the ultraviolet below 225 nm, unlike Type I diamonds, they have differing fluorescence characteristics, but no discernible visible absorption spectrum. Type IIa diamond can be colored pink, red, or brown due to structural anomalies arising through plastic deformation during crystal growth—these diamonds are rare, but constitute a large percentage of Australian production.
Type IIb diamonds, which account for 0.1% of gem diamonds, are light blue due to scattered boron within the crystal matrix. However, a blue-grey color may occur in Type Ia diamonds and be unrelated to boron. Not restricted to type are green diamonds, whose color is caused by GR1 color centers in the crystal lattice produced by exposure to varying quantities of radiation. Pink and red are caused by plastic deformation of the crystal lattice from pressure. Black diamonds are caused by microscopic black or gray inclusions of other materials such as graphite or sulfides and/or microscopic fractures. Opaque or opalescent white diamonds are caused by microscopic inclusions. Purple diamonds are caused by a combination of high hydrogen content; the majority of diamonds that are mined are in a range of pale yellow or brown color, termed the normal color range. Diamonds that are of intense yellow or brown, or any other color are called fancy color diamonds. Diamonds that are of the highest purity are colorless, appear a bright white.
The degree to which diamonds exhibit body color is one of the four value factors by which diamonds are assessed. Diamonds have a color grading system; this system goes from D to Z. The more colorless a diamond is, the rarer and more valuable it is because it appears white and brighter to the eye. Color grading of diamonds was performed as a step of sorting rough diamonds for sale by the London Diamond Syndicate; as the diamond trade developed, early diamond grades were introduced by various parties in the diamond trade. Without any co-operative development these early grading systems lacked standard nomenclature, consistency; some early grading scales were. Numerous terms developed to describe diamonds of particular colors: golconda, jagers, blue white, fine white, gem blue, etc. Refers to a grading scale for diamonds in the normal color range used by internationally recognized laboratories; the scale ranges from D, colorless to Z, a pale yellow or brown color. Brown diamonds darker than K color are described using their letter grade, a descriptive phrase, for example M Faint Brown.
Diamonds with more depth of color than Z color fall into the fancy color diamond range. Diamond color is graded by comparing a sample stone to a master stone set of diamonds; each master stone is known to exhibit the least amount of body color that a diamond in that color grade may exhibit. A trained diamond grader compares a diamond of unknown grade against the series of master stones, assessing where in the range of color the diamond resides; this process occurs in a lighting box, fitted with daylight equivalent lamps. Accurate color grading can only be performed with diamond unset, as the comparison with master
Brilliant (diamond cut)
A brilliant is a diamond or other gemstone cut in a particular form with numerous facets so as to have exceptional brilliance. The shape resembles that of a cone and provides maximized light return through the top of the diamond. With modern techniques, the cutting and polishing of a diamond crystal always results in a dramatic loss of weight; the round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron, as two stones may be cut from one such crystal. Oddly shaped crystals such as macles are more to be cut in a fancy cut—that is, a cut other than the round brilliant—which the particular crystal shape lends itself to; the original round brilliant-cut was developed by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. The modern round brilliant consists of 58 facets, ordinarily today cut in two pyramids placed base to base: 33 on the crown, truncated comparatively near its base by the table, 25 on the pavilion, which has only the apex cut off to form the culet, around which 8 extra facets are sometimes added.
In recent decades, most girdles are faceted. Many girdles have 64, 80, or 96 facets. While the facet count is standard, the actual proportions are not universally agreed upon; some gem cutters refer to a Scandinavian brilliant cut. Quoting Green et al. 2001: Because every facet has the potential to change a light ray's plane of travel, every facet must be considered in any complete calculation of light paths. Just as a two-dimensional slice of a diamond provides incomplete information about the three-dimensional nature of light behavior inside a diamond, this two-dimensional slice provides incomplete information about light behavior outside the diamond. A diamond's panorama is three-dimensional. Although diamonds are symmetrical, light can enter a diamond from many directions and many angles; this factor further highlights the need to reevaluate Tolkowsky's results, to recalculate the effects of a diamond's proportions on its appearance aspects. Another important point to consider is that Tolkowsky did not follow the path of a ray, reflected more than twice in the diamond.
However, we now know that a diamond's appearance is composed of many light paths that reflect more than two times within that diamond. Once again, we can see that Tolkowsky's predictions are helpful in explaining optimal diamond performance, but they are incomplete by today's technological standards. Figures 1 and 2 show the facets of a round brilliant diamond. Figure 1 assumes that the "thick part of the girdle" is the same thickness at all 16 "thick parts", it does not consider the effects of indexed upper girdle facets. Figure 2 is adapted from Figure 37 of Marcel Tolkowsky's Diamond Design, published in 1919. Since 1919, the lower girdle facets have become longer; as a result, the pavilion main facets have become narrower. The relationship between the crown angle and the pavilion angle has the greatest effect on the look of the diamond. A steep pavilion angle can sometimes be complemented by a shallower crown angle, vice versa. Other proportions affect the look of the diamond: The table ratio is significant.
The length of the lower girdle facets affects whether Hearts and arrows can be seen in the stone, under certain viewers. Most round brilliant diamonds have the same girdle thickness at all 16 "thick parts". So-called "cheated" girdles have thicker girdles where the main facets touch the girdle than where adjacent upper girdle facets touch the girdle; these stones weigh more, have worse optical performance. So-called "painted" girdles have thinner girdles where the main facets touch the girdle than where adjacent upper girdle facets touch the girdle; these stones have less light leakage at the edge of the stone. Some diamonds with painted girdles receive lower grades in the GIA's cut grading system, for reasons given in a 2005 GIA article. Several groups have developed diamond cut grading standards, they all disagree somewhat on. There are certain proportions; the AGA standards may be the strictest. David Atlas has suggested; the HCA changed several times between 2001 and 2004. As of 2004, an HCA score below two represented an excellent cut.
The HCA distinguishes between brilliant and fiery cuts. The American Gem Society standards changed in 2005 to better match Tolkowsky's model and Octonus' ray tracing results; the 2005 AGS standards penalize stones with "cheated" girdles. They grade from 0 to 10; the GIA began grading cut on every grading report beginning 2006 based on their comprehensive study of 20,000 proportions with 70,000 observations of 2,000 diamonds. The single descriptive words are as follows: Excellent, Very Good, Good and Poor; the distance from the viewer's eye to the diamond is important. The 2005 AGS cut standards are based on a distance of 25 centimeters; the 2004 HCA cut standards are based on a distance of 40 centimeters. Polish and symmetry are two important aspects of the cut; the polish grade describes the smoothness of the diamond's facets, the symmetry grade refers to alignment of the facets. With
The Hope Diamond is one of the most famous jewels in the world, with ownership records dating back four centuries. Its much-admired rare blue color is due to trace amounts of boron atoms. Weighing 45.52 carats, its exceptional size has revealed new findings about the formation of gemstones. The jewel is believed to have originated in India, where the original stone was purchased in 1666 by French gem merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier as the Tavernier Blue; the Tavernier Blue was cut and yielded the French Blue, which Tavernier sold to King Louis XIV in 1668. Stolen in 1791, it was recut, with the largest section acquiring its "Hope" name when it appeared in the catalogue of a gem collection owned by a London banking family called Hope in 1839. After going through numerous owners, it was sold to Washington socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean, seen wearing it, it was purchased in 1949 by New York gem merchant Harry Winston, who toured it for a number of years before giving it to the National Museum of Natural History in 1958, where it has since remained on permanent exhibition.
The Hope Diamond has long been rumored to carry a curse due to agents trying to arouse interest in the stone. It was last reported to be insured for $250 million; the Hope Diamond known as Le Bijou du Roi, Le bleu de France, the Tavernier Blue, is a large, 45.52-carat, deep-blue diamond, now housed in the National Gem and Mineral collection at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D. C, it is blue to the naked eye because of trace amounts of boron within its crystal structure, exhibits a red phosphorescence under exposure to ultraviolet light. It is classified as a Type IIb diamond, has changed hands numerous times on its way from India to France to Britain and to the United States, where it has been on public display since, it has been described as the "most famous diamond in the world". Weight: In December 1988, the Gemological Institute of America's Gem Trade Lab determined that the diamond weighed 45.52 carats. Size and shape: The diamond has been compared in size and shape to a pigeon egg, walnut, a "good sized horse chestnut", "pear shaped."
The dimensions in terms of length and depth are 25.60 mm × 21.78 mm × 12.00 mm. Color: It has been described as being "fancy dark greyish-blue" as well as being "dark blue in color" or having a "steely-blue" color; as colored-diamond expert Stephen Hofer points out, blue diamonds similar to the Hope can be shown by colorimetric measurements to be grayer than blue sapphires. In 1996, the Gemological Institute of America's Gem Trade Lab examined the diamond and, using their proprietary scale, graded it fancy deep grayish blue. Visually, the gray modifier is so dark that it produces an "inky" effect appearing blackish-blue in incandescent light. Current photographs of the Hope Diamond use high-intensity light sources that tend to maximize the brilliance of gemstones. In popular literature, many superlatives have been used to describe the Hope Diamond as a "superfine deep blue" comparing it to the color of a fine sapphire, "blue of the most beautiful blue sapphire", describing its color as "a sapphire blue".
Tavernier had described it as a "beautiful violet". Emits a red glow: The stone exhibits an unusually intense and colored type of luminescence: after exposure to short-wave ultraviolet light, the diamond produces a brilliant red phosphorescence that persists for some time after the light source has been switched off, this strange quality may have helped fuel "its reputation of being cursed." The red glow helps scientists "fingerprint" blue diamonds, allowing them to "tell the real ones from the artificial." The red glow indicates that a different mix of boron and nitrogen is within the stone, according to Jeffrey Post in the journal Geology. People think of the Hope Diamond as a historic gem, but this study underscores its importance as a rare scientific specimen that can provide vital insights into our knowledge of diamonds and how they are formed in the earth. Clarity: The clarity was determined to be VS1, with whitish graining present. Cut: The cut was described as being "cushion antique brilliant with a faceted girdle and extra facets on the pavilion."
Chemical composition: In 2010, the diamond was removed from its setting in order to measure its chemical composition. According to Smithsonian curator Dr. Jeffrey Post, the boron may be responsible for causing the blue color of the stones after tests using infrared light measured a spectrum of the gems. Touch and feel: When Associated Press reporter Ron Edmonds was allowed by Smithsonian officials to hold the gem in his hand in 2003, he wrote that the first thought that had come into his mind was: "Wow!" It was described as "cool to the touch." He wrote:You cradle the 45.5-carat stone—about the size of a walnut and heavier than its translucence makes it appear—turning it from side to side as the light flashes from its facets, knowing it's the hardest natural material yet fearful of dropping it. Hardness: Diamonds in general, including the Hope Diamond, are considered to be the hardest natural mineral on the Earth, but because of diamond's crystalline structure, there are weak planes in the bonds which permit jewelers to slice a diamond and, in so doing, to cause it to sparkle by refracting light in different ways.
The Hope Diamond was formed deep within the Earth
The Koh-i-Noor spelt Kohinoor and Koh-i-Nur, is one of the largest cut diamonds in the world, weighing 105.6 carats, part of the British Crown Jewels. Mined in Golconda, there is no record of its original weight, but the earliest well-attested weight is 186 old carats. Koh-i-Noor is Hindi-Urdu and Persian for "Mountain of Light", it changed hands between various factions in south and west Asia, until being ceded to Queen Victoria after the British conquest of the Punjab in 1849. The stone was of a similar cut to other Mughal era diamonds like Darya-i-Noor which are now in the Iranian Crown Jewels. In 1851, it went on display at the Great Exhibition in London, but the lacklustre cut failed to impress viewers. Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, ordered it to be re-cut as an oval brilliant by Coster Diamonds. By modern standards, the culet is unusually broad, giving the impression of a black hole when the stone is viewed head-on; because its history involves a great deal of fighting between men, the Koh-i-Noor acquired a reputation within the British royal family for bringing bad luck to any man who wears it.
Since arriving in the UK, it has only been worn by female members of the family. Victoria wore the stone in a circlet. After she died in 1901, it was set in the Crown of Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII, it was transferred to the Crown of Queen Mary in 1911, to the crown of Queen Elizabeth in 1937 for her coronation as Queen consort. Today, the diamond is on public display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London, where it is seen by millions of visitors each year; the governments of India and Pakistan have both claimed ownership of the Koh-i-Noor and demanded its return since the two countries gained independence from the UK in 1947. The British government insists the gem was obtained under the terms of the Last Treaty of Lahore and has rejected the claims; the diamond is believed to have come from Kollur Mine, a series of 4-metre deep gravel-clay pits on the banks of Krishna River in the Golconda, India. It is impossible to know when or where it was found, many unverifiable theories exist as to its original owner.
Babur, the Turco-Mongol founder of the Mughal Empire, wrote about a "famous" diamond that weighed just over 187 old carats – the size of the 186-carat Koh-i-Noor. Some historians think. According to his diary, it was acquired by Alauddin Khalji, second ruler of the Khalji dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate, when he invaded the kingdoms of southern India at the beginning of the 14th century and was in the possession of Kakatiya dynasty, it passed to succeeding dynasties of the Sultanate, Babur received the diamond in 1526 as a tribute for his conquest of Delhi and Agra at the Battle of Panipat. Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor, had the stone placed into his ornate Peacock Throne. In 1658, his son and successor, confined the ailing emperor to Agra Fort. While in the possession of Aurangzeb, it was cut by Hortenso Borgia, a Venetian lapidary, reducing the weight of the large stone to 186 carats. For this carelessness, Borgia was fined 10,000 rupees. According to recent research, the story of Borgia cutting the diamond is not correct, most mixed up with the Orlov, part of Catherine the Great's imperial Russian sceptre in the Kremlin.
Following the 1739 invasion of Delhi by Nader Shah, the Afsharid Shah of Persia, the treasury of the Mughal Empire was looted by his army in an organised and thorough acquisition of the Mughal nobility's wealth. Along with millions of rupees and an assortment of historic jewels, the Shah carried away the Koh-i-Noor, he exclaimed Koh-i-Noor!, Persian for "Mountain of Light", when he obtained the famous stone. One of his consorts said, "If a strong man were to throw four stones – one north, one south, one east, one west, a fifth stone up into the air – and if the space between them were to be filled with gold, all would not equal the value of the Koh-i-Noor". After Nader Shah was killed and his empire collapsed in 1747, the Koh-i-Noor fell to his grandson, who in 1751 gave it to Ahmad Shah Durrani, founder of the Afghan Empire, in return for his support. One of Ahmed's descendants, Shuja Shah Durrani, wore a bracelet containing the Koh-i-Noor on the occasion of Mountstuart Elphinstone's visit to Peshawar in 1808.
A year Shujah formed an alliance with the United Kingdom to help defend against a possible invasion of Afghanistan by Russia. He was overthrown, but fled with the diamond to Lahore, where Ranjit Singh, founder of the Sikh Empire, in return for his hospitality, insisted upon the gem being given to him, he took possession of it in 1813, its new owner, Ranjit Singh, willed the diamond to the East India Company-administered Hindu Jagannath Temple in Puri, in modern-day Odisha, India. However, after his death in 1839, his will was not executed. On 29 March 1849, following the conclusion of the Second Anglo-Sikh War, the Kingdom of Punjab was formally annexed to Company rule, the Last Treaty of Lahore was signed ceding the Koh-i-Noor to Queen Victoria and the Maharaja's other assets to the company. Article III of the treaty read: "The gem called the Koh-i-Noor, taken from Shah Sooja-ool-moolk by Maharajah Ranjeet Singh, shall be surrendered by the Maharajah of Lahore to the Queen of England"; the Governor-General in charge of the ratification of this treaty was the Marquess of Dalhousie.
The manner of his aidi
Christie's is a British auction house. It was founded in 1766 by James Christie, its main premises are on King Street, St James's, in London and in the Rockefeller Center in New York City. The company is owned by the holding company of François-Henri Pinault. Sales in 2015 totalled £4.8 billion. In 2017 the Salvator Mundi was sold for $450.3 million at Christie's, which at that time was the highest price paid for a single painting at an auction. The official company literature states that founder James Christie conducted the first sale in London, England, on 5 December 1766, the earliest auction catalogue the company retains is from December 1766. However, other sources note that James Christie rented auction rooms from 1762, newspaper advertisements for Christie's sales dating from 1759 have been traced. Christie's was a public company, listed on the London Stock Exchange, from 1973 to 1999. In 1974, Jo Floyd was appointed chairman of Christie's, he served as chairman of Christie's International plc from 1976 to 1988, until handing over to Lord Carrington, was a non-executive director until 1992.
Christie's International Inc. held its first sale in the United States in 1977. Christie's growth was steady since 1989, when it had 42 % of the auction market. In 1990, the company reversed a long-standing policy and guaranteed a minimum price for a collection of artworks in its May auctions. In 1996, sales exceeded those of Sotheby's for the first time since 1954. However, profits did not grow at the same pace. In 1993, Christie's paid $12.7 million for the London gallery Spink & Son, which specialised in Oriental art and British paintings. The company bought Leger Gallery for $3.3 million in 1996, merged it with Spink to become Spink-Leger. Spink-Leger closed in 2002. To make itself competitive with Sotheby's in the property market, Christie's bought Great Estates in 1995 the largest network of independent estate agents in North America, changing its name to Christie's Great Estates Inc. In December 1997, under the chairmanship of Lord Hindlip, Christie's put itself on the auction block, but after two months of negotiations with the consortium-led investment firm SBC Warburg Dillon Read it did not attract a bid high enough to accept.
In May 1998, François Pinault's holding company, Groupe Artémis S. A. first bought 29.1 percent of the company for $243.2 million, subsequently purchased the rest of it in a deal that valued the entire company at $1.2 billion. The company has since not been reporting profits, its policy, in line with UK accounting standards, is to convert non-UK results using an average exchange rate weighted daily by sales throughout the year. In 2002, Christie's France held its first auction in Paris. Like Sotheby's, Christie's became involved in high-profile private transactions. In 2006, Christie's offered a reported $21 million guarantee to the Donald Judd Foundation and displayed the artist's works for five weeks in an exhibition that won an AICA award for "Best Installation in an Alternative Space". In 2007 it brokered a $68 million deal that transferred Thomas Eakins's The Gross Clinic from the Jefferson Medical College at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia to joint ownership by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
In the same year, the Haunch of Venison gallery became a subsidiary of the company. On 28 December 2008, The Sunday Times reported that Pinault's debts left him "considering" the sale of Christie's and that a number of "private equity groups" were thought to be interested in its acquisition. In January 2009, the company employed 2,100 people worldwide, though an unspecified number of staff and consultants were soon to be cut due to a worldwide downturn in the art market. With sales for premier Impressionist and contemporary artworks tallying only US$248.8 million in comparison to US$739 million just a year before, a second round of job cuts began after May 2009. Guy Bennett resigned just before to the beginning of the summer 2009 sales season. Although the economic downturn has encouraged some collectors to sell art, others are unwilling to sell in a market which may yield only bargain prices. On 1 January 2017, Guillaume Cerutti was appointed chief executive officer. Patricia Barbizet was appointed chief executive officer of Christie's in 2014, the first female CEO of the company.
She replaced Steven Murphy, hired in 2010 to develop their online presence and launch in new markets, such as China. In 2012, Impressionist works, which dominated the market during the 1980s boom, were replaced by contemporary art as Christie's top category. Asian art was the third most-lucrative area. With income from classic auctioneering falling, treaty sales made £413.4 million in the first half of 2012, an increase of 53% on the same period last year. The company has promoted curated events, centred on a theme rather than an art classification or time period; as part of a companywide review in 2017, Christie's announced the layoffs of 250 employees, or 12 percent of the total work force, based in Britain and Europe. From 2008 until 2013, Christie's charged 25 percent for the first $50,000. From 2013, it charged 25 percent for the first $75,000. Christie's main London salesroom is on
Golkonda known as Golconda, Gol konda, or Golla konda, is a citadel and fort in Southern India and was the capital of the medieval sultanate of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, is situated 11 km west of Hyderabad. It is a tehsil of Hyderabad district, India; the region is known for the mines that have produced some of the world's most famous gems, including the Koh-i-Noor, the Hope Diamond, Nassak Diamond and the Noor-ul-Ain. Golkonda was known as Mankal. Golkonda Fort was first built by the Kakatiyas as part of their western defenses along the lines of the Kondapalli Fort; the city and the fortress were built on a granite hill, 120 meters high, surrounded by massive battlements. The fort was strengthened by Rani Rudrama Devi and her successor Prataparudra; the fort came under the control of the Musunuri Nayaks, who defeated the Tughlaqi army occupying Warangal. It was ceded by the Musunuri Kapaya Bhupathi to the Bahmani Sultanate as part of a treaty in 1364. Under the Bahmani Sultanate, Golkonda rose to prominence.
Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk, sent as a governor of Telangana, established it as the seat of his government around 1501. Bahmani rule weakened during this period, Sultan Quli formally became independent in 1538, establishing the Qutb Shahi dynasty based in Golkonda. Over a period of 62 years, the mud fort was expanded by the first three Qutb Shahi sultans into the present structure, a massive fortification of granite extending around 5 km in circumference, it remained the capital of the Qutb Shahi dynasty until 1590 when the capital was shifted to Hyderabad. The Qutb Shahis expanded the fort; the fort fell into ruin in 1687, after an eight-month-long siege led to its fall at the hands of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The Golkonda Fort used to have a vault where the famous Koh-i-Noor and Hope diamonds were once stored along with other diamonds. Golkonda is renowned for the diamonds found on the south-east at Kollur Mine near Kollur, Guntur district and Atkur in Krishna district and cut in the city during the Kakatiya reign.
At that time, India had the only known diamond mines in the world. Golkonda's mines yielded many diamonds. Golkonda was the market city of the diamond trade, gems sold there came from a number of mines; the fortress-city within the walls was famous for diamond trade. However, Europeans believed. Magnificent diamonds were taken from the mines in the region surrounding Golkonda, including the Daria-i-Noor or "Sea of Light", at 185 carats, the largest and finest diamond of the crown jewels of Iran, its name has come to be associated with great wealth. Gemologists use this classification to denote a diamond with a complete lack of nitrogen. Many famed diamonds are believed to have been excavated from the mines of Golkonda, such as: Daria-i-Noor Noor-ul-Ain Koh-i-Noor Hope Diamond Princie Diamond Regent Diamond Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond By the 1880s, "Golkonda" was being used generically by English speakers to refer to any rich mine, to any source of great wealth. During the Renaissance and the early modern eras, the name "Golkonda" acquired a legendary aura and became synonymous for vast wealth.
The mines brought riches to the Qutb Shahis of Hyderabad State, who ruled Golkonda up to 1687 to the Nizam of Hyderabad, who ruled after the independence from the Mughal Empire in 1724 until 1948, when the Indian integration of Hyderabad occurred. The Golkonda fort is listed as an archaeological treasure on the official "List of Monuments" prepared by the Archaeological Survey of India under The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act. Golkonda consists of four distinct forts with a 10 km long outer wall with 87 semicircular bastions, eight gateways, four drawbridges, with a number of royal apartments and halls, mosques, stables, etc. inside. The lowest of these is the outermost enclosure into which we enter by the "Fateh Darwaza" studded with giant iron spikes near the south-eastern corner. An acoustic effect can be experienced at Fateh Darwazaan, characteristic of the engineering marvels at Golkonda. A hand clap at a certain point below the dome at the entrance reverberates and can be heard at the'Bala Hisar' pavilion, the highest point a kilometer away.
This worked. The whole of the Golkonda Fort complex and its surrounding spreads across 11 km of total area and discovering its every nook is an arduous task. A visit to the fort reveals the architectural beauty in many of the pavilions, gates and domes. Divided into four district forts, the architectural valour still gleams in each of the apartments, temples and stables; the graceful gardens of the fort may have lost their fragrance, for which they were known 400 years ago, yet a walk in these former gardens should be in your schedule when exploring the past glories of Golkonda Fort. Bala Hissar Gate is the main entrance to the fort located on the eastern side, it has a pointed arch bordered by rows of scroll work. The spandrels have yalis and decorated roundels; the area above the door has peacocks with ornate tails flanking an ornamental arched niche. The granite block lintel below has sculpted yalis flanking a disc; the design of peacocks and lions is t