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Articles from PEARLS - LOOSE FRESHWATER (31 Articles)











The world's largest known freshwater pearl, the Sleeping Lion
The world's largest known freshwater pearl, the Sleeping Lion

Largest freshwater pearl fetches record price

The world’s largest known freshwater pearl has been sold for nearly $500,000 at an international auction.

The gem, dubbed the Sleeping Lion Pearl, fetched €320,000 (AU$490, 100) at auction house Venduehuis in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on 31 May.

“The Sleeping Lion Pearl is a unique object of great historical value and deserves a good home in a specialist collection or in a museum.”
Amsterdam Pearl Society

According to media reports, the pearl weighed more than 100 grams, measured approximately 7 cm in length and had a “distinct animal appearance”. According to a Venduehuis spokesperson, an anonymous Japanese art dealer purchased the pearl, which would likely be resold.

Venduehuis managing director Peter Meefout said he was “proud of and pleased” with the result.

“We are the oldest auction house in the Netherlands, but in comparison to our colleagues in London and New York, we are a relatively small company,” Meefout said. “Yet we have proved we are capable of generating the attention a unique object like this needs to be sold for an excellent price.”

Illustrious history

It is believed the pearl was formed in Chinese waters in the early 18th century and was transported to Europe in the mid 1760s.

It is understood the pearl was eventually sold to Russian Empress Catherine the Great but ‘vanished’ after her death. It was later recovered in Poland before being sold to a Dutch goldsmith in 1865.

It then stayed in the same Polish family for four generations before the Amsterdam Pearl Society (AMS) bought it in 1979.

According to a Venduehuis media statement, the AMS was also ‘delighted’ the pearl had found a new home.

“It is like letting go of a child – you want to be sure it lands safely on its feet,” it said. “The Sleeping Lion Pearl is a unique object of great historical value and deserves a good home in a specialist collection or in a museum.”

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Tuesday, 23 October, 2018 10:17pm
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