GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The most affordable auction in Geneva, one with some 500 items that are valued at under CHF300, features an unusual item this year, a blue bearskin that was for a long time reputed to be that of a fabled Yeti. The annual summer event at the Hôtel des Ventes in Geneva is set for 20-23 June, with a preview open to the public Friday to Sunday, 17-19 June.
The pre-sale estimate for the auction is a total of CHF2 to 3 million, but the mix is enormous this year, in terms of price but also the items for auction. The Yeti skin may be the great curiosity item but fine jewelry estimates start at CHF1,000 and run up to CHF80,000, including a diamond and sapphire ring from Ceylon for an estimated CHF20-30,000 and a black diamond put at CHF5,000. Chanel and Louis Vuitton vintage bags will be on the block as well as pre-Colombian artefacts ranging from CHF500 to 3,000.
The Yeti skin, to be auctioned 22 June, is estimated to have a value of CHF2,000-3,000. It was reportedly carried back from Tibet by Edmund Hillary in 1959 and the skin has since been certified by the British Museum as belonging to one of the region’s blue bears, Ursus arctos pruinosus, which some believe to have been the mysterious Yeti.