A freshwater pearl once owned by Catherine the Great was sold for an astounding $374,000 on May 31, 2018. The auction was done by the Amsterdam Pearl Society and was held at The Hague.
Considered as the world’s largest pearl, the “Sleeping Lion” (noting its unusual shape) weighs 5.4 ounces and is 2.75 inches in length. According to the Venduehuis auction house catalogue, it was sold below its estimated value, which was was between $397,000 and $630,000.
The unusual shape is responsible for the pearl’s name.
It was classified as a blister pearl, also known as half-pearl. It’s a type of pearl which formed while still attached to the inner surface of a mollusk’s shell. Pearls usually grow within the oyster’s tissue. According to Pure Pearls, blister pearls “can be grown in Akoya, South Sea, Tahitian and Freshwater mollusks, however the most popular varieties to use are the Ptera sterna, Ptera penguin and Pinctada maxima mollusks.”
The Sleeping Lion was bought by a Japanese trader, according to an Agence France-Presse report. It comes with its own custom-made brass case.
The pearl was believed to have formed in China between 1700 and 1760. It was found in the Southeast, most likely in the Pearl River, during the Qing Dynasty. During that time, Emperor Qianlong banned the exportation of large pearls, but somehow the Sleeping Lion was shipped to Europe via the Dutch Each India Company. Hendrik Coenraad Sander, an accountant for the company, became the first European owner of the prized pearl.
The pearl at the public viewing at The Hague.
The Sleeping Lion was aunctioned off in Amsterdam in 1778 after Sander’s death. It was acquired by the Russian empress Catherine the Great. She placed the pearl at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, where it was available for public viewing until 1796.
Catherine the Great was the pearl’s most famous owner.
The next owner was Lodewijk Willem van Kooten, a goldsmith working for the Italian court jeweler Catellani. He purchased the pearl in 1865 and brought it to Amsterdam after a couple of years.
It was in 1979 when the Amsterdam Pearl Society finally got its hands on the Sleeping Lion.
Follow On Facebook
TikToker Shares How She Tricked Invaders Who Tried Opening The Hotel Door While She Was Alone
5-Year-Old Artist Already Getting Commissioned For Her Paintings
Hiker Discovers Creepy Alien-Like Creature That “Smells Like Rotting Flesh”
New York Store Is Selling ‘Wet Pants Denim’ For $75
Burglary Victim Writes Heartbreaking Note Begging Robber To Return Last Photos Dog
Meet The Gorgeous Actress Who Portrayed Zombie Queen In ‘Army Of The Dead’
Florida School Sparks Outrage After Editing 80 Female Students’ Photos To Cover Their Cleavage
McDonald’s Recruitment Poster Offers New Employees With Free iPhone After Working For 6 Months
Horrific Video Shows Lioness Attacking Circus Trainer In Russia
Taking 4,500 Steps A Day Could Help You Live Longer, Says Research
Man Iced Neighbor Who Repeatedly Asked Him “When Are You Getting Married?”
Do You Live in One of These 15 Countries With The Most Beautiful Women on Earth?
The Secret Meaning of Anklets And Why Some Wives Wear Them
Waking Up Between 3 to 5 AM Could Mean You’re Experiencing Spiritual Awakening
Divorced Man Wrote 20 Epic Marriage Advice He Wished He Could Have Had
Haunting Photos of Two Tourists Snapped Just Before They Mysteriously Disappeared
“Chastity Cages” is the Latest Thing for Men
Pork Fat Is Officially One of the World’s Most Nutritious Foods
Some Stranger Padlocked This Guy’s Earlobe And Ran Away With The Key
Three-Month-Old Baby Left Blind in One Eye After Family Friend Took His Picture
News7 months ago
Mexican Residents Tie Mayor To Tree After He Failed To Fulfill His Campaign Promise
Stories10 months ago
An Old Lady Went To A Bank To Withdraw Some Money
OMG8 months ago
Chilling Footage Shows Guy Carrying His Tinder Date’s Corpse Inside A Suitcase
OMG7 months ago
Bride Asks Husband If She Can Hug Her Ex-BF “One Final Time” During Wedding