Thursday, July 19, 2018

Once Again Jewelry of Egypt’s King Farouk go under the hammer : Lost Egyptian History

World-Famous Sotheby’s auctioned in London items that were once owned Egypt’s last King, King Farouk I in early June and once again there has been a complete silence on how those beautiful items that are part of the Egyptian National heritage found their way to the famous auction house.

The items were sold as part of Fine Jewels auction held earlier June.

Here is a quick look to the items previously owned by King Farouk that were sold in early June 2018

✽Lot No.199: Tie pin and cufflinks as well Ruby and diamond tie pin✽

There are tie pin and cufflinks made of 18-carat gold mounted with coins depicting young King Farouk of Egypt. The other tip pin in the lot is more beautiful.
The coins and the tie pins "Sotheby's"
The coins and the tie pins "Sotheby's"
It is decorated with the Egyptian kingdom’s crown set with calibré-cut rubies and single-cut diamonds.

The two tie pins and cufflinks were sold in their original green leather pouched stamped with the following in French “AH. Naguib Rey, Fournisseur de Sa Majsete’ Le Roi D’Egypt. Le Cairo-Paris” which is translated in to “A.H Naguib Rey {I think it Bey}, the fournisser of his Majesty King Farouk of Egypt {specialized in buying fancy stuff for the king}, Cairo and Paris.

AH. Naguib is Ahmed Naguib or as known in the Egyptian modern history Ahmed Pasha Naguib, King Farouk’s special Jeweler.

Historically, King Farouk I met his second wife Nariman at the Naguib Pasha’s Jewelry shop at Abdel Khalek Tharwet street in Cairo when she was searching with her family for engagement jewelry for her first engagement.

Interestingly, Ahmed Pasha Naguib used owned one of Presidency villas beside Heliopolis Palace where ousted Mubarak used to stay and there has been a battle between Naguib Pasha heirs and the state about it. That villa should return to them but what you know !!
The family of Naguib Pasha is still working in Jewelry business in Egypt.
Back to the auction.
Originally estimated at GBP 220-350, those two tie pins and cufflinks were sold for GBP 4,000 “ LE 95,825”
Sotheby's did not release online information related to how it acquired those items or when they were made.

Judging from the fact the pouch had the stamp of Ahmed Naguib as Bey, which was an honorary title less than Pasha; I would assume that they were made for King Farouk when he was still a young king.

Either those items were with King Farouk when he left Alexandria to Napoli on that morning of 24 July 1952 or they were sold in those shameful 1954 auctions or they left Egypt illegally and it won’t be surprised for me because Sotheby’s got a long history of selling historical items that left Egypt illegally.

✽ Lot No.200: Diamond Brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels ✽

French Van Cleef & Arpels was among the favorite Jewelry companies of the Egyptian Royal Family and its members and I think that beautiful diamond golden brooch depicting a bird standing over a branch.
The diamond golden brooch "Sotheby's"
The diamond golden brooch "Sotheby's"

The body, beak and the feathers of the bird were carefully made from 18-carat gold whereas its eyes are made of diamonds. The bird is also standing on a coral gemstone.

Originally estimated at GBP 700-1,1500, the brooch was sold at GBP 12,500 “LE 299,411”

Again Sotheby’s does not say how it put its hand on that brooch and whether it was sold in the infamous 1954 auctions or left the country illegally or King Farouk himself took it with him into exile and then sold it.

FYI Van Cleef & Aprels sent its representatives to the 1954 auctions and bought some of their old customers’ valuable items.

✽Lot No.201: Diamond purse handle ✽

The diamond purse handle "Sotheby's"
The diamond purse handle "Sotheby's"
There is not much information on who made that diamond purse handle or how it ended up to be used as a bracelet.

The only thing that is known about it was that was owned by King Farouk and somehow it ended at Sotheby’s.

The diamonds are real as you can see them.

Originally estimated at GBP 2,200-3,500, the diamond purse handle was sold at GBP 9,375 “ LE 221,864”.

Those three beautiful items that are worth a fortune in Egyptian pounds are the latest items owned by Egypt and Sudan’s last king.
Christie’s Dubai sold in March 2018 King Farouk’s beautiful 18k-carat gold Patek Philippe watch for USD 912,500 “LE 16 million”.

That was a record price in the Middle East.
It is unclear who bought it but I won’t be surprised to know if it were MBS or MBZ, I will be angry and sad because they do not deserve that watch or to be compared by King Farouk who did not harm anyone compared to them.

Quick online search in major auction houses like Sotheby’s or Christie’s, one can find many precious items owned by members of the Egyptian Royal Family that found its way to go under the hammer in a mysterious way instead of being in a museum.

To their own credit, Sotheby’s and Christies’ say if the items in their auctions are part of their own collections they had acquired for nearly nothing in the infamous 1954 auctions only to sell for millions of Egyptian pounds 60 years later.

King-in-exile Ahmed Fouad II stated that all his family’s belongings are now part of the Egyptian people’s heritage and that it was the duty of the Egyptian government to restore that lost heritage.


  1. Are you like a bot or something?

    1. Do you think a bot will write a blog post like this ?

  2. Thank you for the post, very interesting.


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