The ROM’s Twentieth Annual Silver Lecture

The ROM’s Twentieth Annual Silver Lecture

Tales from the Vault: A Peek Inside the World’s Greatest Jewellery Boxes:

From Queen Mary to Gina Lollobrigida – Tuesday, February 11


Pair of emerald and diamond earclips, Bulgari, 1964. Lot 659 which sold for $306,633. Photo credit: Sotheby’s(Toronto, Ontario, January 16, 2014)  -  During the year of celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), another significant milestone is observed: the Museum’s Twentieth Annual Studies in Silver Lecture.  The event takes place on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 with registration from 4:45 pm onwards.

The symbol for a hundredth anniversary is a ten carat diamond, so it is fitting that this year’s Lecture highlights brilliant jewels.  On May 14, 2013, in Geneva, Switzerland, Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent and Noble Jewels attracted buyers from around the world.  Outstanding pieces from the collection of international screen legend Gina Lollobrigida sold for a combined total of $4,962,122. This includes an exceptional pair of natural pearl and diamond pendant earrings which sold for $2,391,321, an auction record. The actress wore the jewels, said to have belonged to the historic collection of the House of Habsburg, on numerous occasions during her storied career.  Ms. Lollobrigida’s collection was the centrepiece of an epic auction which saw nearly 650 lots selling for a combined total of $78,229,556. A 74.53 carat cushion shaped fancy yellow diamond formerly in the collection of the Persian Shah, Ahmed Shah Qajar also sold for $2,985,750, establishing an auction record for a fancy yellow diamond as well as a record price per carat for a fancy yellow diamond ($40,061 per carat).

Following the sale, Ms. Lollobrigida said: “Jewels are meant to give pleasure and for many years I had enormous pleasure wearing mine….. Selling my jewels to help raise awareness of stem cell therapy, which can cure so many illnesses, seems to me a wonderful use to which to put them…. It now gives me great pleasure to see that these jewels will create a legacy which will live on after me and continue to do good.”

Catherine Becket, Vice President, Jewellery Specialist Sotheby’s

Catherine Becket, Sotheby’s Vice President, Jewellery Specialist, New York, delivers this year’s Studies in Silver Lecture. She joined Sotheby’s in 2005. Her background at the firm includes working as a Cataloguer for the Arcade Jewels and Silver departments.  In her current role as Specialist, Ms. Becket is responsible for appraising jewellery and advising clients on the buying and selling of jewellery at auction. Ms. Becket collaborates on all of Sotheby’s Important and Magnificent Jewels sales, traveling frequently to meet with clients and promote auction highlights at exhibitions and events. She is a GIA certified graduate gemologist and a member of the American Society of Jewellery Historians. She completed her undergraduate degree at Colgate University and received her Masters in History of Art from The Courtauld Institute in London.

The Studies in Silver Lecture

The Studies in Silver Lecture is an annual scholarly lecture organized by the ROM’s Department of Museum Volunteers and the European Section of the Museum’s Department of World Cultures. The proceeds from the Annual Studies in Silver Lecture benefit the European Section of the Department of World Cultures.

ROM 100, 1914-2014

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) launches an exciting year of Centennial events and activities in March 2014. While celebrating the Museum’s history, collections, curatorial expertise and research contributions, the Centennial is also an opportunity to highlight the unique ways in which the ROM connects visitors to their world and to each other.

Tuesday, February 11 event itinerary

4:45 pm:  Registration Check-In (enter via Queen’s Park doors)

4:30 pm - 5:20 pm:  Viewing of ROM Gem and Gold Gallery, Level 2

4:45 pm - 5:45 pm:  Light Refreshments; Peter F. Bronfman Hall, Level 2

5:45 pm - 7:00 pm: Lecture; Peter F. Bronfman Hall


ROM Members $40.  General Public $45.  Pre-Registration is required.

To register or more information, visit or write or call 416.586.5797 Monday to Friday from 9:00 am - 4:30pm