Largest freshwater pearl set to go under the hammer in The Hague

The 'Sleeping Lion Pearl' is set to be sold at auction for the first time in 240 years at the Venduehuis in The Hague. Footage filmed on Wednesday gives us a sneak peek of the infamous pearl, which is the largest of its kind in the world. The last time it was auctioned off was in 1778 in Amsterdam, when it was bought by Hope & Co. on behalf of Catherine the Great, the Empress of Russia from 1762... Еще until 1796. This time round, estimates of around €500,000 (US $584,000). After the Empress died the pearl disappeared and resurfaced in Poland in the mid-1800s. The family who found it wanted to sell the pearl to the King of Italy Victor Emmanuel II. But he didn't have enough money, so the pearl ended up being sold to the Dutch jeweller Lodewijk Willem van Kooten. Van Kooten II met Russian jeweller Peter Carl Faberge. They agreed to work together, and, as a result, the Sleeping Lion Pearl was shipped to St. Peterburg. However, after the Russian Revolution of 1917, the pearl was returned to Amsterdam. In 1979, the pearl was sold to the Amsterdam Pearl Society. Herman Dommisse, a member of the society, and its current owner then decided to sell it. He hopes that the party that will purchase the Sleeping Lion Pearl will put it on a public display so that everyone can view it.

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