GENEVA — A ruby ring and a diamond necklace fetched less than their pre-sale estimates at a Christie’s auction Wednesday of a vast jewelry collection of a late Austrian heiress that was bought with riches from a retail empire dating back to the Nazi era in Germany. Jewish groups criticized the auction.
The auction house defended the sale of some 700 pieces of jewelry. saying proceeds are going to charitable causes, including a Vienna art museum and medical research. The collection belonged to Heidi Horten, whose German husband built a retail empire starting in the 1930s. She died last year.