La Reine des Perles, the Queen of Pearls, as Part of the French Crown Jewels in 1791

Could La Reine des Perles really be La Pellegrina?

The large round pearl of the French crown jewels which is listed in the inventory of 1791 at 200,000 francs, was purchased in 1669 (Bibl. Nat. MS, "Melanges de Colbert," tome 218, p.14.) for the sum of 40,000 livres, from a gem-dealer named Bazu, who had traveled in the East at about the time of Tavernier's voyage.

In the inventory of 1691, it is described as "a virgin pearl, perfect, round, and of fine water," weighing 27 1/2 carats and valued at 90,000 livres.

When the greater part of the jewels were stolen from the Garde-Meuble in 1792, we are told that the thieves took a pearl enclosed in a gold box on which was written: "The queen of pearls."

This was most probably the one we have described and there is reason to believe that this same pearl came later into the possession of the Zozima brothers, and was called La Pellegrina.

As recorded by Kunz and Stevenson in "The Book of the Pearl".

Go to Main Famous Pearls and Collections after La Reine des Perles .

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