Marie Antoinette's Pearls Break Auction Records in Geneva 2018
EXCEPTIONAL AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT NATURAL PEARL AND DIAMOND PENDANT, 18TH CENTURY. SOLD FOR CHF 36,427,000.
IMPORTANT NATURAL PEARL AND DIAMOND NECKLACE. SOLD FOR CHF 2,295,000.
The sale of jewellery from the Bourbon Parma family was 100% sold last night in Geneva, and led by pieces owned by Queen Marie Antoinette of unrivalled historic provenance. The ten pieces from her collection reached a total of CHF 43.1 million ($42.7 million) against a pre-sale estimate of CHF 1.6–2.9 million ($1.6–2.9 million).
The star of the evening was Marie Antoinette’s 18th century pearl and diamond pendant, that sold for CHF 36,427,000 – achieving a new record for a natural pearl, and setting the saleroom alight with fierce bidding from enthusiastic collectors, eager to secure their own piece of history.
The pendant is believed to have been amongst the jewels that were packed up under cover of night in 1791 as the King and Queen prepared to escape from the besieged Palace of the Tuileries, and the armed revolutionaries surrounding them. From Paris, the carefully concealed jewels were sent first to Brussels, and then Vienna, into the safekeeping of the Austrian Emperor, Marie Antoinette’s nephew.
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