ROYAL JEWELS: The public can finally cast an eye on Marie-Antoinette’s jewels, after 200 years of being stored away.
The Bourbon-Parma family who are descendants of Louis XIV, the Holy Roman Emperors and Pope Paul III, will be putting up 10 of the Queen of France’s jewels up for sale, at a Sotheby’s auction taking place in Geneva on Nov. 14.
These include Marie Antoinette’s 18th-century diamond and natural pearl pendant and a natural pearl and diamond necklace, which were safely transported to Vienna despite the Queen and King Louis XVI’s unsuccessful escape in 1791 during the French Revolution.
“The Marie Antoinette pendant is simple irreplaceable,” said Eddie LeVian, chief executive officer of jeweler Le Vian. “This is far more than the gems themselves, Marie Antoinette’s jewelry is inextricably linked to the cause of the French Revolution and I estimate this stunning pendant will sell for $2.5 million to $5 million,” he added.
Daniela Mascetti, deputy chairman at Sotheby’s Jewellery Europe and senior international specialist, said this is one of the most important royal jewelry collections to appear on the market. “Each and every jewel is absolutely imbued with history. Never before seen in public, this extraordinary group of jewels offers a captivating insight into the lives of its owners going back hundreds of years,” she added.