Marie-Antoinette diamonds up for public sale in Geneva


Two splendid diamond bracelets that belonged to French queen Marie-Antoinette will go underneath the hammer in Geneva later this yr, the public sale home Christie’s mentioned on Wednesday.

The bracelets, every coated in 112 diamonds, will likely be bought collectively and are estimated to fetch between $2-4 million once they go underneath the hammer on November 9.

That estimate “contains not solely the intrinsic worth of the diamonds but additionally the chance to put on jewelry that was as soon as worn by the well-known queen Marie-Antoinette,” Christie’s jewelry specialist Marie-Cecile Cisamolo advised AFP.

The historic jewels may in the meantime simply go for way over the asking value.

“As seen in latest Geneva gross sales, the marketplace for jewels of noble provenance continues to carry out extraordinarily nicely,” Francois Curiel, the chairman of Christie’s luxurious division, mentioned in a press release.

In 2018, a pure pearl and diamond pendant that belonged to the ill-fated French queen was estimated by the Sotheby’s public sale home at $1-2 million however was snapped up for $36 million.

Marie-Antoinette, the final queen of France earlier than the revolution, was guillotined in Paris in October 1793 on the age of 37.

However Cisamolo mentioned that it was not simply their historical past that made the bracelets extraordinary, pointing to the big dimension of the diamonds, which vary from round one to 4 carats.

“It is rather troublesome to measure their actual dimension, as a result of these are vintage diamonds, and again then the sizes had been much less exact,” she defined.

Whereas missing the precision of in the present day’s laser-cut gems, Cisamolo harassed the attraction and uniqueness of vintage diamonds.

In complete, Christies estimates that the bracelets comprise 140 to 150 carats.

They’re every composed of three rows of gems and could be related collectively and worn as a necklace.

In line with Christie’s, Marie-Antoinette ordered the bracelets from jeweller Charles August Boehmer in Paris in 1776, two years after she ascended the throne.

She paid 250,000 livres, “an enormous sum on the time,” Christies mentioned.

Then the revolution arrived.

Earlier than making an attempt to flee France with King Louis XVI and their kids, Marie-Antoinette first made certain her jewels had been despatched in a foreign country.

They had been despatched to Brussels, ruled by her sister Archduchess Marie-Christine, earlier than being despatched on to the French queen’s native Austria, dominated by her nephew, the emperor.

In 1792, the royal household was imprisoned in Paris. The king and queen had been executed the following yr, and their 10-year-old son Louis XVII died in captivity.

Solely their daughter, Marie Therese of France, survived. She was freed in December 1795 and despatched to Austria, the place she was given her mom’s jewels.

“These jewels can thus be traced all the way in which again to Marie-Antoinette,” Cisamolo mentioned, including that she hoped whoever purchased them “will cherish them for the remainder of their life.”

“Not solely are you carrying one thing that Marie-Antoinette wore,” she mentioned. “The diamonds are extraordinary.”

The bracelets, she mentioned, displaying off the gems glistening on her wrists, “move. It’s as if you’re carrying material.”

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