Marie Antoinette’s Jewellery Collection and Other Royal Gems Come to Sotheby’s
One of the biggest (provenance-wise) auctions of the year sees Sotheby’s and Christie’s turn their focus away from Museum to high net worth private collectors.
Sotheby’s and Christie’s are preparing for a record-breaking jewellery sale this year. Christie’s is selling “pink Legacy” – a diamond expected to fetch over 30 million, potentially the most expensive sale of its kind in history. Meanwhile, the competition is strong at Sotheby’s. Spanning centuries of European history, the upcoming Sotheby’s auction in Geneva offers the Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family. The most exciting of the collection is perhaps a group of jewels that belongs to Queen Marie Antoinette, unseen in the public for over 200 years.
the Most Important Royal Jewellery Collection To Ever Graced the Auction Scene
First look at the collection here
Marie Antoinette and her husband Louis XVI was known for their extravagant lifestyle, so lavish that it is likely one that precipitated the French Revolution. One of the many highlights of the auction is a group of exquisite jewellery collection owned by the young Queen herself. These were some of the jewels that were safeguarded and passed down through generations of bloodline by Antoinette’s only surviving child after the jewels were shipped to Brussels during her and her husbands’ flee.
One of the key pieces on the block is the pearl and diamond pendant expected to make sales for $1-2 million. Some of the other jewellery also includes a set of pearl drop earrings and a multi-strand pearl necklace.
“Kept out of view, never seen in public, this extraordinary collection offers a fascinating glimpse of the life of this family in centuries gone by,” – Sotheby’s
In addition to Marie Antoinette’s jewels, there are also gems owned by the previous King Charles X of France, the Archduke of Austrian and the dues of Parma. The Bourbon-Parma family is a bloodline of rulers that ranges from the Bourbons to the Habsburgs and includes Kings of France, Spain, Austria and more. As such, many of the pieces up for auction not just exceptionally opulent but of extraordinary ancestry.
Included in the sale is a diamond tiara offered by Emperor Franz-Josef to his great niece the Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria on her marriage in 1902 to Elias of Bourbon, Duke of Parma, with an estimated value of up to $120,000.
For these Royal jewellery pieces, Sotheby’s and Christie’s are turning their focus to private collectors of high net worth, instead of the usual museum sale. The focal markets are New York, Paris, London, Hong Kong, Tai Pei and Singapore. According to the auction houses, the Asia market is seeing a rise in female clients who appreciate wearability in extension to its investment value.