French Queen Marie-Antoinette jewels auction: Rare 18th century historic gems fetched 'world record' amount

Nov 15, 2018, 11:38 AM IST
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French Queen Marie-Antoinette jewels auction: A royal treasure trove including jewels that belonged to French Queen Marie-Antoinette fetched 53.5 million Swiss francs (£41 million) on Wednesday, as collectors snapped up rare historic gems fresh to the market, Sotheby's said. Held in private European collections for more than 200 years, 10 royal jewels that belonged to the ill-fated Marie Antoinette and were passed down through Italy`s royal Bourbon Parma family, featured among 100 lots that all found new owners.

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Marie Antoinette Jewellry Auction: Austrian Archduchess

Marie Antoinette Jewellry Auction: Austrian Archduchess

French Queen Marie-Antoinette jewels auction: Marie Antoinette, an Austrian Archduchess who married the future King Louis XVI, secretly sent the jewels abroad in a wooden chest to her sister as they planned to escape from Paris. But the royal couple was arrested in 1792 when the French Revolution overthrew the monarchy and executed by guillotine the following year. Their only surviving daughter Marie-Therese later retrieved the jewels in Vienna, which passed on through the Duke of Parma line.  (Reuters)

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Marie Antoinette Jewellry Auction: Record for a sale of royal jewels

Marie Antoinette Jewellry Auction: Record for a sale of royal jewels

French Queen Marie-Antoinette jewels auction: The Marie Antoinette provenance is probably second to none. It's a record for a sale of royal jewels, said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby's international jewellery division who conducted the Geneva auction. (Reuters)

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Marie Antoinette Jewellry Auction: Bidders from 43 countries

Marie Antoinette Jewellry Auction: Bidders from 43 countries

French Queen Marie-Antoinette jewels auction: The total exceeded the $50 million at its historic two-day auction of the Duchess of Windsor jewels, held in the Swiss city in 1987. Bennett said that bidders in 43 countries participated in the Bourbon Parma sale.  (Reuters)

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Marie Antoinette Jewellry Auction: Over 200-years-old

Marie Antoinette Jewellry Auction: Over 200-years-old

French Queen Marie-Antoinette jewels auction: It's amazing when you think that these jewels, the majority of them, have not been seen in public for over 200 years. And so for collectors this was a once in a lifetime moment really, he said.  (Reuters)

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Marie Antoinette Jewellry Auction: 18th-Century natural pearl

Marie Antoinette Jewellry Auction: 18th-Century natural pearl

French Queen Marie-Antoinette jewels auction: The collection had a total pre-sale estimate of $4.5 million, but due to the historic provenance, bidding soared by phone, in the sale room and online, to reach many times that. The top lot was an 18th-Century natural pearl and oval diamond pendant with a bow motif, which Marie-Antoinette would suspend from a three-row pearl necklace. The pendant soared to 36.4 million Swiss francs - which Sotheby's said was a world record for a pearl - after 10 minutes of seesaw bidding.  (Reuters)

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Marie Antoinette Jewellry Auction: Monogram ring

Marie Antoinette Jewellry Auction: Monogram ring

French Queen Marie-Antoinette jewels auction: The necklace with a diamond clasp fetched nearly 2.9 million, also drawing applause. A monogram ring, bearing Marie-Antoinette's initials MA and containing a lock of her woven hair, had been estimated at $8-10,000, but soared in bidding to a whopping 447,000 francs. The top lot - the pearl and diamond pendant - was sold to a private collector bidding by phone, who asked to remain anonymous. The 10 lots combined fetched $42.7 million, Sotheby's said.  (Reuters)

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