Diamonds belonging to France’s last queen Marie Antoinette are being auctioned by Christie’s on November 9 in Geneva. To be presented in their current form, the 112 diamonds were once a pair of bracelets that adorned the hands of queen Marie Antoinette. The pieces will form lot 1 of Christie’s live Magnificent Jewels Auction, with an estimated value of US $2,000,000-4,000,000.
In the spring of 1776, the Queen had bought these two diamond bracelets for the exorbitant sum of 250,000 livres, paid partially by gems from the Queen’s own collection and funds she received from King Louis XVI. At the height of the revolution, the diamonds were sent to Count Mercy-Argenteau, Ambassador of the Austrian Empire for safekeeping and remained untouched until the Queen’s passing. The Queen’s daughter, Madame Royale, then received them upon her arrival in Austria. Madame Royale then passed them on to her nieces and nephews, the Count and Countess of Chambord and the Duchess of Parma.
“Over the past 255 years, Christie’s have offered many Historic Jewels from Royal Houses around the world. It is a privilege to be able to offer these exceptional and unique bracelets for sale at Christie’s where they will attract bidding from collectors globally. As seen in recent Geneva sales, the market for jewels of noble provenance continues to perform extremely well,” said François Curiel, Chairman Christie’s Luxury.