Marie Antoinette’s breathtaking jewels will be leading with their shining beauty the sale of one of the most important royal jewellery collections ever to come to auction, namely the Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family, which will come to Sotheby’s this autumn.(Geneva, 12 November). This incredible collection of stunning value spans centuries of European history, from the reign of Louis XVI to the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, offering a fascinating insight into the splendour of one of Europe’s most important royal dynasties, and surely conquering nowadays most influential collectors.
One of the top lots from this prestigious collection is the breath-taking group of jewels which once belonged to Queen Marie Antoinette, daughter of Holy Roman Empress Maria Teresa, and wife of Louis XVI, the most famous Queen of France, which has been unseen by the public for more than 200 years.
Among this star lots , a stunning diamond pendant, supporting a natural pearl of exceptional size (26 mm x 18 mm), as well as a pair of natural pearl drops and a fabulous necklace featuring 119 natural pearls.
This collection, as often happens with noble possession, has quite interesting story which cross the Europeç
As King Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette and their family prepared their escape in March 1791, the queen placed all her diamonds, rubies and pearls in a wooden chest, which made its way to Vienna by way of Brussels in the care of a loyal retainer to the queen.
The king and queen only two years later, in 1793, were executed by guillotine, while and their 10-year-old son Louis XVII died in captivity shortly after. Their only last surviving child Marie-Thérèse, known as “Madame Royale”, was instead released from three years of solitary confinement just in 1795. Upon her eventual arrival in Vienna in 1796 she thus reclaimed her mother’s jewels, which had been kept safe by her cousin, the Austrian Emperor. In fact,Maria Antonietta’ deep love for diamonds was quite known at that time,
The illustrious jewels to be offered in November also bear witness to the family’s connections with the House of Habsburg, one of the most influential royal dynasties of Europe, which, reigning over the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918, actually once occupied the throne of the Holy Roman Empire, successfully producing emperors and kings whose dominions included Germany, England, Spain, Holland and Italy.
Daniela Mascetti, Deputy Chairman, Sotheby’s Jewellery Europe and Senior International Specialist: “It is one of the most important royal jewellery collections ever to appear on the market and 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. What is also striking is the inherent beauty of the pieces themselves: the precious gems they are adorned with and the exceptional craftsmanship they display are stunning in their own right.”