Rare jewelry that belonged to the French queen Marie Antoinette will be sold at auction in Switzerland.
Much of the jewelry has not been seen in public even before Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France, was executed by guillotine some 200 years ago.
The collection includes a diamond parure, a three-strand pearl necklace, and other valuable items belonging to the late monarch will be sold at the Sotheby’s “Royal Jewels from the Bourbon-Parma Family” auction on November 12 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The House of Bourbon-Parma is an Italian royal and ducal family whose members once ruled as King of Etruria and as Duke of Parma and Piacenza, Guastalla, and Lucca. They are related to many of Europe’s royal families, including the former kings of France and Spain and emperors of Austria.
Although much of the belongings of Marie Antoinette were stolen or seized during the French Revolution, she was able to rescue her jewels.
In March 1791, Marie, who was born Archduchess of Austria, placed her valuables in a wooden chest and shipped them off to her nephew, the Austrian Emperor, for safekeeping.
Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVII were imprisoned a year later, and executed in 1993. The jewels were retrieved by their only surviving child, Marie Thérèse de France, who passed them along to her niece.
The most valuable peace is a pearl pendant hanging from a diamond bow, which is expected to sell for between $1 million and $2 million. Back then, pearls were valued equally as diamonds due to their rarity.