Marie Antoinette's Bracelets Sell for Astronomical Amount

They went for $8.34M at auction
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 10, 2021 1:52 AM CST
Marie Antoinette's Bracelets Stayed in Her Family, Until Now
A Christie's employee displays a pair of diamond bracelets, with approximately 140 to 150 carats and owned by Queen Marie-Antoinette of France, in silver and yellow gold, circa 1776, during a preview at the Christie's, in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021.   (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)

A pair of diamond bracelets that once belonged to Marie Antoinette, the famed wife of French King Louis XVI who met her fate at the revolutionary guillotine, sold for $8.34 million on Tuesday, the AP reports. The opulent bracelets, among the rare pieces of jewelry from the ill-fated French royal that are still up for public sale today, were among standout features to a Christie’s auction in Geneva. They feature 112 diamonds and each weighs 3.4 ounces and include silver and gold. The pair sold for much more than the presale estimate of between $2.2 million and $4.4 million. The final price included taxes and fees on top of the hammer price. The buyer, an anonymous telephone bidder, was not identified.

After Marie Antoinette’s death in the French Revolution in 1793, the bracelets that had been commissioned some 17 years earlier were passed on from her daughter Marie-Therese and kept within royal lineage for over 200 years, Christie’s said. They were smuggled out of the country and stayed with the ill-fated queen's family for those centuries, the BBC reports. On Wednesday, as part of regular Geneva jewelry auctions, rival house Sotheby’s is set to put under the hammer a 26.8-carat oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds, and matching ear clips that once belonged to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia—pieces that were whisked out of Russia during the country’s 1917 revolution. The trio is expected to garner as much as $525,800.

(More Marie Antoinette stories.)

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