Not surprisingly, recent jewelry auctions and other items from the Bourbon-Parma family collection have been a success.
The sale “Royal jewels of the Bourbon-Parma family”, organized Wednesday, November 14 at Sotheby’s Geneva, included lots that belonged to Queen Marie Antoinette, King Charles X of France, the Archdukes of Austria and the Dukes of Parma.
The event raised $ 53.1 million, more than seven times the pre-sale high estimate ($ 7 million) and a record for a royal jewelry auction, according to Sotheby’s. The figure is higher than the $ 50.3 million earned by the Sotheby’s sale of the Duchess of Windsor’s jewelry in 1987.
The auction, consisting of 100 lots of jewelry, was also a so-called “white gloves” sale, meaning that no lot remained unsold.
In fact, many lots have pulverized their pre-sale estimates, including the flagship item: Marie-Antoinette’s pearl and diamond pendant.
The jewel sold for $ 36.2 million, well above its pre-sale estimate (between $ 1 million and $ 2 million) and set a new record for a natural pearl auction.
The pendant was one of the ten items of the sale that belonged to Marie Antoinette.
Honored with a fascinating history, the jewels of the Queen of France together raised $ 42.7 million, nearly 15 times the pre-sale high estimate ($ 2.9 million).
Before being taken captive, Marie-Antoinette wrapped her pearls, diamonds and rubies in cotton, placed them in a wooden chest and sent them to Brussels.
From there they were taken to Vienna to be placed under the care of her nephew, the Emperor of Austria. They were then handed over to Marie-Antoinette’s daughter, Madame Royale, after her release in 1795.
The jewels were then passed on to the Bourbon-Parma family, in which they remained for two centuries.
Other highlights of the Queen’s jewelry collection included the three-row pearl necklace from her personal collection, for which Sotheby’s stated that there had been “intense bidding” before it sold for $ 2.3 million (pre-sale estimate was $ 200,000 to $ 300,000).
There was also a diamond brooch with a yellow diamond, which was sold for $ 2.1 million, and a monogrammed diamond ring bearing the initials “MA” and containing a strand of her hair that sold over 50 times its pre-sale estimate, at a final price of $ 443,786 on Wednesday, November 14.
The collection also included jewelry belonging to the following generations of the Bourbon-Parma family, with links to the royal families of France, Italy, Spain and Austria.
A diamond tiara, created by the Austrian jeweler Hübner for Maria Anna of Austria in 1912, drew particular attention. It sold for 967,990 USD, nearly twice its pre-sale high estimate (550,000 USD).
Meanwhile, a diamond set set with ‘old cut’ diamonds, with a detachable pendant created for Louise of France and comprising five diamonds, having belonged to the daughter of Marie Antoinette, was sold 848,853 USD. A pair of diamond earrings, which belonged to the Duchess of Parma, sold nearly three times its pre-sale high estimate and reached USD 729,715.