You probably can’t afford to buy any of it, but you can at least get a FREE look at gazillions of dollars worth of Marie Antroinette’s jewelry and baubles from her wealthy Bourbon-Parma royal relatives, before the collection is auctioned by Sotheby’s next month.
Some of the pieces have not been seen in public for 200 years.
The breathtaking royal bling is on a world tour including London, Milan and Singapore, to build up interest for the auction in Geneva in November.
The pieces include a pair of stunning diamond and pearl earrings estimated to cost between $200,000 and $300,000, a three-strand pearl necklace with a diamond clasp, and jewels from Marie Antoinette’s stunningly rich and powerful Bourbon-Parma family, including a diamond and ruby broach/hair clip that was a gift from Archduke Frederic of Austria to his daughter, the Archduchess.
Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France, was beheaded in the French Revolution, which was in part because of profligate spending by her and hubby Louis XVI on fabulous jewels and building gilded palaces like Versailles while the people starved.
Marie Antoinette famously said of her subjects who couldn’t afford bread, “Let them eat cake,” which endeared her to history, although not to her people, who were truly les miserables.
She smuggled the jewels to her family in Austria before heading to the guillotine.
Luckily for us, much of her collection of huge pearls, which she often preferred to huge diamonds, rubies and emeralds, have survived, and were passed down through the Bourbon-Parma family, which is putting it on the auction block along with some other family jewels.
Also on display before heading to auction are jewels from Happy Rockefeller, wife of Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, and from Barbara Sinatra, fourth wife of Frank Sinatra.
This is what Sotheby’s says about the royal jewels on its website:
One of the most important royal jewellery collections ever to come to auction is set to capture the world’s imagination when it comes for sale at Sotheby’s in Geneva on 14 November 2018.
Entitled “Royal Jewels from the Bourbon-Parma Family”, the auction will span centuries of European history, from the reign of Louis XVI to the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and will offer fascinating insights into the splendour of one of Europe’s most important royal dynasties.
Descended from Louis XIV of France, the Holy Roman Emperors and from Pope Paul III, the Bourbon-Parma family is linked by blood to the most important ruling families of Europe, from the Bourbons to the Habsburgs.
Members of the lineage include Kings of France and Spain, Emperors of Austria and the Dukes of Parma.
This illustrious ancestry is demonstrated by the extraordinary opulence of the pieces in the collection, led by a 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 have not been seen in public for 200 years.
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How to see Marie Antoinette’s bling
Jewels from Marie Antoinette and the Bourbon-Parma family is on display at Sotheby’s New York from Friday, Oct. 12 to Tuesday, Oct. 16, 10am to 5pm, including Saturday and Sunday.
NYCOTC phoned Sotheby’s to confirm that no appointment is needed.
Sotheby’s is at 1334 York Ave, at 71st St.