Without any doubt, Marie Antoinette, born Archduchess of Austria, daughter of Holy Roman Empress Marie Thérèse, and wife of Louis XVI, is the most famous Queen of France. Sotheby’s is thrilled to offer at auction this fall jewels that once belonged to the legendary Queen. Natural pearls were very much sought after by nobility and royalty for centuries. Queen Marie Antoinette was no exception and had a beautiful collection of natural pearls. Carefully packed, together with her diamonds, they were sent in 1791 to Vienna in order not to disappear during the French Revolution and the Terreur (the Queen was guillotined in October 1793). The only child of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette surviving the Revolution, Marie Thérèse de France, called Madame Royale, who became Duchess of Angoulême, gave those jewels to her niece and adoptive daughter, Louise Thérèse de France, granddaughter of Charles X, who married the Duke of Parma. The natural pearls (pendant, necklace) to be presented in November in Geneva has remained in the same family ever since.
Portrait of Queen Marie Antoinette, Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun, 1786, châteaux de Versailles et Trianon.
Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family, Sotheby’s Geneva, 12 November 2018.
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