Sunday, October 21, 2018

Chandelier Earrings

Diamond earrings of the Bourbon-Parma collection that is being auctioned by Sotheby's. Many of the pieces were not originally the Queen's but are made of jewels that belonged to the her or other members of the Habsburg and Bourbon families. The Queen did have diamond chandelier earrings but I doubt they are the same pair. From Nancy Bilyeau at Vintage News:
In an auction being described as historic, the jewelry of the last Queen of France, unseen in public for two centuries, will go on sale next month. Before being sold, the jewels can be viewed in New York City and then London at Sotheby’s headquarters. “The romance, magic, and universality of her name is because she represents that sophistication of l’ancien regime. She is it,” Andres White Correal, Sotheby’s senior director of jewellery, told AFP.

“It is the sale of the 21st century. Because how do you top Marie Antoinette? Also because it’s so scarce. There isn’t much left.” The treasures were smuggled out of Paris in 1791 and have been privately owned by the family’s relatives ever since. The collection that includes her diamonds and pearls, held by the Italian royal House of Bourbon-Parma, is being sold by Sotheby’s auction house in Geneva on November 14th, Yahoo reported.

Sotheby’s says that the collection, “which spans centuries of European history, from the reign of Louis XVI to the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, will offer a fascinating insight into the splendor of one of Europe’s most important royal dynasties.” Among the stars of the collection is a stunning diamond pendant, supporting a natural pearl of exceptional size (26 mm x 18 mm), as well as a pair of natural pearl drops and a necklace featuring 119 natural pearls. The jewelry was whisked out of France due to the courageous efforts of Count Mercy Argenteau, a retainer to the queen.* As King Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, and their family prepared their escape in March 1791, the queen placed all her diamonds, rubies, and pearls in a wooden chest, which made its way to Vienna by way of Brussels in the care of Count Argenteau.


The Bourbon-Parma sale also contains jewelry belonging to Charles X, the last monarch styled king of France, including a diamond tiara; jewels from Empress Marie Therese of Austria, Marie Antoinette’s mother; and from Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I, who died in 1916. The fleur de lys design tiara, made in 1912, contains diamonds from the collection of Charles X, Marie Antoinette’s brother-in-law, who died in 1836.** (Read more.)

Two diamond and woven hair rings, and a diamond and woven hair jewel
Ruby and diamond brooch (not Marie-Antoinette's)
*Count Mercy-Argenteau was the Imperial Ambassador at the court of France.

** The granddaughter of Charles X, Louise d'Artois, married into the House of Bourbon-Parma. Her granddaughter was Zita, Empress of Austria.


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