The highlight of the auction, a natural pearl and diamond pendant from Marie Antoinette’s personal collection, sold for $36,165,090, far above its pre-sale estimate of $1-2 million, establishing a new auction record for a natural pearl. The pendant was one of 10 exquisite pieces formerly owned by Queen Marie Antoinette, and in the care of the Bourbon Parma family for the last two hundred years. A beauty known for her love of culture, fashion and luxury, Marie Antoinette, with her tragic end, has an enduring fascination.
“Tonight we saw the Marie Antoinette factor work its magic,” says Daniela Mascetti, Sotheby’s Jewellery Chairman, Europe. “No other queen is more famous for her love of jewels. Her personal treasures, pearls and diamonds that survived intact the tumults of history, captivated the interest of collectors around the world.”