A pair of diamond bracelets that belonged to France’s Queen Marie Antoinette sold at auction for 7.46 million Swiss francs ($8.18 million), several times the pre-sale estimate, Christie’s said.
Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s international director of jewelry who conducted the auction, told the Geneva saleroom that the bracelets had stayed in the family for almost 200 years. The buyer was bidding by telephone and not identified.
The hammer price was 6.2 million Swiss francs, but with the commission, the final price was 7.46 million Swiss francs, Christie’s spokesperson Alexandra Kindermann said.
A blue velvet box bearing the label “bracelets of Queen Marie Antoinette” holds the double bracelets, each composed of three strings of diamonds and a large barrette clasp, for a total of 112 diamonds.
Marie Antoinette, who sent a letter from prison in the Tuileries in Paris saying that a wooden chest with jewels would be sent for safekeeping, was guillotined in 1793. Her surviving daughter Marie Therese, Madame Royale, received the jewels on her arrival in Austria, the auction house said.
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