Not surprisingly, the recent auction of jewelry and other items from the collection of the Bourbon-Parma family proved to be quite a hit.
“Royal Jewels from the Bourbon-Parma Family,” held Wednesday the 14th. at Sotheby’s Geneva, featured lots once owned by Queen Marie Antoinette, King Charles X of France, the archdukes of Austria and the dukes of Parma.
The sale totaled $53.1 million, which was more than seven times the pre-sale high estimate of $7 million and a record for any sale of royal jewels, according to Sotheby’s. It topped the $50.3 million garnered when Sotheby’s sold Duchess of Windsor’s jewelry in 1987.
The 100-lot jewelry auction was also a white-glove sale, meaning not a single lot went unsold.
Many, in fact, blew away their pre-sale estimates, including the highlight: Marie Antoinette’s pearl and diamond pendant.
The piece went for $36.2 million, smashing its pre-sale estimate of $1-$2 million and setting a new auction record for a natural pearl.
The pendant was one of 10 pieces in the sale that once belonged to Marie Antoinette.
Armed with a fascinating backstory, the French queen’s jewels went for a combined $42.7 million, about 15 times the highest pre-sale estimate of $2.9 million.
Photos © Sotheby’s.