GENEVA: Christie’s said a pair of diamond bracelets that belonged to France’s Queen Marie Antoinette sold for 7.46 million Swiss francs ($8.18 million) at auction on Tuesday, much exceeding the pre-sale estimate.
The bracelets have been in the family for nearly 200 years, according to Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s international director of jewellery, who conducted the auction in Geneva. The buyer was bidding over the phone and remained anonymous.
According to Christie’s representative Alexandra Kindermann, the hammer price was 6.2 million Swiss francs, while the ultimate price after commission was 7.46 million Swiss francs.
The twin bracelets, each consisting of three strings of diamonds and a massive barrette clasp, total 112 diamonds, are kept in a blue velvet box labelled “bracelets of Queen Marie Antoinette.”
Marie Antoinette was guillotined in 1793 after sending a letter from jail in the Tuileries in Paris stating that a wooden chest containing diamonds would be delivered for protection. The jewels were given to her surviving daughter Marie Therese, Madame Royale, when she arrived in Austria, according to the auction company.
The bracelets, which belonged to a European royal family, were estimated to sell for $2 million to $4 million, according to Christie’s.
The Duke of Windsor purchased an Art Deco ruby and diamond bracelet from Cartier and gave it to his American wife Wallis Simpson on their first wedding anniversary by the man who gave up the British monarchy to marry her.
The Duchess of Windsor bracelet had a pre-sale estimate of 1 million to 2 million Swiss francs, according to the auction house.
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