A Beheaded Queen's Jewelry Is Up for Grabs

Pearls worn by Marie Antoinette that haven't been seen in public in 200 years are up for auction
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 13, 2018 12:50 PM CDT
This undated handout photo released by Sotheby's Geneva shows a pair of natural pearl drop earrings that once belonged to Marie Antoinette, expected to sell for $30,000 to $50,000.   (Sotheby's Geneva via AP)
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(Newser) – Sotheby's says it will be auctioning off a set of natural pearls that once belonged to the famed—or infamous—French queen Marie Antoinette, and that haven't been seen in public for centuries. The sale of "Royal Jewels From the Bourbon-Parma Family" is set to take place in Geneva on Nov. 12, per the AP. Sotheby's says Marie Antoinette, who was guillotined during the French Revolution, was often portrayed wearing pearls, which the auction house says were as prized as diamonds in the late 18th century.

Announcing the sale Wednesday, the auction house said the pearls haven't been seen in public in 200 years. The collection includes one piece with a diamond pendant and natural pearl that's estimated to fetch up to $2 million. A Sotheby's international specialist says each jewel is "absolutely imbued with history."

(Read more Marie Antoinette stories.)

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