Marie Antoinette's exquisite jewels up for auction
GENEVA - AFP
"This is one of the most important collections of royal jewellery ever to come to market," said Daniela Mascetti of Sotheby's Europe.
"Kept out of view, never seen in public, this extraordinary collection offers a fascinating glimpse of the life of this family in centuries gone by," she added in a statement.
A necklace of more than 300 natural pearls has been valued at up to $300,000 and a pair of pearl drop earrings 50,000 dollars.
The sale will include jewels from other royal families up to the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire, all owned by the Bourbon-Parma family.
A parure of 95 diamonds, including five solitaires once in the queen's possession and valued at up to $500,000, will go under the hammer.
An opulent diamond tiara offered by Emperor Franz-Josef to his great niece the Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria on her marriage in 1902 to Elias of Bourbon, Duke of Parma, has an estimated value of up to $120,000.
"Most of the jewels in the collection were given to Robert I (1848-1907), the last sovereign Duke of Parma and Piacenza, by his mother, Louise of France (1819-1864), grand-daughter of King Charles X of France and great niece of Marie Antoinette," Sotheby's said.