16 August 2018

Jewels in Motion: The Upcoming Bourbon-Parma Auction

A model wears Maria Teresa of Savoy's diamond girandole earrings and Marie Antoinette's diamond and pearl pendant in London, 12 June 2018 (Michael Bowles/Getty Images for Sotheby's)

This spring, we learned that Sotheby's will offer an important collection of royal jewels from the Bourbon-Parma family at auction this November. Today, I've got a treat for you -- a look at some of these historical pieces glittering in motion!

The suite of diamond jewels was made for Princess Louise, Duchess of Parma. The auction press notes claim that five of the diamonds set in the jewels belonged to Marie Antoinette (Louise was a niece of Marie Antoinette's daughter, the Duchess of Angoul√™me). The suite includes three pieces: a necklace, a pair of earrings, and a floral brooch, and Sotheby's estimates that it will fetch between $300,000-500,000 USD.

This nineteenth-century pair of diamond girandole earrings belonged to Princess Maria Teresa of Savoy, the Italian-born mother-in-law of Princess Louise, Duchess of Parma. They were inherited by Princess Louise's son (and Princess Maria Teresa's grandson), Prince Robert, Duke of Parma; Sotheby's expects them to sell for between $150,000-250,000 USD.

This triple-stranded pearl necklace with an elaborate diamond clasp is advertised as having a connection to Marie Antoinette, but I'm hoping that Sotheby's will provide more information clarifying that link. The press information currently available notes that the "fabulous" necklace is a "testament to the splendour and opulence of the French court," noting that it features "331 natural pearls." (The diamond clasp features a millegrain technique that was developed long after Marie Antoinette's death.) Sotheby's expects the piece to sell for between $200,000-300,000 USD.

Sotheby's also states that this diamond and pearl pendant belonged to Marie Antoinette, calling it one of "the star lots of the collection." They expect the pendant, which features a natural pearl, to fetch between $1-2 million USD.

This large diamond and ruby bow brooch was a gift from Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen to his daughter, Archduchess Maria Anna (the wife of Prince Elias, Duke of Parma). Sotheby's expects this jewel to bring between $200,000-300,000 USD.

Multiple preview exhibitions are planned ahead of the November auction, including stops in Milan, Munich, Cologne, London, Hong Kong, and New York. The auction itself will take place in Geneva on November 12, 2018.

A model wears a necklace strung with natural pearls from the collection of Marie Antoinette in London, 12 June 2018 (Michael Bowles/Getty Images for Sotheby's)

I've got much more on the sale, including more photographs and information about additional pieces, in my article on the initial sale announcement, which you can read here!