FAIR WARNING – ROYAL JEWELS GO ON THE BLOCK AT SOTHEBY’S

Impressive sapphire and diamond brooch - Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family - Sotheby's November 2018
Impressive sapphire and diamond brooch – Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family – Sotheby’s November 2018

The Sotheby’s New York auction of one among only three original film posters known to exist of Karl Freund’s 1932 motion picture “The Mummy” may be the biggest draw among serious collectors this month. But in a few weeks, attention will shift to the auction house’s Geneva gallery where a fleet of private jets will probably be headed when “Royal Jewels from the Bourbon-Parma Family” goes under the hammer. The auction showcases breathtaking pieces unseen in public for centuries including dazzlers once owned by the tragically misunderstood Marie-Antoinette (1755–1793). So not only is this collection of resplendent opulence but nearly invaluable for their distinguished provenance.

Diamond tiara, Hübner, circa 1912 - Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family - Sotheby's Geneva 14 Nov 2018
Diamond tiara, Hübner, circa 1912 – Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family – Sotheby’s Geneva 14 Nov 2018

Along male lineage, the House of Bourbon-Parma descends from the French Capetian dynasty and spans across some of Europe’s ruling families that have comprised Kings of France and Spain, Emperors of Austria, and the Dukes of Parma. Since the announcement of the sale from the family collection, Sotheby’s has held previews of the pieces in Milan, Munich, Cologne, Dubai, and Hong Kong. Following the showing here, it continues on to London, Singapore, and Taipei before concluding in Geneva for the auction.

Natural pearl clasp and a cultured pearl and diamond necklace -Sotheby's Geneva 14 Nov 2018
Natural pearl clasp and a cultured pearl and diamond necklace -Sotheby’s Geneva 14 Nov 2018

Highlights of the collection include a diamond tiara (Hübner, circa 1912 estimated at $350,000-550,000); and a deep blue Ceylonese sapphire brooch encircled by diamonds (circa 1900 estimated at $150,000 – 250,000), a wedding gift to the Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria from her mother. But it will be the pieces that include stones once owned by Marie-Antoinette herself that will, without a doubt, generate the most interest such as: the pearl and diamond pendant (estimated at $1-2M); and the six-strand pearl and diamond necklace (estimated at $5,000-$8,000) reset with the unaltered clasp, which was formerly from one of the queen’s pearl bracelets. There are other pieces in the collection composed of stones of multiple royal provenances, appropriated into their current settings. The diamond parure (estimated at $300,000-$500,000), for instance, holds 95 diamonds, five of which are solitaires that belonged to Marie-Antoinette, some that once adorned the sword of the Duke of Berry, and one pear-shaped stone from the collection of the Archduchess Isabella of Austria, Princess of Croy (1856-1931).

Queen Marie Antoinette's Pearl - Exceptional and highly important natural pearl and diamond pendant, 18th century - Sotheby's Geneva 14 Nov 2018
Queen Marie Antoinette’s Pearl – Exceptional and highly important natural pearl and diamond pendant, 18th century – Sotheby’s Geneva 14 Nov 2018

Images courtesy of Sotheby’s

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Joseph Pastrana

Joseph Pastrana has spent most of his career in lifestyle - from his extensive experience in public relations and brand building to writing features on a range of art and culture subjects. He was formerly fashion director for the Los Angeles-based trade publication MetroStyle where he oversaw the magazine’s coverage of local and international fashion labels. He personally attended seasonal Fashion Weeks in New York, Paris and Milan and wrote profiles and reviews on designers and collections including Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Isaac Mizrahi, Donna Karan, Bill Blass, Todd Oldham and many others. Joseph has also written for magazines in Chicago and New York on travel, books, music and films. He returned to public relations consultancy work through affiliation with Mannfolk PR as its New York division to develop emerging fashion resources as well as managing the communications requirements for clients in various lifestyle categories including fitness and interior design.

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