For some 10 minutes the bidding went back and forth. For the prized possession of the night: a diamond and pearl pendant. At Sotheby’s in Geneva, wealthy collectors came out, or phoned in, to buy a piece of history in the form of Marie Antoinette’s jewels. “32 million francs on my right with Andres. World record for a pearl. 32 million francs. Selling it… Sold.” In total, with fees, the anonymous buyer spent over 36 million dollars or nearly 32 million euros on the jewel, breaking the record price for a pearl and far exceeding the initial estimate of one to two million dollars for the 18th century pin. A success the auctioneers attributed to
the continued awe around Marie Antoinette’s life and her execution in 1793. “You don’t need to be a historian to know Marie Antoinette. Marie Antoinette is, I think, together with Cleopatra, she is the most important queen of the whole history. The pendant was one of ten pieces belonging to the former French Queen, that went up on the auctioneers block. Some hadn’t been seen in 200 years, for many were in the Italian royal collection of the Bourbon-Parma family.