Marie Antoinette’s pearls to hit auction block

December 4th, 2007 - 2:04 pm ICT by admin  

London, Dec.4 (ANI): London-based auction house Christies will auction pearls that once graced the neck of French Empress Marie Antoinette in the 18th century.

The sale of the pearls will take place here next Wednesday, and it is expected to fetch 400,000 pounds, reports The Telegraph.

According to the paper, during the French Revolution, the 21 jewels were smuggled out of France by the Countess of Sutherland, the wife of the British ambassador and an ally of Antoinette, who was known for her extravagant lifestyle.

They were to be returned to her, but never did, because Antoinette was guillotined in front of a baying mob in 1793.

Half a century later, the drop-shaped natural pearls were mounted onto a necklace with diamonds and rubies for the wedding of the countess’s grandson, George Granville William Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, to Ann Hay McKenzie.

Raymond Sancroft-Baker, a Christie’s jewellery expert, described the event of sale as rare and fresh as far as the auction business was concerned. (ANI)

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