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Marie Antoinette's exquisite jewels up for auction

AFP  |  Geneva 

Diamonds and pearls that once belonged to French Louis XVI's Marie-and have never been seen in public are to go on sale.

said the auction of more than 100 lots, all owned by the Bourbon-Parma family, will be held in on November 12.

"This is one of the most important collections of royal jewellery ever to come to market," said of

"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.

Marie Antoinette's diamond pendant with an exceptional natural is expected to fetch up to USD 2 million (1.7 million euros).

A necklace of more than 300 natural pearls has been valued at up to USD 300,000(255,00 euros) and a pair of drop earrings 50,000 dollars.

"Renowned for her extravagance and the splendour and lavishness of her court, is very often portrayed wearing pearls," noted.

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 USD 500,000, will go under the hammer.

An opulent diamond tiara offered by to his great niece the Archduchess Maria Anna of on her marriage in 1902 to Elias of Bourbon, Duke of Parma, has an estimated value of up to USD 120,000.

When Louis, and their children tried to flee the French Revolution in March 1791, the royal jewels were smuggled out of the country into the trust of a confidant in

He sent them on to her nephew the of who later gave them to Marie Antoinette's only surviving child of

"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, of (1819-1864), grand-daughter of Charles X of and great niece of Marie Antoinette," Sotheby's said.

On October 16, 1793, was guillotined as the revolutionary Reign of Terror raged. The following month met a similar fate.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 23:25 IST