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Re: Bourbon-Parma jewel sale
Marie Antoinette did not wear tiara's. There are a few paintings of Queen Marie Leczinska wearing a golden headpiece you could describe as a tiara. If that really existed or was just part of the painter's imagination i don't know.
Tiara's became popular during the first Empire and remained in vogue until the first half of the 20th century.
Madame Royale did own several tiara's and as first lady of France during the restauration she had full use of the crown jewels and they were adapted for her.
In the galleria d'Apollon of the Louvre a diamond and emerald tiara is displayed that was made for her.
To be quite frank, I've never seen a portrait of MA wearing a tiara. Not for certain I've ever seen any royal of the 18th century or prior wearing a tiara. However, perhaps a coronet but not tiaras. Perhaps I stand corrected?
The tiara was made for the wife a descendant of her brother-in-law Charles X. His granddaughter Louise d'Artois married into the Parma branch. Marie Antoinette sole surviving child, Marie Therese Charlotte, Madame Royale left most of her possesions to Louise's brother Henri. When he died without children the jewels went to his sister's line.
Alicia de Bourbon-Parma married a Spanish Infante and also the heir to the kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It's their descendants who now sell her jewels.
The Fleur de Lys tiara is stunning and i had hoped it might be bought by a Capetian prince or princess but im not holding my breath.
Marie Antoinette has always been fascinating historical figure to me. I may add, the French Revolution has always captivated me as well in many compelling ways. What started out as a great new promise and the dawning of a new democratic age in France turned into one of the most tragic episodes in history, the Reign of Terror. The French royals were the beginning of the end to the ancien régime and the subsequent revolutionary changes, both good and bad.
Anyway, I find it fascinating that one of the pieces of her jewelry, her ring, contained a lock of her hair. Also, I see a tiara among the pieces that has the fleur-de-lis but it doesn't identify it belonging to the former queen of France.
Marie Antoinette has become very popular especially outside of France. Her tragic life has been romanticised in novels and films so anything belonging to her gets sold at a premium. Im certain the Louvre would gladly display grand jewels once belonging to this Queen of France and Navarre but i also understand they are not going to spent a fortune on trying to buy pieces.
Wouldn't it be nice if MA's jewels were added to crown jewel collection in France or, at least, the remnants of the French crown jewels.
The Sotheby's Geneva sale of jewels of the Bourbon-Parma family took place today, raising over 40 million pounds sterling. This was much higher than the estimate, largely owing to the extraordinary price paid for a pearl and diamond pendant formerly belonging to Queen Marie Antoinette which sold for more than fifteen times the high estimate (estimated high price £1,523,161; actual sale price £27,684,520).
Marie Antoinette pearl auctioned for record $36m (BBC News)
Sotheby's auction results
I am not sure which members of the family benefit financially from this sale.