13 March 2022

Marie Antoinette's diamonds

I saw the Christie's press release many months ago -
Geneva - on 9 November 2021 Christie’s will proudly offer THE MARIE ANTOINETTE DIAMONDS as lot 1 of its live Magnificent Jewels Auction to be held at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. Presented in their current form [a pair of matching bracelets], the 112 diamonds, originally belonged to Queen Marie-Antoinette of France (1755-1793)... 
Architectural Digest offered a followup that "the bracelets sold on November 9 for $9,353,855, far more than their initial $2,000,000-4,000,000 estimate."

This is a portrait of her daughter Marie-Therese wearing the bracelets -

RelatedMarie Antoinette was a blonde.


  1. Your image is actually her daughter, Marie-Therese:


    1. Thank you nycguy; I've amended the text accordingly. :-)

  2. Heavy is the head that wears the crown. It's essentially a hat full of rocks. 😀

  3. "Let them eat cake" has different meaning with kids today.

  4. Anyone know why she's wearing a dress so wrinkled that it looks like it was stuffed in a suitcase?

    1. My guess would be something to do with the fabric and embellishments. Many highly embellished fabrics were nearly impossible to launder well- anything with metallic threads or gems/ gemstones such as seed pearls or tiny rhinestones wouldn't wash well the way laundry was typically washed back then. Dyes were rarely colorfast as well, and I bet white would have gotten "grubby" fast.
      Many homes had "airing closets" which were simply closets with ventilation holes to the outside. Particularly in winter, you'd quite literally hang clothing there, let it freeze, and that killed off bacteria associated with bad smells.
      And, of course, if it's a silk dress, ironing wouldn't have been possible either.
      Satin, Linen and pure cotton wrinkle incredibly easily, but cotton wouldn't likely be a fabric available back then. And the highlights on the dress fabric in the photo make me think it's likely silk or a satin/ sateen fabric maybe?


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