Marie Antoinette pearls unseen for 200 years to be auctioned

A stunning diamond pendant, supporting a natural pearl of exceptional size Estimate: $1-2 million. Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

GENEVA (AP) – Sotheby’s says it is auctioning natural pearls that once belonged to the famed — or infamous — French queen Marie Antoinette, and which have not been seen in public for two centuries.

The sale of “Royal Jewels from the Bourbon-Parma family” is set to take place in Geneva on Nov. 12.

Sotheby’s says Marie Antoinette, who was guillotined during the French Revolution, was often portrayed wearing pearls, which the auction house says were as prized as diamonds in the late 18th century.

Announcing the sale Wednesday, the auction house said the pearls have not been seen in public in 200 years.” The collection includes one piece with a diamond pendant and natural pearl that is estimated to fetch up to $2 million.

Sotheby’s international specialist Daniela Mascetti said each jewel is “absolutely imbued with history.”

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