GENEVA – A pair of diamond bracelets once owned by Marie Antoinette fetched $8.3 million at an auction in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday.
The buyer, who has not been identified publicly, bid by telephone, The Guardian reported.
The French queen allegedly dispatched the jewelry in a wooden box for safekeeping before she was guillotined during the French Revolution, BBC News reported.
According to The Guardian, the Austrian-born monarch, who arrived in France to marry the future Louis XVI when she was only 14, had the bracelets custom made in 1776, only two years after she became queen.
“Each bracelet is composed of three strings of diamonds and a large barrette clasp, totalling 112 diamonds, including ‘old cut’ stones and silver and gold,” the news outlet reported.
Both bracelets were smuggled out of the country and remained within her family for more than two centuries, BBC News reported.
“These bracelets travelled through time to recount a most important era of French history, with its glamour, glory and drama,” Francois Curiel, Europe chairman for Christie’s auction house, told the news outlet.
Christie’s itself dates to 1766, some 27 years before Marie Antoinette was put to death.
“To find jewels with over 200 years of French royal history is truly something that collectors and passionate jewellery people from all over the world will be keeping an eye on,” Max Fawcett, head of Christie’s jewellery department, told The Guardian before the sale.
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