GENEVA (AP) – A diamond bracelet that once belonged to Frenchwoman Marie-Antoinette and a sapphire and diamond brooch with matching ear clips that once hung from a Russian Grand Duchess are among the items featured in the jewelry auction and other collectibles next week in Geneva.
A pair of high-top Nike sneakers from late NBA star Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard who died in a helicopter crash in California last year, will also go under the hammer in the Swiss town on the edge of the Lake.
The Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4 basketball shoes in blue, white and gold are expected to fetch up to 35,000 CHF (approximately $ 38,000) at a sale on November 11 at Sotheby’s. Bryant wore the sneakers in a March 17, 2004 victory against the LA Clippers, according to the auction house.
But as usual during the autumn auction season in Geneva, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies and other precious stones will be the highlights of next week’s sales at Sotheby’s and rival Christie’s.
Christie’s offers tomorrow a pair of breathtaking 18th century heavy bracelets studded with three rows of small diamonds. The bracelets are presented as one of the last vestiges of Marie-Antoinette’s rich jewelry cabinet still available for sale.
The auction house said the famous royal and wife of King Louis XVI was known to have herself carefully wrapped her jewelry in cotton, hoping to keep it out of revolutionary France – which made her ultimately claimed his life via the guillotine. The bracelets, ordered around 1776, have been kept in the royal line for more than 200 years, Christie’s said.
“Despite Marie-Antoinette’s capture in the French Revolution and her unfortunate death in 1793, the bracelets survived and were passed on to her daughter Madame Royale and then to the Duchess of Parma,” said Max Fawcett, head of the jewelry department of Christie’s, referring respectively to Marie-ThÃ©rÃ¨se of France, daughter of the couple, and Princess Louise d’Artois, who died in 1864.
âSeeing them at auction today is a unique opportunity for collectors around the world to own a piece of French royal history,â said Fawcett.
The pre-sale estimate for the bracelets is 4 million Swiss francs (4.38 million US dollars). They each weigh 97 grams and include “old cut” diamonds as well as silver and gold, Christie’s said.
Among the lots that Sotheby’s plans to present on Wednesday, a pair of “perfectly matched” earrings, each set with 25.8-carat diamonds, is expected to fetch up to 5 million francs ($ 5.5 million).
It will also feature a brooch with a 26.8-carat oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds and matching ear clips that belonged to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna and were expelled from Russia during the 1917 revolution. The trio are expected to collect up to 480,000 CHF (525,800 USD).
âShe was the wife of Grand Duke Vladimir, the Tsar’s son, and she was really passionate about jewelry.
âShe had a fantastic collection of jewelry,â said Olivier Wagner, sales manager of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels.