Marie Antoinette’s pearl and diamond pendant has been sold at auction for $36 million (£28 million)- setting a world record for a pearl.
The piece was valued at $2 million (£1.6 million) but after a bidding war it increased dramatically at Sotheby’s Geneva show.
It was part of a jewellery collection that hadn’t been seen public for 200 years and eventually sold for more than £53 million, including pieces from King Charles X, the Archdukes of Austria and the Dukes of Parma.
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) October 22, 2018
A pearl necklace, once owned by Elizabeth Taylor, was previously the most expensive pearl jewel, that sold for $11.8 million (£9.2 million) at Christie’s auction house in 2011.
Sotheby’s said that the Geneva auction was “one of the most important jewellery collections ever to appear on the market,” according to the BBC.
Other items include the natural pearl and diamond necklace, pearl and diamond earrings and a monogram ring with a lock of her hair.
Marie Antoinette, an Austrian princess before marrying France’s King Louis XVI, famously became a hate figure during the years before the French Revolution. She led an extravagant lifestyle in a time where many French people couldn’t even afford to feed their families.
She smuggled her jewellery out to her family in Austria before failing to flee France with Louis XVI and their children and was eventually guillotined at 37 years old in 1793.
From Harper’s Bazaar UK