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 and other collectibles auction next week in Geneva.
In the Swiss town by the lake, a pair of high-top Nike sneakers of late NBA star Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard who died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas last year.
The Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4 basketball shoes in blue, white and gold are expected to fetch up to 35,000 Swiss francs (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.
Other Bryant items featured at the auction include a replica pair of Air Jordan 3 and Air Jordan 8 shoes offered to Bryant in the early 2000s by the Jordan brand. The shoes were given to Bryant shortly after his contract with adidas ended at a time when he was not affiliated with a shoe brand.
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 is putting together a pair of heavy 18th-century bracelets on Tuesday that are studded with three rows of tiny 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, in the hope of keeping it out of revolutionary France – which made her ultimately claimed his life by 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 department. jewelry from Christie’s, referring respectively to Marie-Thérèse of France, daughter of the couple, and to Princess Louise d’Artois, who died in 1864.
“Seeing them at auction today is a unique opportunity for collectors around the world to own a piece of French royal history,” said Fawcett.
The presale estimate for the bracelets is 4 million Swiss francs ($ 4.38 million). They each weigh 97 grams (3.42 ounces) and include “old-fashioned” 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 francs ($ 525,800).
“She was the wife of Grand Duke Vladimir, the Tsar’s son, and she was really passionate about jewelry. She had a fantastic collection of jewelry, ”said Olivier Wagner, Sales Manager of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels.
Jonathan Lloyd of NBCLA contributed to this report.