Jewels given to Napoleon's adoptive daughter on sale at Christie's next week
A flawless sapphire and diamond parure that belonged to Napoleon's adoptive daughter is to be sold at auction at Christie's in Geneva next week, a rare sale of objects directly linked to the French emperor.
GENEVA: A flawless sapphire and diamond parure that belonged to Napoleon's adoptive daughter is to be sold at auction at Christie's in Geneva next week, a rare sale of objects directly linked to the French emperor.
The jewels date back to the early 19th century and are believed to have been a wedding gift for Stephanie de Beauharnais, who was adopted by Napoleon and his wife Josephine de Beauharnais.
"I think most of the jewels that originate from the French court today have already found their way into museums or into very important collections," said Lukas Biehler of Christie’s jewellery department.
"To see one coming on the market from a family that actually goes back to Napoleon is almost unheard of ... and it happens maybe once every century," he told Reuters at a viewing.
The nine items in the set, which are being sold individually, include a necklace and tiara adorned with sapphires from mines in what was then known as Ceylon, now Sri Lanka.
The jewels are estimated at a combined total of 430,000 to 750,000 Swiss francs (US$471,000 to US$821,000), according to the auction catalogue. They are among 144 lots due to go under the hammer in next week's auction.
(US$1 = 0.9131 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Denis Balibouse, writing by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Estelle Shirbon)