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Ambassador Mercy to Maria Theresa, 19 January 1776
The Queen … felt a great desire for earrings which were shown to her and for which the jeweler asked 600,000 livres. I did not conceal from the Queen that it would be more prudent to defer so great an expense; but the temptation was too strong and could not be resisted. In truth the Queen took many precautions … Her Majesty will pay for this purchase over four years so as not to take too much all at once from her funds.

Ambassador Mercy to Maria Theresa, 19 January 1776

The Queen … felt a great desire for earrings which were shown to her and for which the jeweler asked 600,000 livres. I did not conceal from the Queen that it would be more prudent to defer so great an expense; but the temptation was too strong and could not be resisted. In truth the Queen took many precautions … Her Majesty will pay for this purchase over four years so as not to take too much all at once from her funds.

Filed under marie antoinette earrings jewelry history letters maria theresa

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Diamond earrings made from diamonds that are believed to have belonged to Marie Antoinette.
GeoGallery:

These two large, pear-shaped diamonds weigh 14.25 and 20.34 carats respectively. They once were supposedly set in earrings that belonged to Marie Antoinette, the queen of France who was guillotined in 1793 during the French Revolution. The diamonds were later acquired by the Grand Duchess Tatiana Yousupoff of Russia. When jeweler Pierre Cartier puchased the diamond earrings in 1928, their authenticity was attested to in an affidavit by Russian Princess Zenaide Yousupoff and her son, Prince Felix Yousupoff, stating that they originally belonged to Queen Marie-Antoinette and have never been reset in the one hundred years that they were in the family. Marjorie Merriweather Post acquired the earrings from Pierre Cartier in October 1928. Harry Winston reset the large diamonds in platinum replicas of the “original” silver settings in 1959. Cartier, Inc. designed the triangular tops. In November 1964, Mrs. Post’s daughter, Mrs. Eleanor Barzin, donated the earrings, along with the original settings to the Smithsonian Institution. The diamonds are originally from India or Brazil, the only significant sources of diamonds in the eighteenth century.

Diamond earrings made from diamonds that are believed to have belonged to Marie Antoinette.

GeoGallery:

These two large, pear-shaped diamonds weigh 14.25 and 20.34 carats respectively. They once were supposedly set in earrings that belonged to Marie Antoinette, the queen of France who was guillotined in 1793 during the French Revolution. The diamonds were later acquired by the Grand Duchess Tatiana Yousupoff of Russia. When jeweler Pierre Cartier puchased the diamond earrings in 1928, their authenticity was attested to in an affidavit by Russian Princess Zenaide Yousupoff and her son, Prince Felix Yousupoff, stating that they originally belonged to Queen Marie-Antoinette and have never been reset in the one hundred years that they were in the family. Marjorie Merriweather Post acquired the earrings from Pierre Cartier in October 1928. Harry Winston reset the large diamonds in platinum replicas of the “original” silver settings in 1959. Cartier, Inc. designed the triangular tops. In November 1964, Mrs. Post’s daughter, Mrs. Eleanor Barzin, donated the earrings, along with the original settings to the Smithsonian Institution. The diamonds are originally from India or Brazil, the only significant sources of diamonds in the eighteenth century.

Filed under diamonds earrings marie antoinette 18th century history fashion jewelry

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A selection of jewelry worn by Marie Antoinette as the queen in Marie Antoinette (2006)

I found it interesting that the “sun” earrings that are in the jewelry box she opens when she arrives at Versailles appear during more pivotal moments of the film: when she arrives at Versailles, in the scene where she meets Fersen and before Louis XV takes ill, at the king’s coronation, her birthday, during the fantasy “Let them eat cake” sequence and once more during the final opera scene.

image sources

Filed under marie antoinette film sofia coppola jewelry fashion earrings diamonds