>> A royal treasure trove which belonged to the French queen, Marie Antoinette, has fetched a record breaking sum at auction.>> This extraordinary natural pearl, of course->> Collectors snapped up the rare historic gems as bidding soared to a total over $50 million at Sotheby's in Geneva on Wednesday.
That's ten times initial estimates and the highest amount ever for a royal collection. Most of the items that had belonged to the ill-fated monarch had not been seen in public for over 200 years. Marie Antoinette, who married the future King Louis XVI, secretly sent the jewels abroad in a wooden chest to her sister as she planned to escape from Paris.
But the royal couple was arrested in 1792 when the French Revolution overthrew the monarchy. And were executed by guillotine the following year. The top lot, this pearl and oval diamond pendant with a bow motif and diamond clasp.>> 32 million Francs on my right with Andres, world record for a pearl, 32 million Francs, selling it.
>> But only after ten minutes of seesaw bidding. The new owner victorious on the other end of the phone chose to remain anonymous. Sotheby's called the auction the sale of the century.