History of Famous Jewels and Collections
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Balancing quality versus provenance...
I think its a careful balance.
I recall at the time of its sale it was widely accepted that Princess Margaret's Poltimore tiara was pretty decrepit and the diamonds were very small and not particularly high grade but its association with her resulted in it reaching enormous sums.
Marie Antoinette is an almost mythical figure in history now and jewels associated with her seem to be highly inflated.
Aren't the quality of the diamonds taken into account? The diamonds may have big carat weights and may look shiny and stuff but if their not of the first water or what they say is D or internally flawless then they may just be H/I quality. I often wonder what quality these diamonds are from royal and noble/ aristocratic houses.
I recall the British stone from South Africa being recorded as a top quality stone and I believe the Kooinor stone was also listed in that category and I believe I've seen a couple Russian stones also being appraised in top quality category as well but you don't get that kind of information on other Royal jewels.
to support a link with Marie Antoinette.
Had they been able to do so, this necklace would likely have been a record breaker at auction (given the way jewels associated with MA have sold in recent years, not to mention the size of these diamonds) and likely would have sold for many times more than the £1.4 million agreed estimated value.
I'm looking forward to seeing it in the flesh at the V&A at some point, whenever it is put on display.