Historic ruby- and diamond-studded jewellery, once owned by Frances last empress Eugenie de Montijo (1826-1920), is headed to global auction.
Married to Napoleon III, she did much to enhance the reputation of French haute joaillerie from the beginning of her reign in 1853. She also had many crown jewels remounted to suit her personal taste and also commissioned new pieces from the most famous Parisian jewellers.
Her jewels will go under the hammer in a Christie's London auction on November 27. On sale will be a pair of 19th-century natural pearl earrings, estimated to sell for 60,000-80,000 pounds (roughly Rs 55 lakh-74 lakh), alongside a mid-19th century ruby-and-diamond heart locket pendant, dating to 1850-60. It is estimated to 10,000-15,000 pounds (roughly Rs 9-13 lakh).
As per Christie's, the locket was on view in a 2008 exhibition in Paris.
"Adorned with circular-cut rubies and old and rose-cut diamonds, a glazed compartment on the reverse of the pendant contains a lock of hair reputedly belonging to Napoleon III," it said in a press statement.
(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)