Royal jewels and Kobe Bryant’s shoes set for auction
GENEVA — A diamond bracelet that once belonged to France’s Marie Antoinette and a sapphire-and-diamond brooch with matching ear clips that once dangled from a Russian grand duchess are among the featured items in auctions of jewelry and other collectibles next week in Geneva.
Also going under the hammer in the lakeside Swiss city will be a pair of high-top Nike sneakers from the late NBA star Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard who died in a helicopter crash in California last year.
The blue, white and gold Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4 basketball shoes are expected to fetch up to 35,000 Swiss francs (about $38,000) during a Nov. 11 sale at Sotheby’s. Bryant wore the sneakers in a March 17, 2004, victory over the L.A. Clippers, according to the auction house.
But as usual in the Geneva fall auction season, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies and other prized gems will be the highlights of next week’s sales at Sotheby’s and rival Christie’s.
Christie’s is putting up on Tuesday an eye-popping pair of heavy bracelets from the 18th century that are studded with three rows of small diamonds. The bracelets are billed as one of the last remaining vestiges of Marie Antoinette’s rich jewelry cabinet that are still available for sale.
The auction house said the famed royal and wife of King Louis XVI was known to have carefully wrapped her jewels in cotton herself, hoping to keep them outside revolutionary France – which ultimately took her life via the guillotine. The bracelets, commissioned around 1776, were kept within royal lineage for over 200 years.