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Midland date with Marie-Antoinette...

Byline: Mike Lockley Staff Reporter

AN 18th century calendar, given as a gift by Marie-Antoinette, is expected to realise PS8,000 at auction. The 1774 calendar, handed to a courtier by France's last queen before the revolution, will go under the hammer at Fellows jewellery sale in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter this Thursday (March 21).

It was given as a token of friendship to the court by the royals to celebrate the new year. Louis XVI was known to give out gold snuff boxes and ornate calendars.

It was bought by the current owner at Christie's, in Paris, in November 2015.

Nicola Whittaker, from Fellows Auctioneers, said: "We're delighted to be able to offer such a historically interesting piece at the fine jewellery auction. This calendar was given out by Louis Dauphin, later Louis XVI, and his wife Marie-Antoinette to members of their court.

"Louis was known for giving extravagant gifts to his friends and that this calendar contains birthdays, social events and astrological information makes it very sentimental.

This is the first time this piece has come to auction within the UK and we are excited to bring it to a British market, given the recent surge in popularity of pieces connected to the couple.

"We are expecting a lot of interest in this piece, given its connection to Marie-Antoinette. After all, Marie-Antoinette's pearls broke world records at Sotheby's Geneva auction at the end of last year."

Marie-Antoinette was convicted of high treason by the Revolutionary Tribunal on October 16, 1793. She was executed by guillotine on the Place de la Revolution.

The 451 lot sale also features a black opal and diamond dress ring valued at PS2,500 and an 18th century silver, gold and diamond etui - a case for holding needles or cosmetics - which is expected to sell for around PS7,000.


The calendar and case that Marie-Antoinette offered as a gift

French queen Marie-Antoinette, who eventually lost her head

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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 21, 2019
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