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Marie Antoinette Diamond Earrings

These two large, pear-shaped diamonds weigh 14.25 and 20.34 carats respectively. They once were supposedly set in earrings that belonged to Marie Antoinette, the queen of France who was guillotined in 1793 during the French Revolution. The diamonds were later acquired by the Grand Duchess Tatiana Yousupoff of Russia. When jeweler Pierre Cartier puchased the diamond earrings in 1928, their authenticity was attested to in an affidavit by Russian Princess Zenaide Yousupoff and her son, Prince Felix Yousupoff, stating that they originally belonged to Queen Marie-Antoinette and have never been reset in the one hundred years that they were in the family. Marjorie Merriweather Post acquired the earrings from Pierre Cartier in October 1928. Harry Winston reset the large diamonds in platinum replicas of the "original" silver settings in 1959. Cartier, Inc. designed the triangular tops. In November 1964, Mrs. Post's daughter, Mrs. Eleanor Barzin, donated the earrings, along with the original settings to the Smithsonian Institution. The diamonds are originally from India or Brazil, the only significant sources of diamonds in the eighteenth century.

Image Number: 96-30185
Catalog Number: G5018
Weight: 14.25 and 20.34 carats
Gift: Mrs. Eleanor Close Barzin , 1964


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