Auctions do turn up some interesting pieces and a lot of historical flotsam and jetsam. Much of it jewelled.
This pendant was part of a recent Sotheby’s auction (held the last week of September) and described as A Collection of Historically Important Paintings, Drawings, Historical Furniture and Souvenirs belonging to the Family of France.” As with many less regal families, the auction was the outcome of an inheritance dispute of the family of the Count of Paris (pretender to the French throne, were there one). Because basically, death brings out the worst in people.
In a nutshell, Henri, the late Comte de Paris, disinherited all his nine surviving heirs, leaving his estate to a foundation. He thoughtfully explained to them,”I will leave you nothing but hate and tears to cry.” (I smell a pitch for Real Housewives of Paris here…)
You may be happy to know that his children reclaimed their inheritance after a protracted legal battle. (You can read all about it here.) And that the auction netted over €4 million, likely making coming Father’s Day remembrances somewhat easier to bear, if not exactly celebrate.
This item is described in the catalogue as, “Pendant badge with Saint-Michel, Probably French, 17th century, in gold and enamels, both sides depicting the standing figure of St Michael vanquishing Satan within a blue-enamelled oval medallion decorated with shells, having chain suspension with enamelled links in the form of shells and knots and with a single shell and pearl-drop appended, minor losses to the enamel, overall good condition.”
Pre-auction estimate was € 10,000— 15,000. It sold for €37,500.