Based on the facsimile of the jewellery set"The Queen's Necklace" preserved in the Palace of Versailles.
Assembled by Paul Bassenge (jeweller) and Boehmer
This diamond necklace, worth £1.6 million at the time, was the origin of what was called the"necklace affair".
In 1785 this sumptuous necklace had been proposed to Marie Antoinette by two jewellers but, in agreement with King Louis XVI, she had rejected it in view of the enormity of the sum corresponding, at that time, to the price of two warships.
An intriguing woman in Versailles, the Countess de La Motte, led the then disgraced Cardinal de Rohan to believe that the Queen wanted this necklace and entrusted it with her secret acquisition. Faced with the Queen's false letters supposedly addressed to Rohan, the jewellers entrusted the necklace to the Countess de la Motte, whose husband hastened to sell the diamonds in England.
The scandal broke out on 15 August 1785, the protagonists were arrested and the king entrusted the matter to Parliament. If Cardinal Rohan was released, the queen, little loved by the people, was slandered; pamphlets and slanders were defamed, demonstrating the waste and uselessness of the Court; this case certainly contributed to the fall of the French monarchy.
Length: 19 cm.
Width: 2 cm.
Materials: Brass, Glass beads, Strass
Museum: Versailles - Museum of the castles of Versailles and Trianon