Marie-Antoinette's Bracelets, Kobe Bryant's Sneakers Among Items On Auction Block Next Week

Geneva's fall auction season is known for diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies and other prized gems, but this year, the late Kobe Bryant's shoes will be making a courtside appearance among the royal treasures, the Associated Press reported.

Prized items such as Marie-Antoinette's diamond bracelets, brooches and ear clips, along with Bryant's high-top Nike sneakers, will be in a Geneva auction on November 11 at Sotheby's and Christie's.

The blue, white and gold Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4 basketball shoes are expected to go for up to 35,000 Swiss francs, about $38,000, during the sale at Sotheby's. Bryant wore the sneakers in a Los Angeles Lakers victory over the L.A. Clippers on March 17, 2004.

Christie's will be auctioning some of Marie Antoinette's last available jewelry pieces, a pair of heavy bracelets from the 18th century that are laid with three rows of small diamonds estimated to sell for up to 4 million Swiss francs, about $4.38 million.

According to Christie's, the royal wife of King Louis XVI carefully wrapped her jewels in cotton, hoping to keep them safe outside revolutionary France. The bracelets were commissioned around 1776 but were kept within royal lineage for over 200 years.

"To see them up for auction today is a unique opportunity for collectors around the world to own a piece of French royal history," said Max Fawcett, head of Christie's jewelry department.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Kobe's Shoes on Auction
Treasures such as Marie-Antoinette’s diamond bracelets, brooches and ear clips, along with the late NBA star Kobe Bryant’s high-top Nike sneakers, will be in a collectible Geneva auction on November 11. Above, a Sotheby's employee holds a pair of Nike sneakers worn in a game by Bryant, during a preview at Sotheby's in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 2, 2021. Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone/Associated Press

"Despite Marie-Antoinette's capture in the French Revolution and her unfortunate death in 1793, the bracelets survived and were passed on to her daughter, Madame Royale, and then the Duchess of Parma," Fawcett said, referring respectively to Marie-Therese of France, the couple's daughter, and Princess Louise d'Artois, who died in 1864.

Among the lots Sotheby's plans to present on Wednesday is a pair of "perfectly matched" earrings, each set with 25.8-carat diamonds, that is expected to fetch up to 5 million francs ($5.5 million).

It will also showcase a brooch with a 26.8-carat oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds, and matching ear clips that once belonged to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna and were whisked out of Russia during the country's 1917 revolution. The trio is expected to garner as much as 480,000 francs ($525,800).

"She was the wife of Grand Duke Vladimir, the son of the tsar, and she was really passionate about jewelry. She had a fantastic collection of jewels," said Olivier Wagner, the head of Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels sales.

Marie-Antoinette Bracelets on Auction
Geneva's fall auction season is known for diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies and other prized gems. Above, a Christie's employee displays a pair of diamond bracelets, with approximately 140 to 150 carats and owned by Marie-Antoinette, in silver and yellow gold, circa 1776, during a preview at the Christie's in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 3, 2021. Martial Trezzini/Keystone/Associated Press