the tıara of Joséphıne Bonaparte Hıt Sotheby’s Auctıon

Two headpieces believed to have belonged to Empress Joséphine Bonaparte of France are set to go on sale at Sotheby’s after spending the last 150 years in a private collection.

The tiaras, made in Paris in 1808, are expected to fetch up to GBP 500,000 ($684,629) combined at the December 7 London Treasures sale, the auction house said last week. Each headpiece is part of a parure — a set of matching jewels designed to be worn together. They are still contained in their original Parisian leather boxes.

The first is a gold diadem decorated with blue enamel and carnelian — a semiprecious gemstone — and set with 25 engraved pieces featuring male and female classical heads. It will be offered together with a pair of pendant earrings, each set with a single intaglio — a type of engraved image — and similarly decorated. The set also comprises a hair comb and a belt ornament, the center of which has an etched cameo of Bacchus, the Roman god of agriculture, wine and fertility. The parure is estimated at GBP 200,000 to GBP 300,000 ($273,852 to $410,777).