For a few people, the year 2020 is proving to be lucky.
A British family was recently shocked to find that an antique mirror at their home originally belonged to Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France.
The 18th-century French mirror was hanging in their bathroom for the past 40 years, and it was previously part of a larger display in one of Antoinette’s French palaces, news website the DailyMail reported.
The mirror will be auctioned on November 13 and is expected to earn the family at least USD 13,000 (Dh47,749) at an auction in Bristol, the UK.
“Never really thought it to be worth anything,” the auctioneer Andrew Stowe told British news agency South West News Service, the New York Post reported.
“Once we discovered all of this incredible evidence it really did become something special,” Stowe added.
According to the description of the product on the East Bristol Auctions website, the mirror was purchased from the Estate of Napoleon III, whose wife, Empress Eugenie, owned items from Antoinette.
Later in the 19th century, the mirror was mounted on a fine walnut-carved frame and decorated with leaves and carved vines.
The mirror was inherited in the 1950s by a family friend of the current owner, according to Fox News. After the original buyer died in the 1980s, the mirror was given to the present owner’s grandmother, the report added.
Antoinette was the last queen of France before the French Revolution. She was the youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I.
In another part of the world … two Indian labourers also struck big
In a separate incident, on November 3, an official told Indian media outlets that two workers had become instant millionaires as they unearthed two diamonds weighing 7.44 and 14.98 carats at mines in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Dilip Mistry in the state’s Panna district extracted the 7.44 carat stone from a mine in Jaruapur, while Lakhan Yadav mined a 14.98 carat one in Krishna Kalyanpur area, diamond inspector Anupam Singh told local media.
The stones were deposited at the diamond office on November 2 and will be auctioned off, the official said, adding that the laborers would get the proceeds after a deduction of 12.5 per cent royalty. While the exact value of the diamonds will be decided by the authorities, the stone weighing 7.44 carat will fetch around Rs 30 lakh (Dh147,367) and the bigger one will fetch double the amount, he said.
For Yadav who is a small-scale farmer managing two acres of land, it was his first diamond extraction.
"I will use the money from the proceeds to educate my children," he was quoted as saying by local media.
Mistry said, "I am a part of a group of four persons and we have been working hard to extract diamonds on our private land for the last six months. By the grace of God, I have got this good quality diamond for the first time.” Panna district is famous for its diamond mines.