Empress Alexandra’s Siberian Aquamarine Brooch

Image from Stefano Papi’s book, Jewels of the Romanovs.

What better way to begin March than by talking about aquamarines!

Today’s aquamarine is a beautiful brooch of imperial provenance. The Siberian Aquamarine Brooch (seen above) is set in an intricate border with a diamond-set trellis motif. It was made by Fabergé’s workmaster Henrik Wigström.

The aquamarine has a happy beginning but ends with a tragedy. The brooch was purchased by Tsar Nicholas II as an engagement present for his bride, Alix of Hesse, in 1894. It cost 1,100 roubles and was one of her many engagement gifts.

Wikimedia Commons. Empress Alexandra Feodorovna (Alix of Hesse).

Alexandra must have loved the brooch dearly because she took it with her when she, along with her husband and children, was taken to The House of Special Purpose. The brooch must have brought her comfort and perhaps reminded her of happy memories. Alexandra was wearing the jewel up until the minute she was murdered.

The Bolsheviks sold the brooch. Today the jewel is owned by Wartski.

Sources

Jewels of the Romanovs: Family & Court by Stefano Papi

Wartski: The First One Hundred and Fifty Years by Geoffrey C. Munn