A majestic, historic diamond brooch designed as a double-headed eagle was recently sold at Sotheby’s. Initially it belonged to Leopold-Salvator of Habsburg-Lorraine, Archduke of Austria, Prince of Tuscany (1863-1931). The brooch was passed on to his descendants until it was sold in May 2021.
The double-headed eagle is significant because it symbolizes the coat of arms of the House of Austria. It’s entirely set with with cushion-shaped, round, single-cut and rose-cut diamonds. Whenever such historic jewels are sold I often wonder who the buyer is and if they plan on wearing the jewels. Here’s hoping that we see this unique brooch either worn or in a museum somewhere.
Today’s royal trinket is an old photograph. But what a photograph it is!
The photograph depicts the incredible wedding presents Archduchess Elizabeth Marie of Austria received on the occasion of her marriage in 1902 to Prince Otto of Windisch-Graetz. Elizabeth Marie was the only child of Crown Prince Rudolph (son of Empress Elizabeth of Austria, or Sisi). With such an illustrious lineage, it makes sense that she would have received such lovely jewels.
On the middle shelf to the right you can spot the 27 jeweled stars made by Köchert for Empress Elizabeth. Sisi wore them in her hair in the famous portrait by Winterhalter. The photograph of the wedding gifts depicts the last time all the stars were together because Elizabeth Marie (and later her heirs) gave them away as gifts. Sadly, most of the stars have disappeared from history.