Today’s tiara, Queen Elizabeth of Belgium’s Diamond Scroll Tiara, was made by Cartier in Paris in 1910. The hundreds of diamonds are set in platinum and the scroll motif gives the hefty tiara a very romantic feel.
The scroll tiara was purchased by Queen Elizabeth of Belgium (1876-1965) and inherited by her son King Leopold III of Belgium. However, today the tiara is back in the ownership of Cartier.
Today’s tiara is rare and of an unusual design. The headpiece is made of blackened steel and bordered with circular-cut diamonds. The two scalloped edges and the bottom row’s diamond-encrusted palmettes manage to give the tiara a romantic feel, despite the black steel.
Between 1912 and 1915, Parisian workshop Henri Picq made about five of these steel tiaras for Cartier. This particular tiara was bought in 1912 as a wedding gift for the seller’s grandmother. It has managed to stay with the same family until the seller sold it via Sotheby’s in 2015. It fetched the hefty sum of CHF 538,000.
I don’t have any information on the family, but the bride must have been quite the avant-garde fashionista to have embraced and kept such a unique tiara.
Today we know the Halo Tiara as the wedding tiara of the Duchess of Cambridge. But originally it was made for Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) by Cartier in 1936.
The diamond tiara is in the shape of a “halo” and has 16 scrolls. It’s set with 739 brilliant cut diamonds and 149 baton (cut in a long, thin rectangular shape) diamonds. Each scroll is divided by one brilliant cut diamond. The largest diamond is reserved for the center of the tiara.