Royal Links of Note

© Anna-Lena Ahlström, The Royal Court of Sweden. Princess Madeleine, youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, is wearing the Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik.

Happy Friday!

Let’s discuss a few royal links of note on this beautiful Friday.

The Imperial Emerald of Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia. – We’ve already chatted on the blog about the jewels of Maria Pavlovna (Grand Duchess Vladimir) so you may be interested to read that in 2019 Christie’s sold one of her emeralds for a price that far exceeded the estimate. I hope the lucky buyer wears the jewel often!

An Impressive Diamond Stomacher Brooch. – This week we learned about Empress Eugénie’s elegant 19th century Diamond Bow Brooch. If you are in need of more brooch love, then check out this massive stomacher made by Maison Mellerio and exhibited at the World Exhibition held in London in 1862.

The Glamorous World of a Dazzling Dynasty. – Remember when we chatted about the upcoming Mountbatten auction at Sotheby’s? Well, Sotheby’s just released an amazing video about the family and the heirlooms that are up for auction.

Wedding of Grand Duke George set for 1 October, 2021 in St. Petersburg. – Mark your calendars for an imperial wedding this October.

Free to Use and Reuse: Genealogy. – Not royalty related, but in my quest to figure out some royal family trees, I stumbled across free genealogy resources at the US Library of Congress. Perhaps they’ll be useful for you!

I hope you have a sparkling weekend!

Grand Duchess Stéphanie von Baden’s Emerald Necklace and Earrings

Wikimedia Commons

In the portrait by François Gérard, Grand Duchess Stéphanie von Baden is wearing her emerald and diamond necklace and earrings. It’s safe to assume that her necklace and earrings were part of a larger, grander parure, which would have included the bracelets and tiara seen in the Gérard portrait.

The emerald parure was a wedding gift to Stéphanie from Napoleon and his consort Joséphine. Stéphanie’s arranged marriage to Carl von Baden took place in 1806. Therefore the parure was probably made around 1806 by the court jeweler, Nitot et Fils.

© The Royal Archivist. Please do not duplicate.

The stones are set in gold and silver. The briolette emeralds dominate the necklace but otherwise the parure is fairly streamlined and simplistic in style, as was typical of the fashion in Napoleon’s court.

It’s not clear how the jewels were passed down through the generations. Stéphanie had three daughters who survived her. Perhaps one of them inherited the parure. Or perhaps the set stayed in Baden with the successive Grand Dukes.

Wikimedia Commons

The Grand Duchy of Baden ceased to exist in 1918. However, sometime after Stéphanie’s death in 1860 and before World War II, the emerald parure must have been broken up because only the earrings and necklace came into the possession of new buyers, Count and Countess Tagliavia.

Later, Countess Tagliavia donated the demi-parure to the Victoria and Albert Museum where the necklace and earrings remain on permanent display. I was able to view the emeralds in person and I can confirm they are stunning.

Sources

Mannheim Baroque Palace

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Remnants of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna’s Emeralds

© The Royal Archivist. Please do not duplicate.

In the image above, Barbara Hutton wears Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna’s emeralds set in a tiara.

The emeralds were once part of a sumptuous parure given to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna in 1874 as a wedding gift from her father-in-law, Tsar Alexander II. After her death, the parure was sold by her son Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich of Russia.

Unfortunately, the original parure is no longer intact. While pieces from the emerald parure come up at auction from time to time, many of the emeralds’ whereabouts are unknown.

Sources

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

Jewels of the Romanovs: Family & Court by Stefano Papi

Queen Victoria’s Emerald Necklace, Earrings and Brooch

© The Royal Archivist. Please do not duplicate.

Yesterday we had a peek at Queen Victoria’s Emerald Diadem. Let’s take a look at the rest of the parure, which includes a necklace, earrings and a brooch, all designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria. The parure was created in 1843, two years before the creation of the emerald diadem.

The brooch’s emerald weighs 20 carats and is surrounded by diamonds. The necklace is composed of nine large emeralds and nine smaller emeralds, all surrounded by sparkling diamonds. The drop earrings also contain two fairly large pear-shaped emeralds and two smaller emeralds, also encircled by diamonds. Queen Victoria was thrilled with her gifts.

Today, the entire parure is still intact and owned by the descendants of Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife. It’s on a long-term loan to Kensington Palace, where I was very lucky to have viewed the parure in person.

Sources

Tiaras: A History of Splendour by Geoffrey C. Munn

Victoria Revealed Exhibit at Kensington Palace

The Duchess of Angoulême Emerald Tiara

© The Royal Archivist. Please do not duplicate.

The Duchess of Angoulême Emerald Tiara was created by Maison Bapst, jeweler to the French Court, for the only surviving child of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, Princess Marie-Thérèse Charlotte of France.

The tiara was created many years after the French Revolution; between September 1819 and July 1820 with stones already in the French Treasury. It’s made out of gold. The emeralds and diamonds are set in silver. The large center emerald weighs almost 16 carats. The tiara is set with 40 emeralds for a total weight of 79.12 carats. The emeralds are surrounded by over one thousand diamonds. (1,031 to be exact.)

Princess Marie-Thérèse, Duchess of Angoulême, may have been in need of regal jewelry because in 1799 she married an heir to the throne, her first cousin Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, son of Louis XVI’s younger brother, Charles X. (As an aside, the Duke of Angoulême briefly reigned as Louis XIX for about 20 minutes, before he abdicated.)

© The Royal Archivist. Please do not duplicate.

Later, the emerald and diamond tiara became the favorite tiara of the beautiful Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III. After the defeat of Napoleon III in 1870, the jewel became the property of the state. However, the French sold it in 1887, along with the other crown jewels.

In modern times, the tiara came into the possession of Lady Belinda Lambton, wife of the Conservative Defense Minster, Lord Lambton. Throughout Lady Lambton’s ownership, it was kept safe inside Wartski’s vaults. Before Lord Lambton’s death in 2006, it was sold to the Louvre, where it’s been on display ever since.

Sources

Tiaras: A History of Splendour by Geoffrey C. Munn

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