Friday, 29 April 2011

An impressive Imperial Emerald TIARA

Just as we are watching the British Royal Wedding we have to post this Tiara!!. It is an extraordinary piece  that was commissioned by Count Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck for his second wife Katharina Wassilevna de Slepzoff. The eleven pear shaped polished colombian emeralds could have been part of the French Crown jewels as Empress Eugenia de Montijo's private collection included twenty five drop emeralds like these ones that were sold in auction back in 1887. Count Guido also bought Empress Eugenia's pearls for his wife. The emeralds have been drilled and polished in the traditional Indian way and must have belonged to a Maharaja in the 17th or 18th Century. The total weight of the emeralds is about 500 carats.

The base of the tiara displays eleven large cushion shaped diamonds alternated with muguets and resting on a row of laurel leaves. The emerald drops rest on a festoon shaped line of diamonds. The entire piece is finished with an extremely delicate millegrain work. There is no signature on it but at the time the tiara was made not many jewellers would have had the skill and the reputation to have received such a commission, Boucheron and Chaumet were the favourites of european nobility at the end of the XIX Century.  

The tiara will be auctioned by Sotheby's Geneva on May 17th.