This magnificent pearls will be auctioned by Christie's London on June 8th. They belonged to Hannah, Countess of Rosbery nee de Rothschild. She had a jewellery collection that was admired throughout all the Royal Courts in Europe during the second half of the XIX Century. This pearl and diamond bracelet, brooch and tiara are one of the finest pieces of Victorian jewellery ever made. In a private collection for the last 140 years they will probably be acquired by an important museum.
The seven pearl and diamond drops are detachable, as well as the circular clusters and can be also worn as a brooches or bodice ornaments. During that time, tiaras were only appropriate for married women, and it became normal to design them as a more versatile piece of jewellery that allowed its different components to be worn more often. The Rosbery tiara is not signed but it is contemporary with the Londonderry Tiara created by Garrard also with detachable pearl drops. It had been Empress Eugene who had set the fashion of pearls and diamonds wearing very often a magnificent parure that had belonged to the crown since Henri IV and Marie de Medicis.
Hannah was an only child and granddaughter of Nathan Mayer Rothschild, founder of the english branch of the banking empire. When her father died in 1874, she became the wealthiest woman in England. Her marriage to Archibald, 5th Earl of Rosbery had to overcome the difficulties of their different background and religion in 1878. She died very young in 1890 and the Earl was so devoted to her that he never married again. According to Winston Churchill, he never found anyone he could trust so much!.