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Sunday, 19 June 2011

AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS: Important royal spanish opal corsage


Sotheby's London will be auctioning this important Corsage ornament that belonged to the collection of Maria Cristina de Borbon-Dos Sicilias (Widow of King Fernando VII) Regent Queen of Spain. The piece was made in the 1850's in gold and silver and it is set with diamonds and five large white opals.

Maria Cristina was married to King Fernando VII of Spain and they had two daughter, Isabel and Luisa Fernanda. When the King died in 1833, Maria Cristina became Regent on behalf of their eldest daughter Isabel, but Fernando's brother, Carlos, disputed her right to inherit claiming that the law (who prevented women from inheriting the crown) ought have not been changed. This resulted in a war between the supporters of each claimant. Shortly after her first husband's death, Maria Cristina married secretly a sergeant from the Royal Guard, with whom she had several children, when eventually the news became public she lost the support to be Regent and was forced to exile.

The law that allows women to inherit noble titles in equal ranking to men, was passed in Spain in October 2006.