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Author Topic: Queen Victoria's Jewels and where they are  (Read 4291 times)
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Princess BlueEyes

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« on: December 12, 2016, 06:43:28 AM »

With the future fate of Queen Victoria's Sapphire Coronet hanging in the balance, I began to wonder about her other jewels and tiaras.  What were they and what happened to them?

In 1838, Sultan Mahmud of Turkey gifted Queen Victoria a large number of diamonds that she used to make a necklace and matching earrings that she referred to as her "Turkish diamond necklace and earrings".

"Queen Victoria was given a personal gift of a large number of diamonds by Sultan Mahmud of Turkey in 1838. The following year, the Queen commissioned Rundell & Bridge, the firm that held the royal warrant at the time, to create a necklace and earrings using some of the diamonds. Because of the provenance of the stones, Victoria referred to the set as "my Turkish diamond necklace and earrings".

The necklace featured three diamond rosettes, one large and two smaller ones, connected to each other by three strands of diamonds. At the back, two large oval diamonds connected via two rows of diamonds to the smaller rosettes on one side, and to the clasp on the other. The clasp itself featured a massive diamond in a frame of smaller stones.

The earrings were equally elaborate and featured two small rosettes connected to each other with three rows of diamonds. Victoria was fond of the set and wore it to some of the most important occasions in her life, including her wedding and christenings of some of her children." (source:  http://artemisiasroyaljewels.blogspot.fr)

Victoria's bridal portrait, wearing both the Turkish Diamond Necklace and Earrings.





According to history, Victoria gifted the necklace to her favorite son Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. He married Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia, as the Duchess of Connaught she wore the necklace to several important events, including the coronation of Nicholas II in 1896 and the coronation of George V in 1911.

Louise Margaret, the Duchess of Connaught, in her will left items to her daughters, Margaret of Connaught, who became Crown Princess of Sweden and Patricia of Connaught, who became Lady Ramsay. The bulk of her estate she left  bequeathed to her son Prince Arthur "?all my property real and personal?to my son for his absolute use and benefit in the hope but without intending to create any trust that as regards certain articles of jewellery and furniture he will distribute them in accordance with a memorandum I shall leave for him."

So the Turkish Rosette necklace was was likely in the items she bequeathed to her son Prince Arthur who later married Princess Alexandra, (the 2nd Duchess of Fife) a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. The necklace may have been worn by his wife however, we have no portraits of Alexandra wearing her great grandmother's necklace.

When Prince Arthur died in 1938, Alexandra inherited the Turkish Diamond Necklace and she outlived her son Alastair Arthur, who was unmarried and without children, and her sister Princess Maud.  Alexandra bequeathed most of her fortune and her jewels to her nephew James Carnegie, who was also her heir to the Dukedom of Fife.



In July 1970, the necklace was auctioned in London, as "From the collection of his Grace the Duke of Fife" for £23 000.

There is no record of the location or fate of earrings.



While we are considering the jewellry Queen Victoria wore on her wedding day we should mention the wedding present she received from her groom, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. 
The day before their marriage Prince Albert presented Queen Victoria with a Sapphire and Diamond brooch. 



This gorgeous oblong sapphire is surrounded by 12 diamonds and Victoria left this lovely brooch to the Crown. It has been worn by Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) and appears to be a favorite of Queen Elizabeth II.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 07:23:50 AM by Princess BlueEyes » Logged

    
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2016, 07:02:43 AM »

PBE Star Star Star what a great topic! This has always bothered me, the lost pieces of royal jewelry, handed down to auxiliary members of the royal families until they disappear into some rich person's vault or sold off after a revolution. And I've always wanted to know more about the Duchess of Connaught's jewels, too, I've just never taken the time to do much research. So thanks for the topic, hope there's more to come! Beer
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2016, 07:21:55 AM »

One of the first gifts Prince Albert presented to sent his fianc?e Queen Victoria, was a gold and porcelain brooch fashioned as a sprig of orange blossom.
At their wedding, Victoria wore a circlet of real orange blossom sprigs in her hair and on the bodice of her gown.

Prince Albert continued to gift Victoria orange blossom jewellery; she received a second brooch and matching earrings in December 1845. For their anniversary in 1846, he gifted her a wreath headdress of orange blossoms with white porcelain flowers and frosted gold leaves on a braided black velvet band with a silk ribbon tie at the back.  The headdress included four small green enamel oranges that were to represent their four eldest children, Victoria, Albert Edward, Alice and Alfred.  When she received the headdress, she had an orange blossom jewellery set, parts of which she always wore on their wedding anniversary until Prince Albert's death.

Each piece of the collection was designed by Prince Albert and is known collectively as "Queen Victoria's Orange Blossom Parure"

After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria had the parure placed on display in the room where Albert died at Windsor Castle. The orange blossom parure was a personal gift of love from Albert to Victoria and not meant to be worn by anyone else and and so they are for display only and remain with the Royal Collection.



Close-up detail of the wreath headdress
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2016, 08:42:30 AM »

Queen Victoria's Emerald and Diamond Tiara      Although honestly, with the gorgeousness of the emeralds, do we need to mention the diamonds?



This tiara was designed by Prince Albert and was made in 1845 by court jeweler Joseph Kitching.

The circle base of this lovely tiara is comprised of parallel bands of hundreds of brillant round-cut diamonds. The two bands are connects by vertical pairs of round brilliant diamonds forming a rectangular space that showcases a large rectangular emerald.
Perched on the diamond bands, curved diamond formations with emerald centers, uphold cabochon emeralds interspersed with diamond shaped emeralds topped with a round diamond.

In 1846, Queen Victoria wore the tiara for the 'The Royal Family' portrait by Franz Xaver Winterhalter.  In the painting, Victoria can be seen wearing the tiara along with earrings and three brooches that appear to match the tiara.



Queen Victoria did not will this tiara to the crown and therefore it did not remain with the main royal family.

We do know that in the 1880s, Queen Victoria loaned this tiara to her granddaughter Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, who appears to have worn it with material so that it appears as a hat.



In 1960, the then Duchess of Fife (Caroline nee Dewar) wore this tiara to the State Opening of Parliament. 



The current Duke of Fife (David Charles Carnegie, 4th Duke of Fife) is the descendant of Victoria through her eldest son Edward VII and his grandmother was Louise the Princess Royal, so maybe the tiara was gifted to Louise?

This tiara was seen in a 1997 exhibition at Wartski Jewellery Company, curated by Geoffrey Munn.

The last time any information on this tiara was recorded was in 2001, when it was photographed for the book Tiaras: A History of Splendour which accompanied Geoffrey Munn?s exhibit of tiaras at the Victoria & Albert Museum. In the book, Mr. Munn noted the tiara is in the possession of a descendant of Queen Victoria, however he did not include the owner's name.

As to where this tiara is currently, we can only hope that it is safe, intact and in the hands of someone who appreciates its beauty.

If this lovely tiara ever goes up for sale, I sincerely hope it remains in Britain and maybe even returns to the royal collection. After all, Charles is known to appreciate historical pieces and has purchased quite a few.

Just imagine this beauty with the Cambridge emeralds.    
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2016, 04:52:24 AM »

The Oriental Circlet Tiara

In 1853, Garrard was commissioned to execute a tiara designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria.  Albert design of a circlet tiara incorporated stylized lotus flowers within Mughal architecture arches of diamonds set in gold with the center of each lotus set with opals, a favorite stone of the Prince. Some of the diamonds used in the construction were loose stones the Queen had been gifted, while others Queen Victoria authorized removed from other pieces of jewelry from the family?s collection; some of which were the pieces the Hanoverian royal family claimed ownership of in court.



The Queen seems to have been thrilled with her new circlet tiara, as in 1854, she and Prince Albert purchased from Garrard a stunning opal and diamond necklace with a matching pendant, brooch and a pair of drop earrings.

In 1857, a court appointed commission convened and found in favor of the Hanoverian claim, filed approximately 20 years earlier, of the legal right to the late Queen Charlotte?s jewels.  However, a large number of the diamonds had been used in the construction of the Oriental Circlet, so the circlet returned to Garrard; the diamonds in question were removed and returned to the pieces from which they had been removed. 

At this time, Garrard worked with Victoria and Albert to remake the Oriental Circlet; Victoria provided some replacement diamonds while Garrard supplied the rest. At this time, the design underwent a permanent change; originally, the tiara was a complete circle afterwards it was left with an opening at the back of the piece.

Queen Victoria died in 1901, and in her will, she designated the Oriental Circlet and the coordinating demi parure of opal and diamond jewels as heirlooms of the crown to be used by queens regnant and consorts.

Queen Alexandra, Victoria?s daughter?in?law, was the next to have access to the Oriental Circlet and the opal and diamond demi parure. However, Alexandra apparently did not favor opals and in 1902, she ordered the use of rubies from other pieces to replace the opals.



Interestingly, even though Queen Alexandra had all the opals removed and the pieces reset with rubies, it seems no photographic evidence exists that she ever wore the set.

After the death of King Edward VII, The Oriental Circlet Tiara passed from Queen Alexandra to her daughter-in-law Queen Mary.  Known for her love of jewels and the alteration of them, surprisingly, Mary did no revisions and there seems to be no image of Mary wearing the Oriental Circlet Tiara. 

The Oriental Circlet Tiara next passed to Queen Elizabeth, the wife of King George VI who wore it quite often.  After her daughter, Elizabeth ascended the throne and became the Queen, Elizabeth, the Queen Mum as she became known, retained the use of the Oriental Circlet Tiara until her death.

Queen Elizabeth wearing the Oriental Circlet Tiara and the necklace, pendant and earrings that were originally set with opals





Queen Elizabeth has worn the Oriental Circlet Tiara one time, at the 2005 state dinner in Malta for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.



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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2016, 05:25:21 AM »

Queen Victoria's Necklace, Pendant, Brooch and Earrings 

Bought in 1854 from Garrard, the gorgeous necklace of opals surrounded by diamonds, with a matching pendant, drop earrings, and a brooch, were willed by Victoria to the Crown.
When Queen Alexandra inherited the jewels, she had the opals removed and replaced with stunning rubies; additionally Alexandra had the same thing done with the Oriental Circlet tiara, which the demi parure was purchased to accompany.

This set is often referred to as "the Crown Rubies."


Queen Elizabeth wearing the demi parure on a state visit to Germany in June 2015



Earring close-up



The brooch

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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2016, 07:19:08 AM »

Queen Victoria's Sapphire Tiara Coronet



Prince Albert designed this tiara for Queen Victoria and was most likely commissioned from Joseph Kitching in 1842. It features a flexible Gothic design with kite and cushion shaped sapphires set in gold while the diamonds are set in silver. The flexible design allows it to be worn as a tiara or fastened together to appear as a small crown or coronet.



This tiara coronet was one of the only colored gemstone pieces Victoria deemed appropriate to wear after the death of Albert.



The Sapphire Tiara Coronet and a matching parure, was gifted as a wedding gift to Princess Mary, by her father King George V, Victoria?s grandson.  Princess Mary married Henry, Viscount Lascelles, the eldest son of Henry Lascelles, 5th Earl of Harewood and Lady Florence Bridgeman, daughter of Orlando Bridgeman, 3rd Earl of Bradford. 

Princess Mary's Wedding gift



Princess Mary, the Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood wearing the coronet and matching necklace



In 1965 Mary died and following her death, it has been reported by some sources that her family auctioned the demi parure that went with Queen Victoria's Sapphire Tiara Coronet.

In 1992, Patricia, Countess of Harewood (wife of George, Princess Mary's son) wore the Sapphire Tiara Coronet



8 August 1992, Andrea Kershaw wore the Sapphire Tiara Coronet for her wedding to the Earl?s fourth son, Mark Lascelles.



In 1997, Lord and Lady Harewood loaned the tiara to an exhibit on tiaras, sponsored by Wartski, a London jeweler, with Royal Appointments from the both the Queen and the Prince of Wales. 

In 2002, the tiara was again seen at an exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The 7th Earl of Harewood died in 2011.  It seems possible that this was when Queen Victoria's Sapphire Tiara Coronet was sold to meet the inheritance tax; however, it must have been a private sale since it would surely have drawn attention.

In 2012, the Sapphire Tiara Coronet was loaned to Wartski for another exhibit by an anonymous owner living in Highgate, London. 

In February 2014, the Sapphire Tiara Coronet appeared in an exhibit at the Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City.



In August of this year, Queen Victoria's Sapphire Tiara Coronet made the news when it was slated to be sold by an unknown private owner to an anonymous foreign buyer. When the sale came to light and made the news, the British government decided to try to attempt to prevent the sale of this historic piece of royal jewelry from leaving the country. Matt Hancock, the minister of culture, imposed a temporary ban on the sale by deferring the approval of an export license for the piece stating, ?Queen Victoria?s coronet is stunning and is one of the most iconic jewels from a pivotal period in our history as well as symbolising one of our nation?s most famous love stories.?

This month, on 27 December, the ban on the foreign sale of Queen Victoria's Sapphire Coronet (designed by Prince Albert) is slated to end.  I did read that several news outlets are reporting that the ban may be extended until June 2017 if it appears that financial arrangements are forthcoming.

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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2016, 07:40:55 PM »

One thing can be said about Albert: he definitely had a good hand in designing jewels for his wife.
All pieces by him (emerald tiara, Sapphire tiara and orange blossom parure) are gorgeous.
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2016, 09:10:31 PM »

While of course the idea of such historic jewels and other heirloom pieces falling into the creedy hands of Kardashian like nouveau-riches is abominable, I don't see how it can be prevented.
Let's imagine you are the daughter of a king or queen and marry a normal bloke (as in: not a souvereign's heir), anything Mommy and Daddy King would give you from their own collection or perhaps from Granny's will indeed be such a historic heirloom.
Now the inheritance tax will likely kill your next in line, and since you can't eat a tiara or make it work, you will be bound to part from some pieces to pay that blasted tax.
Imagine now that you were only allowed to sell it back to the Company (ahem the court). They would certainly dictate the price and your heirloom piece, worth a king's ransom on the free Kardashian market, would likely go for a song, indeed it might not even cover the tax debt.
Now imagine the King and Queen would only gift (pass on) the valuable heirloom pieces to the first in line (in plain words: the heir to the throne will get the jewels and you will be the happy new owner of the royal tupper ware), how lovely will it be to see all of Mom's and Granny's beloved and cherished jewels on your sister in law's possibly not very regal and not very beloved head.
I already put up the assertion, that many of the royals have lost the awe of  the jewels and heirlooms: not only do they handle them all the time, but while a diary from Queen Victoria might cause us to have "historic palpitations" for them it might simply be Granny's diary.
Plus often times history has other ideas what is of significance and what not.
So while the royal families have all (well most that is) realised that certain pieces are of a great historic importance and need to stay in the family, all of them have "personal pieces" that they feel they are free to give to their beloved younger children and grand-children, not caring much that those might not make world-shattering marriages to important players.
Like for ex the orange blossom: Imagine Victoria had a very favorite grand-daughter, who she wanted to give the parue to on the occassion of her wedding. Very comprehensible as she will not have regarded it a significant royal but a deeply private piece, but over the course of time, this charming piece of a historical british love-story could have ended in a vault in Buxtehude, never to see the light of day again, or possibly lost, if someone without any interest would find it quite distasteful.
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2016, 07:16:04 PM »

 Jumping  I absolutely adore this thread!  Champagne  Thank you so much  Star
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2017, 05:52:32 AM »

Victoria's bracelet from Albert.  An inscription on the clasp states that it was given to her 24 November 1840, three days after the birth of their first child Victoria.  One enameled heart locket was added after the birth of each child, is inscribed with their name and date of birth, and contains a lock of the child's hair.



The pink was for Victoria, the Princess Royal, born 21 November 1840.
The turquoise was for Albert, the Prince of Wales, born 9 November 1841.
The red was for Princess Alice, born on 25 April 1843.
The dark blue was for Prince Alfred, born on 6 August 1844.
The translucent white was for Princess Helena, born on 25 May 1846.
The dark green was for Princess Louise, born on 18 March 1848.
The medium blue was for Prince Arthur, born on 1 May 1850.
The opaque white was for Prince Leopold, born on 7 April 1853.
The light green was for Princess Beatrice, born on 14 April 1857.


This bracelet is part of the Royal Trust Collection.
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2017, 06:01:01 AM »

Queen Victoria bracelet received from the Duchess of Kent on 23 November 1839; the day Victoria announced to the Privy Council her engagement to Prince Albert.

The bracelet of gold is formed of tapering links engraved with foliate scrolls and set with an amethyst carved as double heart. Backed with empty glass locket and engraved with V monogram and date.

It is part of the Royal Trust Collection.

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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2017, 09:35:29 AM »

Victoria's bracelet from Albert.  An inscription on the clasp states that it was given to her 24 November 1840, three days after the birth of their first child Victoria.  One enameled heart locket was added after the birth of each child, is inscribed with their name and date of birth, and contains a lock of the child's hair.



The pink was for Victoria, the Princess Royal, born 21 November 1840.
The turquoise was for Albert, the Prince of Wales, born 9 November 1841.
The red was for Princess Alice, born on 25 April 1843.
The dark blue was for Prince Alfred, born on 6 August 1844.
The translucent white was for Princess Helena, born on 25 May 1846.
The dark green was for Princess Louise, born on 18 March 1848.
The medium blue was for Prince Arthur, born on 1 May 1850.
The opaque white was for Prince Leopold, born on 7 April 1853.
The light green was for Princess Beatrice, born on 14 April 1857.


This bracelet is part of the Royal Trust Collection.

The Mother of all today's "Pandora's" bracelets ...  Smiley

It looks surprisingly modern given that it's almost 180 years old.
And compared to all her "stately" jewellery, it's very playful.
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2017, 09:35:46 PM »

This brooch is based on an old Celtic design and is a variation of the Ogham Brooch with cabochon garnets instead of silver beads.  This brooch was purchased by Prince Albert during the royal visit to Dublin in August 1849 with the intent of showing royal patronage for the Irish jewellery trade.
He gifted the brooch to Queen Victoria for Christmas 1849. 
The brooch was created by West & Son, one of the largest jewellers in Dublin, who contracted the work to the goldsmith Edmund Johnson.
It is now part of the Royal Collection Trust.

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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2017, 09:47:25 PM »




"Queen Victoria's first child, also named Victoria, was the subject of numerous art commissions including this enamel, gold and jewelled brooch. Inspired by a cherub in a painting by Raphael, Prince Albert designed the piece himself as a Christmas present for the Queen. ‘The workmanship & design are quite exquisite,’ she declared, '& dear Albert was so pleased at my delight over it, its having been entirely his own idea and taste’. This portrait of Princess Victoria was copied from a circular miniature by William Essex, showing the Princess against a cloudy sky, and was copied numerous times."
Text from Victoria & Albert: Art & Love.

The brooch is craft of gold.  It features an enamel miniature of Victoria, the Princess Royal clasping a string of pearls with a diamond and ruby cross pendant and from her shoulders, she has jewel encrusted wings.

The brooch is now part of the Royal Collection Trust.
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