Mellerio tiara's in royal possession / use:
(Mellerio dits Meller)The Mellerio Shell tiara
The Mellerio Shell Tiara resembles both a shell cradling its treasures and a rolling ocean wave, complete with pearls and briolette-cut diamonds dripping below. There’s a removable diamond drop suspended beneath in the center – highlighting the waves on the base – which is not used these days. This one belongs to Spain’s royals. It was originally a wedding present for Isabella, the Princess of Asturias (known as La Chata) from her mother Isabella II when she married Prince Gaetan of Bourbon-Two Sicilies in 1868. This makes it a fairly old piece in the context of Spain’s tiara collection, which features other diadems originating from the time Queen Victoria Eugenia and after. This tiara ended up in Queen Victoria Eugenia’s collection as well, as the childless Isabel left it to her nephew Alfonso XIII (Ena’s husband). It was next worn by Alfonso and Ena’s daughter-in-law the Countess of Barcelona.Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark received the tiara as a wedding gift when she married Prince Juan Carlos, and it was finally put to good use after being a little neglected in the collections of Queen Victoria Eugenia and the Countess of Barcelona (Juan Carlos’ mother). Sofia continues to wear the piece now even though the size of her collection has increased. It goes out on loan from time to time – Infanta Cristina has worn it, Infanta Elena wore it in a portrait, Infanta Margarita borrowed it once as did Princess Letizia – but it is still mostly worn just by Queen Sofia. The Mellerio Floral Tiara
This delicate floral-themed tiara is one of Queen Letizia of Spain's favourites and she's worn it many times, including in February 2019 when the Spanish royal family invited Peru's President Vizcarra into their home. Crafted by French jewellers Mellerio dits Meller, the piece dates back to the late 19th century and was a wedding gift for her mother-in-law Queen Sofia back when she married King Juan Carlos I in 1962. According to Hello, the piece can also be converted to a necklace. BUT
For many years, it was assumed that this tiara was much newer than it appeared to be. Conventional wisdom about the piece said that it had been made in 1962 at the request of the then-ruler of Spain, Francisco Franco, who gave it as a gift to Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark on her marriage to Prince Juan Carlos of Spain. The jewelry house of Mellerio dits Meller was often put forward as a possible maker of the piece. Lots of people even still call this the "Mellerio Floral Tiara" -- but Mellerio wasn't involved in its creation at all.
The Spanish court has confirmed that Franco purchased an antique piece for Sofia rather than commissioning a new one. The tiara was made in 1879 by a British jewelry firm, J.P. Collins, for King Alfonso XII of Spain. It’s a convertible sparkler, able to be worn as a necklace or broken up into a series of brooches. Three five-petaled diamond flowers are connected by a garland of diamond leaves and foliage, giving the tiara a classic, timeless appearance. The piece was a gift from King Alfonso XII for his new bride, Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria. The tiara stayed with the family for more than half a century, but when they went into exile in the 1930s, it was sold. Franco was later able to acquire the piece, and his gift for the new Spanish princess managed to reunite a lost royal tiara with its original owners.The Mellerio Flower tiara:
This tiara was gifted to Margherita of Savoy-Genoa (1851-1926) in 1868. Queen Margherita, as she became when Umberto succeeded to the throne in 1878, wore the tiara throughout her life. She often paired it with multiple strands of pearls, which was her signature style. (She was nicknamed The Pearl Queen.) Margherita was also pictured wearing the Mellerio tiara with another diamond floral jewel positioned above it. The tiara remained with the Italian royal family after Queen Margherita's death and stayed with them when they went into exile in 1946. Queen Marie José (1906-2001), the wife of exiled King Umberto II (Margherita's grandson) and herself a Belgian princess, wore the Mellerio tiara on several occasions.Queen Margherita's Mellerio Floral Tiara is no longer with the Savoy family. It was sold, and was last known to be a part of the Albion Art Collection.The Mellerio Ruby Parure
The Dutch ruby tiara was made by the company for Queen Emma in 1889 as a part of a larger ruby parure. The pieces were a gift from Emma’s husband, King Willem III. All four of the Dutch queens since Emma have worn the tiara and at least parts of the rest of the parure; the piece has also been worn by many Dutch princesses. Queen Juliana reportedly loved this parure, so much so that she even chose the brooch to wear on the day she was inaugurated as queen. Máxima even chose the tiara for her first official portrait as queen.Mellerio Sapphire tiara/parure
The release of Vincent Meylan's book Mellerio dits Meller. Joaillier des Reines led to some surprise with regard to the news that the grand sapphire tiara in the Dutch royal collection is not made by Mellerio. The fact of the matter is: already in 1996 René Brus in his book De Juwelen van het Huis Oranje-Nassau (The jewels of the House Orange-Nassau) - which is so far the only reference work regarding the Dutch royal jewels - convincingly documented that the attribution to Mellerio was actually unfounded. In Royalty Magazine number 5 of this year I wrote in my column on royal jewels about this case. Since both sources are only available in Dutch, I'll publish it here in English so anyone can access the information.
On the day of the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander, the press service of the Dutch government released the following information about the tiara Queen Máxima was wearing: the tiara is made of gold and was a gift from King Willem III to Queen Emma, his 2nd wife. The design dates from 1867 and is by Oscar Massin. The tiara consists of old cut diamonds with blue sapphires. The detachable central sapphire is an heirloom of Queen Anna Paulowna, the Russian born wife of King Willem II.
The press release contains several factual errors: the design does not date from 1867 and is not by Oscar Massin. Naturally, the presenter of the tv broadcast translated this information to 'the tiara dates from 1867 and was made by Oscar Massin'. What the press release should have said was simply: 'the tiara was made in 1881'. Also, recent research revealed that the central sapphire is not an heirloom but was included in the order.The Mellerio myth
On the internet - but also by experts - this tiara has for years been attributed to Mellerio. However, since the publication of René Brus' book in 1996 the case for this tiara not being made by Mellerio, was already very clear and documented well with archival evidence. What Vincent Meylan's book adds is the confirmation that the Mellerio archives contain absolutely no evidence that Willem III ordered this tiara and the two accompanying bracelets from Mellerio. However, what we do know about this commission from Brus' book, already sufficiently disproves this myth. https://erikschoonhoven.n...-not-mellerio-nor-massin/