30 November 2016

Royal State Visit of the Day: November 30

While the Belgians were arriving for a visit to their Dutch neighbors on Monday, the Spanish were doing the same with their Portuguese neighbors. Queen Letizia arrived in a repeat of an outfit first worn in 2012; we're going to skip right to the evening stuff, because we can.

One of my favorite Letizia gowns - this divine black Carolina Herrera - made the trip, which is delightful. Alas, her tiara did not manage to make the trip. That's not at all surprising; everyone has their own rules for which kinds of events warrant what kinds of gems, and she's following in some more cautious footsteps when it comes to bringing out the full glitter. Doesn't mean the look doesn't still feel a bit unfinished to me, at a white tie event with orders where many would go full gala, though.
House of HM the King
(For the record, she did wear her diamond wedding earrings, diamond bracelet, and diamond brooch. Which is more diamonds than I'll ever have, right there.)

White tie did equal a tiara for someone else:
The Duke and Duchess of Braganza were in attendance at the banquet, and the Duchess gave us the tiara we needed. This one is a convertible necklace, a nicely sized choice for the evening.

Night two brought some more gems, yay! These emerald and diamond earrings are an interesting pick because they come from Queen Sofia's jewel collection. The earrings are part of a set that includes an emerald and diamond necklace, and Sofia wore these pieces to Felipe and Letizia's wedding. Letizia has borrowed the set in the past.
House HM the King
They were the perfect choice to complement her repeated Felipe Varela dress. She does look great in green, doesn't she? She should have an emerald tiara to not wear.

29 November 2016

Tiara Watch of the Day: November 29

As promised, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde kicked off their state visit to the Netherlands yesterday, where they were greeted by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima.

NOS. See here for video.
For a pair of queens that adore a twin act in eye-searingly bright shades, the arrival outfits used an astonishingly understated color palette. Queen Máxima's Claes Iversen dress was let down by the brown poncho/cape/wrap/whatever she tossed on top for the outside stuff (it used to belong to her mother-in-law), so it was much improved indoors:
Queen Mathilde was in Natan, of course, and both wore Fabienne Delvigne hats. Gotta love that Mathilde upped her hat brim game for a visit to the queen of the giant hat brims, right?

Queen Mathilde also upped her game for the state banquet like we guessed she would, breaking out the full version of the Nine Provinces Tiara for only the second time and pairing it with a lovely soft pink gown from Pierre Gauthier.
Queen Máxima, I am sorry to report, did not do the same. I'm surprised this visit didn't rate more than a repeated Jan Taminiau gown and the Mellerio Ruby Tiara - I thought we'd see either the Württemberg Ornate Pearl Tiara or the Dutch Sapphire Tiara - but apparently she didn't consider my opinion. The nerve.

We did, however, get plenty of other Dutch tiaras to keep us occupied. Princess Beatrix went with the Dutch Diamond Bandeau and a smattering of diamond star brooches from the family collection. Princess Margriet wore the Pearl Button Tiara (which was her wedding tiara), and Princess Laurentien wore Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara (I'm liking that piece more and more each time it shows up). I do so love it when they turn up in full force.

28 November 2016

Monday Tidbits for November 28: A Tiara Watch, and More to Come

I hope your week included pie, whether you celebrated Thanksgiving or not. Let's kick off a new one:

--Pictures from Prince Harry's trip to the Caribbean, to start your Monday right. [Hello]
Prince Harry visits the Colonarie Turtle project on St. Vincent
Kensington Palace

--Margaret Rhodes, first cousin and friend to QEII (and known to many royal watchers from her memoir and her frequent appearances in royal documentaries), has died at the age of 91. [BBC]

--Princess Beatrix and Queen Silvia met up at the Vatican, where they opened a Rembrandt exhibit.

--Over at the Vault, the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, and Wessexes attended a special service for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. The Queen also debuted a new set of brooches from her late mother's collection last week.

--And finally, a late breaking Tiara Watch: Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven attended the Peter Stuyvesant Ball in New York earlier this month. The Princess brought along the Dutch Emerald Parure to go with her sparkly green dress.

Coming up this week: More Dutch tiaras, and a Belgian one too, as the Belgians visit the Netherlands for a state visit starting today. We will, of course, have full coverage.

Tidbits is your place throughout the week to share things we haven't covered yet and for all your off topic chats. Enjoy!

23 November 2016

Royal Outfit of the Day (and a Programming Note): November 23

Hey, did you like that red cocktail dress the Duchess of Cambridge wore in Canada this year? I hope so, because...

The Duchess of Cambridge attended the Place2Be Awards last night.
...she bought two! This takes buying in multiples to a whole 'nother level. It honestly just makes me glad that the other color option was red and not, like, beige. It remains a swishy and superb dress, in any color.
Finella pleated stretch-crepe midi dress from Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, worn with a crystal-embellished belt

Anyway, what I'm really interested in here are the earrings. (Because of course I am.) These diamond pendant earrings are on loan from the Queen. I wrote a bit about them at the Vault a few years ago; they were worn by the Queen to the State Opening of Parliament in 2012 and for Garter Day in 2013, but no provenance is known.
That's three pairs of loaner earrings debuted just since September, and a growing collection of loaned pieces overall (I'm somewhat keeping track at this page, though my list isn't yet complete). Niiiiiice. I am obviously delighted to see the continued opening of the vault. I am also restraining myself - admirably, ahem - from sending a wish list for the continued opening of the vault to Her Maj's attention.

Programming Note: It's a holiday in my corner of the world, and it's a holiday for the blog, too. We'll be back on Monday. Happy Thanksgiving!

22 November 2016

Royal Fashion Awards: National Day in Monaco

There were National Day shenanigans in Monaco over the weekend, although things didn't really feel that shenanigan-y to me this year. Charlene's on a roll, that's all I know. The highlights:

Best in Hats
Princess Charlene
Left to Right: Princess Caroline, Sacha Casiraghi, and Princess Charlene
Charlene wore a Rachel Trevor Morgan hat recently in London, and she's continuing the relationship here. And she can just keep on continuing that relationship, as far as I'm concerned, because this is fabulous. Had she gone full 1940s with a fitted skirt suit, I'd be in full swoon.
Albert and Charlene with twins Jacques and Gabriella. Click here for video.
(Princess Caroline, for her part, was better served by the original outfit she paired this hat with, at the 2012 Luxembourg royal wedding. I can't get fussed about the rest of the outfit, this is pretty average for Chanel these days.)

Best in Classics
Beatrice Borromeo
L to R: Andrea Casiraghi, India Casiraghi, Tatiana Santo Domingo, Charlotte Casiraghi, Pierre Casiraghi, Beatrice Borromeo
There are several twists on the standard here (Tatiana with her voluminous Emilia Wickstead coat, Charlotte and the net ponytail on her Gucci ensemble), but it's Beatrice - expecting her first child with husband Pierre Casiraghi - who soars above them all with the most simple and most classic maternity ensemble. Such easy elegance.

Best in Evening
Princess Charlene
Charlene in a white sleeveless A-line silk gown with hand stitched leather dots and a cashmere double-face coat from Akris, worn with the Order of Saint-Charles
I could whine about the lack of tiaras here, but I'm not going to waste the typing effort; on this, the Monacos and I will never agree. Charlene and I are united on one thing, though: BRING BACK EVENING COATS. Inching me closer and closer to swooning territory, she is.

Most Promising Jewel Fake Out
Tatiana Santo Domingo

For a hot second there, I thought Tatiana had borrowed her mother-in-law's diamond wing brooches. That would have been rather fabulous. Alas, this is just part of the dress. Still, I'm finding a surprising amount of love for this. It looks cozy.
Roberto Cavalli embellished velvet gown, per European Royals Fashion

Who wins your best dressed title here?

21 November 2016

Monday Tidbits for November 21: Caftans and More

Away we go:

--Autumn greetings in the form of new portraits from the Netherlands and the A-Team: Princesses Catharina-Amalia, Alexia, and Ariane! [Facebook]
RVD/Jeroen van der Meyde

--You can always go over to the Jewel Vault to see which gems the Queen's been sporting, but on this occasion, you can - and should - also go check out Princess Alexandra's vibrant plaid pattern skirt suit.

--I'll say this about a formal caftan: it sure makes for a dramatic entrance. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa quite literally swooped in to Luxembourg's Red Cross Ball this weekend in glamorous fashion. [Wort]

--Speaking of dramatically swooping about, Sheikha Mozah attended a dinner in an interesting Ulyana Sergeenko couture creation recently. [Vogue Arabia]

--And finally: Kensington Palace has released details of their 2017 exhibition, which will mark 20 years since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Diana: Her Fashion Story will include several of her most famous outfits, loaned by museums and collectors around the world. [Telegraph]

Coming up this week: National Day in Monaco, and more...

Tidbits is your place throughout the week to share things we haven't covered yet and for all your off topic chats. Enjoy!

18 November 2016

Royal Outfit Grab Bag of the Day: November 18

Yesterday was a busy day on the royal parade. Let's review:

King Felipe, Queen Letizia, the Princess of Asturias, and Infanta Sofia were present for the opening of the legislature.
House of HM the King
Queen Letizia's bringing this Felipe Varela dress back from her husband's first National Day as king, back in 2014. I feel obliged to remind you that:
This is the dress that makes me spend most of my time wondering if they ran out of the front fabric.

The Countess of Wessex visited opened Portesbery School.
Thing I love #1: a great blue coat. Thing I love #2: a cropped trouser with heels. #1 + #2 = SOLD. (And that's the only kind of math equation you'll get out of me.)

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene handed out parcels to refugees at the Red Cross.
It's hard to tell what's dress and what's coat, which is not a problem except that some of the side views do look a bit like she rolled up in her hospital gown. I'll give her this, though: winter white with a red lip is a striking look, and she is rocking it.

17 November 2016

Tiara Thursday: Countess Gunnila Bernadotte's Tiara

Countess Gunnila Bernadotte af Wisborg's Tiara
Courtesy of Bukowskis
The Swedish royal house lost a member of their extended family in September, when Countess Gunnila Bernadotte af Wisborg passed away at the age of 93. Gunnila Bernadotte was the second wife of the late Count Carl Johan Bernadotte af Wisborg, who was the youngest child of King Gustaf VI Adolf and was King Carl XVI Gustaf's uncle. Carl Johan had to relinquish his Swedish royal titles due to his morganatic first marriage, as the rules dictated at the time. He was later granted the title of Count af Wisborg, a noble title also used by others who lost their Swedish titles in similar situations.

Countess Gunnila Bernadotte
By Frankie Fouganthin - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
The couple still attended some of the larger Swedish royal events, and Countess Gunnila had this intriguing tiara to wear when the occasion called for it. She wore it for the weddings of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel in 2010 and for Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill in 2013, as well as on other occasions.

All tiara photos: courtesy of Bukowskis
Back side of the main motif
The tiara features a tall central motif depicting a spray of lily of the valley. It's made of diamonds and cultured pearls set in platinum, and is stamped with French hallmarks. The floral centerpiece can also be removed from the tiara and worn as a brooch.

The floral motif as a brooch
This is an interesting version of a floral tiara, with a flower that we don't often see depicted in tiara format. (It reminds me a little bit of a different nature theme tiara, actually: Princess Noriko's Wave Tiara.) It's also a piece that was very well suited to its late owner; most of the tiara can be worn as a brooch, which is quite an efficient design, and she had just the right hair to showcase this tall centerpiece.

The tiara in its case
It was Countess Gunnila Bernadotte's signature piece, and now it's ready to be someone else's signature piece. Following her passing, her family is offering the tiara for sale at Bukowskis. It will be on display at the auction house's Berzelii Park home in Stockholm from December 6-12, and the auction will be held on December 13.

16 November 2016

Royal Dress of the Day: November 16

I see my more Carolina Herrera for everyone! whining is starting to pay off.

Princess Charlene attended the World Rugby Awards in London this weekend. She was there to announce that the awards will be hosted in Monaco starting in 2017.
World Rugby Awards video; Farfetch
This belted organza gown is such a signature Carolina Herrera look, and the way she's taken the casual feel of the stand up collar and button front and contrasted it with more formal diamond jewelry amplifies the whole thing. Well played, Charlene, well played.
Eric Mathon / Palais Princier
Charlene's London adventure also included an appearance in a hat: she visited Westminster Abbey on Remembrance Sunday and met with Sir Tim Laurence to discuss drowning prevention. Another classic look with a twist.

15 November 2016

Royal Flashback of the Day: November 15

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary celebrated their copper wedding anniversary - twelve and a half years - yesterday. This calls for a celebration in Denmark, and so the couple's friends and family followed Danish tradition and "surprised" the couple with a morning wake up call in song. The royal court shared a photo:
So, happy anniversary to them, and happy occasion-for-a-Mary-Day-not-that-we-needed-a-reason-anyway to us! We'll have our Mary Day in a trademark Mary Way, with a flashback to the various ways she manages to reuse and give new life to things we've seen before. One dress, three ways...

Cour grand-ducale
One of Mary's outfits in Luxembourg in 2012, while attending wedding festivities for the Hereditary Grand Duke, was notable at the time as a continued display of the growing flexibility of the Danish Ruby Parure. Here, she wore a pared down version of both the necklace and earrings, along with her revised version of the tiara. It was also notable as the debut of a new red dress from one of her favorite designers, Jesper Høvring.
Jesper Høvring

We've seen the dress twice since, each time with a slightly different spin.
Earlier this year, she used it for a classic gala appearance. The jewels aren't as heavy as they were in 2012 - she wore her Diamond, Ruby, and Spinel Necklace Tiara - and I missed them. She was probably balancing out the added fuss of the sash, but I missed a little extra ruby power anyway. This was appearance #3 for the dress.

My favorite appearance of the dress to date was appearance #2. In the Netherlands in 2013, she wore the full version of the ruby parure earrings and went just a touch retro with the hair - the perfect solution for such a flippy and fun dress. I never say no to a tiara, but this might be a better black tie gown. Which is your favorite appearance?

14 November 2016

Monday Tidbits for November 14: Remembrance and Other Events

A rather British edition of tidbits today:

--The British royal family were out and about for Remembrance Sunday and the Festival of Remembrance, and that's all been covered over at the Vault this weekend. The Duchess of Cambridge has new earrings loaned from the Queen.
Sgt Ross Tilly/UK MoD Crown Copyright

--The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall recently wrapped another Middle East tour. Cams stuck to her usual uniform on trips like these - flowing salwar kameez-esque outfits of long tunics over trousers - as strictly as Chaz sticks to his suits. Her glittery evening version and her turquoise and diamond earrings were trip highlights. [Zimbio]

--In other remembrance activities, Prince Harry teamed up with the Duke of Edinburgh to open the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey. [Telegraph]

--And finally, Prince Harry also teamed up with a sharply dressed Princess Charlene for the England vs. South Africa rugby match this weekend. [Hello]

Coming up this week: A tiara for sale, and more...

Tidbits is your place throughout the week to share things we haven't covered yet and for all your off topic chats. Enjoy!

11 November 2016

Royal Outfit Grab Bag of the Day: November 11

A renovated hat, a splash of leather, and a fondly remembered repeat to round out our week:

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima finished their state visit to New Zealand this week.
Pleasingly sherbert-y and bright, the only thing that doesn't quite feel right with this outfit is the hat. It's too tall and too rounded - and, it turns out, there's a reason for that: Royal Hats has identified it as just the top portion of a previously large-brimmed hat. I'm all for renovations, but whyyyyyyy would you ditch the most glorious part of the hat? I suppose it's not like Máx doesn't have fifteen other variations at the ready.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia attended the presentation of the Francisco Cerecedo Journalism Award yesterday.
House of HM the King
So it wasn't just the leather culottes, it was an entire leather shopping spree! Well, if anyone can pull off a leather top with studs, it's Letizia. And, bonus: she's all set for her next Game of Thrones cosplay party.
Top from Uterqüe

The Countess of Wessex accompanied the First Lady of Colombia during the Colombian state visit to Britain last week.
Sophie's appearance in this Suzannah coat at last year's Christmas service was a last minute add to my list of 2015 favorite outfits, so any repeat will automatically earn my love. An elegant choice to escort an honored guest.

10 November 2016

Tiara Thursday: The Nine Provinces Tiara, Revisited

We need diamonds and we need things to look forward to, and luckily I have both for you right here: The King and Queen of the Belgians will visit the Netherlands for a state visit at the end of November! My guess is that we’ll see Queen Mathilde wear the biggest version of the most important tiara she has, so let’s revisit that piece while we keep our fingers crossed.

Queen Astrid in the Nine Provinces Tiara, with and without the diamond arches
The Nine Provinces Tiara was a wedding gift from the people of Belgium to Princess Astrid of Sweden, who married the future King Leopold III in 1926. Created by Belgian jeweler Van Bever, there are more than 100 carats of diamonds at play in this flexible diadem. It was originally given as a diamond bandeau in a stylized Greek key motif topped with 11 large diamonds from the (now former) Belgian colony of the Congo set on spikes. A set of diamond arches was added to enclose each of the 11 independent stones, making a more impressive (and much improved, if you ask me) tiara.

Princess Lilian (left, wearing what are thought to be the large diamonds from the tiara on her necklace), and Queen Fabiola (right)
Princess Astrid was Queen Astrid for just a year before her tragic death in a car accident at the age of 29. After Astrid’s death the tiara was in the possession of King Leopold. His second wife, Princess Lilian, mainly wore parts of the tiara, including using the bandeau as a bracelet and appearing to use the individual large stones with other pieces of jewelry. (Theirs was a controversial marriage; she did not hold the title of queen consort.)

Video: Baudouin and Fabiola's wedding
King Leopold abdicated the throne in favor of his son Baudouin in 1951. When Baudouin married Fabiola de Mora y Aragón in 1960, Leopold gave the tiara to the new queen. Fabiola was Belgium’s first queen since Astrid, and she wore the Nine Provinces Tiara on her wedding day. It was a majestic topper for her regal fur-trimmed Balenciaga gown.

Queen Paola
Queen Fabiola handed the jewel over after King Baudouin passed away and King Albert took the throne, giving it the new queen consort – Queen Paola – to wear. Queen Paola then did the same when her husband abdicated and King Philippe took the throne. Queen Mathilde debuted the only jewel passed from Belgian queen to Belgian queen right away, wearing the bandeau portion of the tiara for her first official portrait as queen.

Queen Paola wearing the Nine Provinces bandeau as a choker and Queen Elisabeth's Diamond Bandeau as a tiara
Belgium doesn’t have a huge jewel collection, but to their credit, what they do have is usually quite flexible. This tiara can be worn in several different ways: the original bandeau and spike version, the full diadem with arches, just the bandeau worn as a tiara, the bandeau and arches without the 11 large diamonds inside, the bandeau as a necklace, or the bandeau as a bracelet.

Click here to see Place Royale's feature on the tiara, with beautiful close ups and shots of the tiara in action
Queen Mathilde has so far used that flexibility to her advantage to customize the tiara to the level of grandness required by an occasion, if you will; she usually wears just the bandeau, but debuted the full version with arches for the first time when in Denmark to attend a birthday banquet for Queen Margrethe.

Queen Mathilde
Wearing the tiara at state visits for other monarchies was something Queen Paola did (in fact, the photo of her wearing the full tiara above is from a state visit from the Netherlands), and I’m curious to see if Mathilde will do the same. (She did not bring it to Japan in October.) This is Belgium's big gun, and while it’s a little too pointy with the arches for my tastes, it can do battle with the best of them when it comes to carat power and pure sparkle.

Does this have a spot on your list of favorite big gun tiaras?

09 November 2016

Royal Trip Report of the Day: November 9

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit are visiting Canada this week, starting out with a cozy and casual dinner with the Prime Minister on Sunday night. When they kicked things off officially on Monday, Mette-Marit was ready with all the essentials for a Canadian tour.

The royal couple met with the Governor General of Canada and Mrs. Johnston at Rideau Hall.
Photos: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall
1) Red! A color that ties together both flags. I love her in red. I love most people in the right shade of red, actually, but when someone is prone to softer colors, it just really stands out.

In the evening on Monday, they attended an event at the Canadian Museum of History.
2) Canadian design! This is from Montreal-born Erdem, and while it is a pretty standard lace dress, it is also maybe just a little bit disco. Shimmery lace might just be the cure to my perpetual case of lace fatigue.
Erdem Rhona dress in silver metallic lace

08 November 2016

Tiara Watch of the Day: November 8

We saw King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima land in Australia last week. This week, their state visit tour moves on to New Zealand. And there's a tiara...

Queen Máxima arrived in a repeated green animal print Givenchy dress. I meant to cover this dress when she debuted it but I don't think I ever got around to it, so I'm glad to have a chance to say that this is excellent.
Givenchy dress

Speaking of excellent! Máxima never fails to suit up for a state banquet.
She's worn this Claes Iversen gown before, and here she's pinning a diamond brooch on the shoulder and the mini Order of the Netherlands Lion pin on the opposite (tricky gown to combine with orders, since they're generally supposed to be worn on a particular side).

This is only the second time we've seen her wear Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara, I think. Another tricky thing to do, wear a tiara with one's hair down. Unless you do it this way, which is perfect.

07 November 2016

Monday Tidbits for November 7: Tiaras and Television

Time for some binge-watching...

--Are you watching The Crown, Netflix's new series about the life of Queen Elizabeth II? It premiered on Friday. If you are, come chat at the Jewel Vault: episodes 1-3, and episodes 4-6 so far.

--The Crown deals with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor a fair bit, and you recently could have had a bit of Wallis' style for your very own: a 1960s bib-style paste necklace simulating diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, and rubies from the Duchess of Windsor's collection was just sold at the Potomack Company's November 5th sale for $2,125 (with buyer’s premium). [With thanks to the Potomack Company]
Potomack Company

--The United Kingdom welcomed Colombia for a state visit last week, and we covered most of it over at the Vault (including the tiara-filled state banquet). A second tiara event was included with the visit, the traditional City of London banquet. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester represented the Queen as usual. The Duchess wore the Gloucester Honeysuckle Tiara.

--King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia welcomed Pope Francis to Sweden last week. The Pope also received some 300 members of the Habsburg family as they all made a pilgrimage to Rome for the Jubilee of Mercy. [BBC, Zimbio, Luxarazzi, YouTube]

--And finally, an autumn hello from Prince Oscar to you! His cozy greetings come from the park at Haga Palace.
Photo: Kate Gabor, The Royal Court, Sweden

Coming up this week: The Dutch state visit fun continues, and more...

Tidbits is your place throughout the week to share things we haven't covered yet and for all your off topic chats. Enjoy!

04 November 2016

Royal Dress of the Day: November 4

The Duchess of Cambridge attended the premiere of A Street Cat Named Bob supporting Action on Addiction last night.
Kate's back in action, and she still loves her a white dress. This one, from Self-Portrait, which is a new designer for her, has already been seen on the red carpet on celebs such as Paris Hilton. And I never thought I'd say it, but...Paris wore it better. It's nice to have these new experiences.

Self-Portrait dress
This is one of those dresses that I find pretty solidly middle of the road. I'm glad to see her pick up the color of her remembrance poppy brooch with the red bag and shoes instead of going for a neutral color. I realize I may be damning this with faint praise but that's sort of the way it goes with the solidly middle of the road category.

The Duchess meets the stars of the film, Bob the street cat, and his owner Jim Bowen
Kensington Palace
In all fairness to the Duchess, though, I really don't have any idea what one should wear for an audience with an indifferent cat.

03 November 2016

Tiara Thursday: The Habsburg Sapphire Parure (With Bonus Auction Treasures)

There are several interesting pieces with royal and noble heritage coming up for sale this month. A couple of the most impressive:

The Habsburg Sapphire Parure Tiara
Christie’s is offering an in impressive set of sapphire and diamond jewelry with a somewhat confusing heritage (and I can only simplify here). The parure was sold in 1961 at Christie’s with notes stating that it came from Empress Marie Louise (1791-1847), the second wife of Napoleon I, and that it had been lastly worn by the Duchess of Habsburg-Lothringen. Marie Louise was a Habsburg, the daughter of Empress Francis II of Austria, and some of her jewels were left to her Habsburg relatives when she died. Today, however, these jewels are dated from after her death, but may have been created using stones that belonged to her.

Two brooches and a bracelet
Parts of the parure are being sold in November: a 19th century tiara consisting of a sapphire and old-cut diamond scrollwork band with a detachable top of old-cut diamonds and pear-shaped sapphires, a bracelet with sapphires separated by diamond fleur de lys motifs, and two sapphire and diamond fleur de lys brooches. The same set was sold as separate lots in 2012 at Sotheby’s, when an ornate sapphire and diamond necklace and another fleur de lys brooch were also included. The fleur de lys motifs probably indicate a tie to the Bourbon dynasty.

The other brooch and necklace, auctioned in 2012
When sold in 2012, these pieces were noted as the property of a German nobleman and the provenance listed an owner as German banker August von Finck (1898-1980) and thence by descent. In the current sale, they are listed as the property of a private collector. The tiara is estimated to sell for $30,449 to $50,748. (For more on the complex history of these pieces, see the tiara, the bracelet, and the brooches at Christie’s; the brooches at Sotheby’s from 2012. Royal Magazin offers a photo of the tiara in use.)

Also at auction this month, Sotheby’s offers some magnificent jewels with imperial Russian heritage.
Diamond Necklace
Combined as one necklace today, this bow brooch and necklace band were originally two separate pieces. The bow probably dates from the 1760s; the band may date from around 1780 and has been altered over time. Both pieces were in Russia’s imperial collection until they were sold by the revolutionaries in 1925. They were then handled by dealers until purchased in 1960 for a private collection. The necklace was last sold in 2005. Its estimated price at this auction is $3,041,538 to $5,072,668. (See it at Sotheby’s here.)

Diamond Parure
This set includes earrings, a necklace, and a brooch with cushion-shaped diamonds tinted in various colors. It dates from the late 19th century. The stones used here are alleged to have belonged to Empress Catherine I of Russia, wife of Peter the Great, and to have been part of the jewels given to Sultan Ahmed III of the Ottoman Empire to encourage the peace treaty ending the Russo-Ottoman War of 1710–11. The stones were later made into this necklace which was given to the wife of the Khedive Teufik of Egypt. Now listed as being sold from a European private collection, the pieces are noted as having been formerly in the collection of Her Imperial Highness Neslishah Abdel-Moneim. The set’s estimate is $3,041,538 to $5,072,668. (See it at Sotheby’s here.)

Video: More on these Russian jewels and their history