Monday, May 27, 2013

Emeralds and Rubies

The tiaras of the Duchess of Angoulême, Marie-Antoinette's daughter, are discussed, HERE and HERE. To quote:
The Duchess' emerald tiara, a gift from her husband Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, was made in 1819-1820 by Evrard and Frederic Bapst and was designed specifically to use unmounted stones from the crown jewels. There are 40 emeralds in total, all set in gold and totaling about 77 carats all together; 14 of those were the largest emeralds available from the crown stash and the rest were added to match. They were joined by 1,031 diamonds (176 carats in all) set in silver. The diamonds, all set on a curved base, form a pattern of scrolling foliage which surround and incorporate the various shapes of emeralds available.

Though made for the Duchess, the tiara was part of the crown jewels and was not her personal property. Before she departed for exile in 1830, following the abdication of her father-in-law Charles X and (20 minutes later) the abdication of her own husband from the French throne, she returned the tiara to the treasury. It remained a part of the French crown jewels through various changes of power; in particular, it was said to have been a favorite of Empress Eugénie, who had a special preference for emeralds and used the tiara during the reign of her husband Napoleon III (1853-1870)....Along with the rest of the crown jewels, it was displayed at the third Paris World's Fair in 1878 and at the Louvre in 1884. In 1887, it was sold at auction by the Third Republic along with most of the crown collection. (Read entire post.)
 The Duchess also had a ruby parure:
Once he reclaimed the throne, Louis XVIII had the crown jewels redone in the Restoration style instead of the Empire style. In 1816, the ruby parure was remade to suit the Duchess of Angoulême by Pierre-Nicholas Menière. The design came from Menière's son-in-law, Evrard Bapst, and kept some of the features of the original Nitot parure. The new parure was just as extensive as the old, including both a larger tiara (shown in color above) of rubies set in scrolling diamond foliage and a smaller comb/tiara. (Read more.)
The Duchess of Angoulême

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