Marie Louise went to Vienna after the fall of Napoleon I and took with her her personal jewelery, including the emarald parure. The parure stayed in the Habsburg family until 1953. Then a Scandinavian decendant of the Habsburg family sold the diadem and kept the other pieces of the parure. They sold it to the famous Jewelhouse Van Cleef and Arpels.
They replaced the emeralds with turquoises and sold it to Mrs. Merriweather Post. Majorie Merriweather Post, is seen above, wearing the famous jewel. She donated the diadem to the Smithsonian Institution in 1966. See above in the pictures, update about the history
In 1946 the Parure crossed destroyed Europe, hidden in a harness. In fact, Archduke Karl Albrecht left the castle in Zywiec in southern Poland with his wife Archduchess Alice and their daughters on a rickety horse cart. Imprisoned by the Nazis and then persecuted by the Polish Communists, they were forced into exile. Crossing Poland, Germany and parts of Denmark, they finally managed to reach Sweden, the country of birth of Princess Alice. The hurriedly hidden jewels were her only valuables. The diamond and emerald parure – tiara, necklace, earrings and brooch found its way to Van Cleef & Arpels in New York at the beginning of 1953. The emeralds from Columbia, which are of considerable size, also have a well-known origin; Napoleon I gave them to his second wife, Empress Marie Luise, an Austrian Archduchess. The design above of the Napoleonic Tiara shows the original version and the emeralds in detail and their size, from left to right the top large emeralds have a weight of: 8.05ct, 12.15ct, 13.43ct, 12.04ct, 6.31ct, 13.20ct, 12.46ct, 6.82ct, the oval emeralds in the center 6.31ct The middle row and lower emeralds 2.16 ct, 1.34 ct, 2.59 ct, 3.25 ct, 2.77 ct, 5.41 ct, 1.32 ct; 1.39 ct, 5.43 ct; 3.50 ct, 3.31 ct, 2.60 ct, 2.23 ct, 1.34 ct, 2.80 ct. After her death in 1847, Marie-Louise bequeathed the Parure with the diadem, the emerald necklace, the emerald earrings and the emerald brooch to her Habsburg relatives.
Click on the link above, for more about the history – an update of the story….
this impressive stomacher pin was given by Napoleon I (1769-1821), Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days, to Countess Maria Walewska (1786-1817).
Napoleons Love Token!
The motif surmounting the central sapphire is a Roman Helmet, alluding to Napoleon’s wish to associate himself with the great rulers of the Roman Empire.
Other emblems, including two crossed canons, a drum and lances demonstrate further Napoleon’s desire to represent military strength.
To the right of the central sapphire is a monogram depicting a ‘WN’ entwined, alluding to the Emperor and the Countess Waleska.
It is believed that the ruby-eyed eagle, surmounting the piece represents the Imperial Eagle.
However, it is not depicted in the usual proud stance, instead it is a recumbent eagle, considered to provide a form of protection to the rest of the jewel, and therefore to the person it is given to.
In der Gallerie D’Apollon des Pariser Louvre befindet sich seit 1985 eine Kollektion von historischen Saphiren, die eine vielseitige Verbindung zur Krone Frankreichs haben.
Der vordergründige Anlass des Louvre für den Ankauf, dürfte sicher gewesen sein, dass sich diese Saphire im ehemaligen Besitz des Hauses Orléans befanden.
1821 bot sich für König Louis-Philippe die Gelegenheit des Ankaufs eines Diadems, eines Colliers, einem Paar Ohrgehängen und einer Brosche für seine Gemahlin Marie-Amélie, in deren Familie diese Saphire weiter vererbt worden sind, bis sie dann direkt an den Louvre gingen. Diese tadellose Provenienz legitimiert die Steine dazu, als nationales Kulturgut Frankreichs anerkannt worden zu sein.
Aber nicht nur das Haus Orléans ist im Besitz dieser Saphire gewesen, zuvor wurden sie schon von Hortense de Beauharnais getragen, die diese Steine bis zum Verkauf 1821 ihr Eigen nannte.