PROVENANCE OF THE IMPERIAL SAPPHIRE PARURE
A cord in writing, found between the boxes of jewels, stated that these sapphire jewels were given to Grand Duchess Stephanie of Baden, by her cousin Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland.
Such an origin is very likely. In many paintings Queen Hortense of Holland, and her mother Empress Josephine, can be seen wearing precious belts. Furthermore, Hortense’s financial papers, which are kept in the Napoléon archive in Paris, give evidence of her fortune between 1817 and 1837, the year she passed away. They show that she left Paris in 1816 with little money, but a lot of jewellery.
After Grand Duchess Stephanie’s of Baden death in 1860 the sapphire parure described as
‘necklace, pendant, earrings, seven pins and a belt’
was inherited by Stephanie’s second daughter, Josephine, Princess of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen.
See at the coronation picture, the sisters of Napoleon Caroline, Pauline, Elise and Hortense are in court gown with „jeweled belts“ and „bandeau head ornaments“ also stetted with large pins of precious centers, like the brooches and pins.
Under Napoléon’s court, belts decorated with precious stones were part of any jewellery parure, as fashion dictated that the waist was very high on dresses and court ladies needed a belt which was placed just under the décolleté. More about the history:
More about the Royal Wedding gift:
Aigrette of diamonds and emeralds Diadem Chaumet|Royal Imperial head Ornament from the Duc d’Orléans|Hélène of Orléans Duchess of Aosta |Princess of Orleans France Jewelry Presents|Royal Marriage Gift
Above we see Hélène Duchess of Aosta, wearing her favorite collier de chien, a pearl necklace with small ornaments of diamonds with sapphire and rubies, the gift from the Duke of Chatres, is of 13 string of pearls.
The marriage of Princess Helene of Orleans, daughter of the late Comte de Paris, heir to the throne of Louis Philippe, King of the French, to the Duc d’Aosta, nephew to King Humbert of Italy, took place on Tuesday, June 25, 1895 in the small Roman Catholic Church of St. Raphael, at Kingston-on-Thames. More about the history:
Duchess Helene of Aoste Emerald and Diamond Necklace – from the Duc of Aosta| France Imperial Jewels |Princess of Orleans Presents Wedding |Royal Marriage Gift
Eugenia Livanos Niarchos historic Emeralds once the Emerald Tiara of Empress Marie-Louise of France | VanCleef & Arpels
Van Cleef & Arpels worked the emeralds into a diamond necklace in platinum for Eugenia Niarchos, with largest pear shaped emeralds as the focal point.
The center stone of the tiara, weighing 12.04 cts, was reworked into a ring in platinum, see above.
For Eugenie Niarchos, two of the large quatrefoil emeralds were made into earrings – with a top of oval emeralds to hang in and out.
Furthermore, the large bracelet with five oval emeralds from the tiara, received a diamond frame in platinum and can be seen in the picture above and follow the link for more imperial history
Die Kaiserin mit der Smaragd-Garnitur | France Imperial Jewels |The Empress wearing the Emerald-Parure
Das Smaragdcollier und die Ohrringe| France Imperial Jewels |The Emerald-Diamond-Necklace and the Earrings with Emeralds
Die Smaragd Juwelen der französischen Kaiserin Marie-Louise| Emeralds Sketch of the Napoleonic Tiara |VanCleef Arpels
Eugenia Niarchos historic Emerald once the Emerald Tiara of Empress Marie-Louise of France | VanCleef Arpels
Eugenia Livanos Niarchos Joaillerie Histoire| VanCleef& Arpels| La parure de l’impératrice Marie-Louise|France Emeraudes Imperiales
Eugenia Livanos Niarchos historic Emerald once the Emerald Tiara of Empress Marie-Louise of France | VanCleef & Arpels
Türkis Parure Diadem mit Türkisen und Diamanten, Armband Türkisen und Diamanten, Halsband mit Türkisen und Diamanten| Imperialer Schmuck der Kaiserin Marie-Louise |Les Joyaux Marie Louise impératrice des Français
Imperial Tourquoises Bracelet Turquoise and Diamonds, Necklace with Turquoises and Diamonds | French Empress Imperial Jewelry
Pink Topaz Grand Parure | Empress Marie Louise of France | Tiara, Collier, Bracelet, Guirdle, Comb with Topaz| Joaillerie Marie Louise impératrice des Français
Pink Topaz Parure with Diamonds | Empress Marie Louise of France | Rosa Topase Diadem, Kamm, Halsband,Gürtel | Joaillerie Marie Louise impératrice des Français
Habsburg Sapphires Parure with Diamonds, Fleur de Lys Brooches, Stomacher, Necklace | Austrian Bourbon Piacenza Tiara
Saphir Schmuck der Kaiserin Marie-Louise | Sapphire Parure of the Marie-Louise Empress of France | Joaillerie Marie Louise impératrice des Français
Entwurf der Rubin Parure der französischen Krone | France Imperatrice|Sketch of the Imperial Ruby-Diamond-Parure
Modell der Rubin Parure aus dem 19.Jhdt | France Imperatrice |Replica of the Imperial Ruby-Diamond-Parure
Das spektakuläre Diamant – Collier der französischen Kaiserin Marie-Louise|Imperial Royal Jewel History
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
.The story about the wedding gift of Napoleon Bonaparte to Empress Marie-Louise Spätere Versionen der Smaragd Tiara | France Imperial Jewels History |Later Versions of the tiara
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….
Maria Andrassy- Choloniewska, wife of Count Emanuel Andrassy in the 30s, wearing the imperial emerald and diamond tiara….the story behind royal jewels…
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.
The story behind the jewel, more history: