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:
The story behind royal jewels…. Royal Marriage of Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma and Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg
Prince Henry of the Netherlands was one of the richest Princes in the world. A silver mine in America brings him a princely income and he has many Dutch, Russian and other bonds, with 99 properties in Holland – the maximum number, for the King alone can own 100 – and some in other countries.
His royal Bride has got the richest jewels …the oranien nassau diamonds….
As a gift from the Emperor and the Empress, the Princess Bride Marie, a 9-star brilliant tiara, is enough; the same is made by the court jewelers S. Friedeberg & Sons, after the diadem which Princess Elizabeth received during her marriage. According to the composition of the individual parts, 24 different forms, u. A. also representing a necklace, to be a masterpiece of jewelry.
By contrast, the very same jewelry gifts have been carried out by the same company in private compositions, which the prince Heinrich venerated his bride. It is a double jewelry: tiara, corsage and necklace in sapphires and diamonds, as in diamonds to wear.
The stones supplied by the prince are among the greatest rarities, and a large sapphire and a large diamond below are estimated at 100,000 each; the whole decoration has a value of more than 1 000 000.
The tasteful and dignified execution of the work is a high honor to our local arts and crafts. The prince has offered his bride, as a wedding gift, a wealth of diamonds and other gemstones, as he would seldom appear in such abundance and beauty even in princely weddings
The Berlin industry has been particularly honored to be entrusted with the creation of the jewelery, which was supplied by the court jewelers S. Friedberg Sons.
The whole Corbeille de mariage consists of a diadem, a corsage (big brooch), a necklace with 11 pendulum oques and an extension of the same to the corsage as so-called. Esclavage, which ends in two shoulder brooches.
This jewelery, made after drawings by Holbein, can be worn in two ways, with sapphires or all in brilliants.
The large sapphires and diamonds supplied by Prince Heinrich are among the rarities that hardly any of the most famous treasure troves in the world have.
The great sapphire of the corsage, weighing about 200 ct, of the most beautiful purest blue of more than 100,000 ct in value, is of no less beauty than a second sapphire cabochon of over 100 cts, which is matched by the five large sapphires of the diadem.
The large brilliants to be screwed in place of the sapphires, solitaires from 10 to 30 carats a piece, are of the purest water as they are brought to Brazil only in the earliest time to days.
All jewelry is protected from a value of one million marks.
Princess Mary was born on 4 November 1631 at St. James’s Palace, the eldest daughter of King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria.
On 2 May 1641, at the age of nine, the kings daughter was married to William II, son of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange and Amalia von Solms, at the Chapel Royal, Whitehall Palace.
Mary is shown wearing her wedding ring and the large diamond brooch given to her by her husband on 3 May 1641, the day after their marriage. A large pearl necklace and costly pearls in her hair, like a ribbon. A gem setted bracelet on the left.
Look at her spectacular coral gown, decorated with silver thread trim along its border, is thought to be similar to that worn for her wedding, rather than the cloth of silver-gold she wears. The apparent weight of the fabric, falling in broad, heavy folds, along with the bright highlights along the creases, suggest the fabric may have been cloth of silver. Shimmering highlights, applied in swift, cross-hatched strokes, were used as a form of shorthand by artists, mimicking the lustre of metallic threads as the textile caught the light. In accordance with the fashion of the period, her gown is open down the front, revealing a stiffened stomacher across the chest and a matching skirt beneath.
The ribbons, which would at one time have been functional, lacing the skirt and stomacher to the bodice, were applied purely as adornment. One ribbon, however has been pinned or stitched flat to disguise the seam between the bodice and skirt.
The Princess’s brooch, the string of pearls and ribbons on her shimmering dress are rendered with remarkable precision and delicacy, characteristics that defined the artist’s finest late works.