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Royal Jewels of England - Diamond Tiara of the Duchess of Fife

Eines der herrlichsten Diademe ist das der Duchess of Fife. Grosse Diamant Tropfen und runde Diamanten sind in einem raffinierten Gerüst aus Gold und Silber, dabei sind die Diamanten von unterschiedlicher Grösse, das jedoch so angeordnet ist, das es als Designelement gelten kann. Die freihängenden Tropfen sind in offenen Fassungen und bekommen viel Licht von allen Seiten, das muss eine enorme Wirkung haben. Kissenförmige Diamanten sind noch in der Basis eingelassen, unterbrochen von Rauten.

Drei Generation mit dem Diadem der Duchess of Fife, sie erhielt dieses Diadem als Hochzeitsgeschenk von ihrem zukünftigen Gatten, dem 6.Earl und ersten Duke of Fife.
Alexandra Duchess of Fife in der Mitte, gekleidet für die Krönung im Jahr 1937.
Unten im Bild die Countess Macduff mit dem Familienschmuck an ihrer Hochzeit.

 

Diamond Tiara of the Duchess of Fife

The diamond tiara is mounted in gold and set in silver. The pendant pear-shaped diamonds are articulated and move at the slightest touch. This jewel looks exactly alike to the tiara that Oscar Massin displayed at the Exposition Universelle of 1878. See below the picture from the exhibition and the above righthand corner). Some of the stones appear to be a different shape but every element of the design is the same. For these reasons, it is tempting to attribute the splendid piece to the jeweller who was famous in his own time for the lightness of his settings.

Above left: HRH Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife, (1867-1931), Princess Louise (Victoria Alexandra Dagmar) of Wales, wearing her wedding gift.

Above center: The Fife tiara, worn here by Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife,
later Princess Arthur of Connaught, nee Lady Alexandra Duff. She was the daughter of Princess Louise of Wales and the Duke of Fife.
The picture shows her robed for the 1937 Coronation of George VI.

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Above Countess Macduff is wearing a valuable tiara of brillant, rose-cut and large pear-shaped diamonds. It was the gift from her husband’s great-grandfather to his bride, the Princess Royal, when he, the sixth Earl and first Duke of Fife, married her at Buckingham Palace in 1887.

Contemporary magazine reports and their accompanying illustration make it clear that this tiara was in fact a gift from the Duke of Fife to his bride..

The Graphic Royal Wedding Number, August 2, 1889, 26 provides a description of the tiara given by the Duke of Fife to his bride
"The tiara is in a very uncommon and beautiful design, composed of hundreds of stones, ranging in weight from one carat to ten, the larger being what are technically known as briolettes--that is cut on both sides and turning on pivots so that they will flash with every movement of the head." The Tiara>>

The same issue of The Graphic described a diamond tiara, convertible to a necklace
. .of elegant design of alternating and graduating rays, varying from nearly two inches long in the centre to half an inch at the extreme ends as a gift from the Prince and Princess of Wales(later King Edward and Queen Alexandra). The tiara was supplied by the firm of Hancocks.

Additionally on page 23 of this Graphic Royal Wedding Number, August 2, 1889, there is an illustration of the tiara given by the Prince and Princess of Wales. It is a described as:

" . . . a superb tiara of lovely brilliants of chaste design, the rays of diamonds being nearly two inches long in the centre, and graduating downwards towards the ends, while each alternate ray has a pretty tapering effect, which materially adds to its beauty. The tiara is a very large one, and is so flexible that it can be bent upon the hair to suit any style of coiffure, and can also form a necklace. The design is Russian, consisting of straight lines, but the jewellers have secured considerable lightness of effect by the introduction of slender lines between the taller ones." The illustration is that of an alternating and graduated ray tiara - The Fringe Tiara.

The Illustrated London News of August 3, 1889 has the following description "The Prince and Princess of Wales presented their daughter with a beautiful tiara of fine brilliants, of elegant design of alternating and graduating rays, varying from nearly two inches long in the centre to half an inch at the extreme ends. By a simple arrangement it also forms a beautiful and graceful necklace."


Special thanks to Laura!!

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