Spectacular jewelry belonged first to Blanche Lady Howard de Walden, later Lady Ludlow and then Margherita Lady Howard de Walden.
The important diamond starburst was altered after 1890 when Lady Ludlow wore it on the occasion of the ball in the picture above.
She was a very stately and dignified figure, and she thoroughly understood the art of dress. She admired her large diamond tiara, with its fine design of oak-leaves and acorns alternating with suns rising from leaves.
She wore it with a rare distinction, and possessed many magnificent jewels, among them a superb parure of emeralds and diamonds. An heiress in her own right, the eldest daughter of Mr. William Holden, of Palace House, Co. Lancaster, she married the late Lord Howard de Walden in 1876.
In 1903, four years after her first husband's death, she married Lord Ludlow, one of the best turned-out and handsomest men in Society, a keen rider to hounds, and a good all-round sportsman. Her only child, Lord Howard de Walden, inherited his substantial wealth after the death of his grandmother in 1899. This lady was left a large London property by her brother, the fifth and eccentric Duke of Portland.
Lady Ludlow was greatly liked, and was a delightful hostess for her son at Seaford House and Audley End.
On the right side is Margherita Scott-Ellis, Lady Howard de Walden (nee van Raalte) . After her marriage in 1912 she wore the tiara with feathers in the art-deco style for court.
"You were once Miss Blanche Holden, the beautiful daughter of Mr. William Holden of Palace House, Lancashire, and in the seventies and early eighties, when professional beauties were the rage, you were classed with Mrs. Langtry, Mrs. West, and Mrs. Wheeler as one of the prettiest women in England so in 1876, when still very young, you married the late Lord Howard de Walden, a somewhat eccentric peer who was at least thirty years your senior.
And in those days you were not wealthy, for the vast London property still belonged to your husband's grandmother, the Dowager Lady Howard de Walden, and she did not die until 1899 and then at the advanced age of ninety-one.
Her eldest son survived her but a few months, and at his death you found yourself a widow with an only son who was the lucky owner of no less an income than £100,000 per annum.
And the new Lord Howard de Walden was a most devoted son and treated you more like a sister than a mother, and he gave you horses, carriages, and jewels, and you used to help him to do the honours at his country place and at his town house in Belgrave Square.
The jewels he gave you were splendid emeralds and diamonds, which took the form of a high tiara, necklace, earrings, brooches, and bracelets in fact, an entire parure. And these emeralds were said to be some of the finest in London.
This reminds me that glorious emeralds are owned by several well-known women. Among others by the Duchess of Teck, the Duchess of Buccleuch, Lady Carnarvon, Lady Ilchester, Lady Londesborough, the Dowager Lady Rosse, Mrs. Ronald Greville, and Lady (Arthur) Paget.
Then Lady Carew has one fine emerald given her by the Shah of Persia and Lady Aberdeen's high tiara is set with fine emeralds, said to be the largest in the world.
And Mrs. George Keppel and Lady Helen Vincent are each the owner of one huge single emerald, which in both cases is set as a pendant.
But some of the best emeralds that I have ever sampled belong to that lovely woman and clever actress, Madame Cavalieri. In the second act of Motion Lescaut these wondrous gems flash from her neck and breast with much brilliance. Rumour says that they were once crown jewels, and were worn by Queen Marie Leczinska.
Now to return to your ladyship. This ideal life went for about four years, and I ought to say that you retained much of your early good looks and slender graceful figure.
So you got a second chance and a better one, and in 1903 married Lord Ludlow, a rich man and a keen sports man, and who, although only second baron, belongs to a good old family in the West of England.
This wedding of yours made a nine- days' wonder, and you were given away by your son, at that time a rather unusual occurrence. Even in this detail of the marriage ceremony one can note some curious incidents. Brides are often given away by their mothers, but for a woman to be given away by her own son is even now quite exceptional. . . .
And I must say a word of praise to the pioneer. You ought to get the credit of having brought that now much-prized stone, the peridot, into fashion in London as you wore on your wedding day a fine specimen of this pale green gem, set in diamonds, as a pendant.
Since those days you have had a real good time as your year is divided between one of your two country places, a hunting box in the shires, and your town house in Portland Place.
Lord Ludlow is now forty-four, and he shoots and hunts and is keen on deer-stalking, coaching, and racing. He also goes in for good works and is president and treasurer of several hospitals. But his versatility has extended even further, for he is a distinguished graduate of Oxford, where he obtained second-class honours in 1888, was called to the. Bar of the Inner Temple two years later, and subsequently became counsel to the Post Office on the Western Circuit.
Then again, even now, as Lord Howard de Walden remains unmarried, you often do the honours for him at his country home, Audley End, and also at Seaford House in Belgrave Square. This latter was once the property of the earls of Sefton and used to be known as Sefton House."
Lady Howard de Walden, Countess Irene Harrach wearing the big diamond tiara in fine design of oak-leaves and acorns alternating with suns rising from leaves>>
Source:The Sketch, The Graphic, The Tatler;