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Habsburg Sapphires Parure with Diamonds, Fleur de Lys Brooches, Stomacher, Necklace | Austrian Bourbon Piacenza Tiara

Habsburg Sapphires Parure with Diamonds, Fleur de Lys Brooches, Stomacher, Necklace| Austrian Bourbon Piacenca Tiara,jewels

A magnificent, historically important sapphire parure came to auction at Sotheby’s on 14 November 2012.

The highlight of the parure is the large diamond and sapphire brooch, created in the late nineteenth century, designed as a fleur de lys which is found in the coat of arms of the Duchy of Bourbon-Parma-Piacenza. It consists of cushion-shaped, circular-, single-cut and rose diamonds, set at the centre with a cushion-shaped sapphire. The detachable brooch fitting was added later.

The two much smaller brooches are also designed like a fleur de lys. They are set with cushion-shaped, circular-, single-cut and rose diamonds with the central stone being a modified octagonal-shaped sapphire. (Detachable brooch fitting later added.) The sapphires found in the lilies’ centres are modified octagonals which are very flat like those sapphires cut before 1800.

The magnificent necklace, of bow and foliate swag design, is millegrain-set with variously cut sapphires and circular-, single-, cushion-shaped and rose-cut diamonds. The necklace can be worn in various lengths and is detachable into six pieces.

The  tiara is designed as a series of pinnacles each surmounted by a pear-shaped sapphire, the base of scroll design interspersed with oval sapphire and diamond clusters, set throughout with cushion-shaped, circular- and single-cut diamonds, inner circumference approximately 220mm, top tier detachable. The lilies had formerly been intended to be worn attached to the tiara.

The final piece is an articulated bracelet composed of eight oval to rectangular modified sapphires framed by fleur de lys motifs set with cushion-shaped, circular-, single-cut and rose diamonds, length approximately 184mm.

In 1964, the parure was was first sold >>
by Stuker in Bern, Switzerland and was bought by August von Finck (1898-1980).

At this time, it was said that the set was made circa 1810 for Empress Marie Louise of France. This was obviously wrong because the setting seems to be later. It is not known for certain if the sapphires had belonged to the Empress, but the set was later in the possession of a member of the Habsburg family.

A very interesting addition to the set was a matching corsage brooch. Thanks to the help of Christophe Vachaudez we can show the brooch. Just now, I found the catalogue, it was sold in Salzburg many years ago by a member of the Habsburg family as a single item.

Source:Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels, 14 November 2012; Rautenberg

Special thanks to Uwe Ripka, who gave me that information!

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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


Pink Topaz Grand Parure | Empress Marie Louise of France | Tiara, Collier, Bracelet, Guirdle,Comb with Topaz

Pink Topaz Parure with Diamonds | Empress Marie Louise of France | Rosa Topase Diadem, Kamm, Halsband,Gürtel

Rubin Parure des französischen Kaiserhauses | Imperial Ruby-Diamond-Parure of France

Entwurf der Rubin Parure der französischen Krone | Sketch of the Imperial Ruby-Diamond-Parure

Modell der Rubin Parure aus dem 19.Jhdt | Replica of the Imperial Ruby-Diamond-Parure

Die Orginalversion der Smaragd Parure | The Imperial Emerald-Diamond-Parure

Die Kaiserin mit der Smaragd-Garnitur | The Empress wearing the Emerald-Parure

Spätere Versionen der Smaragd Tiara | Later Versions of the tiara

Das Smaragdcollier und die Ohrringe| The Emerald-Diamond-Necklace and the Earrings with Emeralds

Königliche und Kaiserliche Juwelen | Royal and Imperial Jewels of France


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