Diese feine Saphire Parure ist aus dem Nachlass der Königin Hortensia von Holland, die Ihre Nichte sehr zugetan war, denn, sie hinterliess nicht nur diese wunderbaren Saphire, sondern auch......


Meiner Cousine der Großherzogin von Baden hinterlasse ich die Ohrringe in feinen Perlen die ich von meiner Mutter erhielt und die ich ich beständig trage. Man wird mir sie nach meinem Tode von den Ohren nehmen, Sie wird mit Güte denken, daß ich ihr diese Souvenir als ein Zeichen meiner innigen Freundschaft gebe. ......Auszüge aus dem Testament der Königin Hortensia von Holland.

 

 

 

An imperial sapphire diamond parure of Queen Hortense of Holland, which was left to Stephanie Beauharnais, Grand Duchess of Baden, when she died in 1837 in Paris.

This fine sapphire parure is from the estate of Queen Hortensia of Holland, who was very fond of her niece, for, not only did she leave these wonderful ceylon sapphires, but also......

To my cousin the Grand Duchess of Baden I leave the earrings in fine pearls which I received from my mother (Empress Josephine) and which I wear constantly. They will be taken from my ears after my death. She will think with kindness that I give her these souvenirs as a token of my intimate friendship.

......Excerpts from the will of Queen Hortensia of Holland.

 



STEPHANIE DE BEAUHARNAIS

Napoleon I married Josephine de Beauharnais in 1796, who was Stephanie’s aunt.

Stephanie Beauharnais, was born on 28 August 1789, unfortunately her mother died two years later and she spent her early years with the nuns in the French country side.

Soon after her aunt’s marriage to Napoléon I she joined them and grew up in Versailles and Paris.

A month before her own wedding, she was adopted by Napoléon and became Her Imperial Highness Princess Stephanie Napoléon and was there with able to marry into the Baden Family on 6 April 1806, when she said yes to Prince Charles of Baden.

Together they had fivechildren; two sons, who died in infancy,and three daughters - one was Princess Josephine, she married the heriditary Prince of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen..

PROVENANCE OF THE SAPPHIRE PARURE
A record in writing, found between the boxes of jewels, stated that these sapphire jewels were given to Stephanie by her cousin Hortense de Beauharnais.

Such an origin is very likely. In many paintings Hortense, 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 Stephanie’s death in 1860 the sapphire parure described as ‘necklace, pendant, earrings, 7 pins and a belt’was inherited by Stephanie’s second daughter, Josephine, Princess of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen.

Above in the picture we see Grand Duchess Stephanie of Baden wearing the old version, the belt ornaments in her hair. It was in form of one of the pieces, which survived as brooch. Each are with an large sapphire,this octagonal step-cut sapphire, rose and old-cut diamonds, gold, circa 1800, 3.6cm.

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.

But later, it seems the belt was remodelled into a bandeau-tiara and a bracelet by Princess Josephine, who died in 1900, aged 83. In her will, she left the sapphires (necklace, bandeau-tiara, earrings, pendants and bracelet) to her eldestson, Léopold (1835-1905).


Source:Archive Ursula Butschal;Christies;


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