An imperial emerald diamond necklace of the former House of Baden.
The imperial jeweller Nitot & Fils has made in 1806 this necklace
of gold and silver.
Seven large briolett-cut emerald drops are hanging from this classical
necklace of seven step-cut emeralds with a diamond cluster surround.
Small, single emeralds and diamonds are connecting on a length of 41
cm the emerald-clusters to a flexible garland it is an ideal
type of a necklace of the Napoléonic period.
The necklace is supplemented with a pair of matching pendant-earrings
with tops of emeralds with a diamond cluster surround and drop-shaped
pendants with a large free swinging briolett-cut emerald in its centres.
About 1820 the two briolett-cut emeralds of the back have been removed
and are changed to two facetted emeralds. It might be, that the detached
emeralds were given as a present or are left as a Napoléonic
This magnificent parure of the Empire period was in the possession of
the former Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Baden, who was born as
Stéphanie Louise Adrienne de Beauharnais in August, 28th 1789
in Versailles as the daughter of the Capitain de Beauharnais.
Her mother died two years later and her father has shown no interest
in his two years old daughter.
The little Stéphanie has spent her early childhood and youth
at different places in the care of several persons.
In 1803, Stéphanie attracted the attention of Napoléon
and he has ordered her to come to Paris. She has preserved an ethical
education and became an instrument of the politics of Napoléon.
When he want to married her at the court of Baden, she was adopted by
Napoléon and Joséphine, from now on, as being a Bonaparte.
These emeralds have been not the only present which Princess Stéphanie
of Baden were given for her marriage.
The emerald parure was consisting of a large tiara, a necklace, a
pair of earrings and most probably of a pair of bracelets which
can be seen on the portrait of François Gérard (c. 1810).
Stéphanie has received two more parures, one with pearls
and one with diamonds. Napoléon has paid only for the
jewellery the sum of FF 500.000. Furthermore she brought with her a
dowry of another FF 500.000 and a sum of FF 1.500.000 to Baden.
The last owner of the necklace and the earrings was the Countess Margharita
Tagliavia who has bequeathed the jewellery to the Victoria & Albert
Museum in London.
Danke an Uwe Ripka für seine Hilfe und Übersetzung
Source: V. Meylan; V&A London; Württemberg.
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