Steel and diamond tiara | CartierAn unusual kokoshnik of scallop design, the curved blackened steel band bordered at the top with two rows of circular-cut diamonds, the bottom decorated with a line of similarly cut stones and palmette motifs set with circular- and single-cut diamonds, both ends of scroll design similarly set, inner circumference approximately 400mm, signed Cartier.
In the Cartier archive is an original plaster of the tiara which is seen also in the picture above. It has diamonds on the top of the peaks.
This attractive tiara is one of a small group of about five Cartier diadems made of blackened steel and diamonds between 1912 and 1915. These steel tiaras were originally kept in place with a ribbon at the back, as in this example with its original fitting. All these particular tiaras appear to have been made for Cartier by the Parisian workshop Henri Picq. An alternative patination in green on copper is suggested by a design for a kokoshnik of this type that appears in the Workshop Estimate Book for 1913. Although the design is of black colour, it is annotated 'étoiles brillantes sur fond cuivre teint vert-de-gris' (diamond stars on a copper ground the colour of verdigris).
In 1921 the Erbprinz Karl Egon V. zu Fürstenberg bought one of these very rare tiaras for his bride at Cartier, as a wedding gift. His future wife and Erbprinzessin zu Fürstenberg was Franziska Ida Mena Countess Nostitz-Rieneck 1902–1961. The wedding took place on 26 April 1921 in the St.Stephanskirche, at Vienna.
Above is a picture of the Erbprinzessin zu Fürstenberg with her famous pearls.
Source: Sotheby's 11 Nov 2015 sold at auction for 538 000 SFR (536,165 USD);