The lost pearl jewellery of Empress Alexandra Feodorowna of Russia
The personal jewellery formerly belonging to the late Empress of Russia was discovered in 1933 in Tobolsk and was confiscated by the Russian government.
On the inventory of the found jewels, item number 12 was described as a diamond diadem with pearls and was estimated at 25,000 rubles.
It is said that the tiara of scrollwork with upright pearls and diamonds was a wedding gift from her father, the Grand Duke of Hesse. It was not a heirloom jewel of the Hessian family. Probably her father ordered it from his court jeweller Koch in Frankfurt in the years before his death in 1892 when a marriage was probably planned. It was manufactured in the workshop of Kreuter-Hanau.
Her strong-willed grandmother, Queen Victoria, mentioned marriage plans for Alexandra in a letter of September 1891. "You know how much dear Papa and I wish dear Alicky should some day marry Max of Baden, whom I formerly wished for Maud....I hope dear Papa will lose no time to inviting him". Alexandra was 20 years old at the time and the last unmarried Hessian princess of that branch.
We have no information about the whereabouts of this jewel, but in the year 2022 Elisabeth Princess of Beligium, Duchess of Brabant had her first Tiara event and wore a similar diamond tiara, earlier in 1925 Lady Vestey was seen with a diamond diadem in similar design.
Alexandra Feodorovna preferred to wear smaller head jewels, and was not very fond of the traditional heavy tiaras which gave her headaches. She wore her smaller tiaras and diamonds every day in the evening for dinner, this was documented in the archives. The Tsarina was very fond of pearls and owned a second pearl tiara in the form of a coronet, probably made by Boucheron, made of lightweight and delicate cornucopia elements, which is sometimes confused with the item above.
Source: OGPU in Tobolsk;Royal Collection;Russisches Staatsarchiv;THE LOST FORTUNE OF THE TSAR by William Clark;
Romanoff Juwelen und Schmuck der Zarenfamilie
Perlen Diadem das Hochzeitsgeschenk Großherzog von Hessen
Schmuck der Romanow | Juwelen der Zaren
Der Schmuck der Kaiserin Alexandra Feodorowna von Russland
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