During the Victorian period, archeological discoveries in Rome and Greece captivated the imagination of jewelers. Leaves found on ancient headpieces became a favorite ornament in tiaras. Here are four lovely examples.
This French tiara, c. 1820, is set in a patterned, gilded frame with faceted crystals. It depicts a spray of hyacinth leaves with raised flower buds. It sold last year for 1000 GBP from a dealer in London.
This English gilt metal tiara and brooch has flowering sprays of myrtle. On the blue velvet cushion that came with it, silver thread was embroidered to read “d.11ten Januar. 1867.” It sold at Sothebys in London for 4,320 GBP.
This Castellani Archeological Revival Gold tiara, c. 1870, is a simple gold branch bearing sprigs of olive leaves, with circular openings at either end for ribbons. It was exhibited at The Bard Graduate Center in New York, Somerset House in London, and Villa Giulia in Rome, and sold for $19,200 at Sothebys.
Last is this diamond tiara, designed as a spray of fern leaves set with cushion-shaped and rose diamonds. The fitted case is by J & P Bapst & Fils Joalliers, 25 Rue du Faubs St Honore, Paris, c. 1870. Sale Price: 82,700 GBP at Sothebys.
the english gilt metal tiara with the brooch, the second picture on your post, sold in London for GBP 4320, do you know the date when it was sold at auction by Sotheby’s?
I’d like to know as I have a set exactly the same as the picture.
Congratulations on your wonderful blog
It sold on March 30, 2006. :-) That’s utterly fantastic that you have a set just like it!
The tiara and brooch set are actually quite common. Earlier on the blog I have seen two tiaras of this type. The sets were made for silver weddings and gold weddings. The bride
wore the diadem and the groom the brooch as a lapel pin. the date on the cushion is probably the date of the wedding or of the later anniversary. I have mostly seen sets in silver and often the brooch is missing. I have seen the sets in Sweden and in Germany and I just suppose they were common also in other countries in Europe where the 25th and 50th wedding anniversary is celebrated. The flowers and leaves are always the same so I have often wondered whether they were manufactured in the same place.