The dealer advertises this to be a French sterling vermeil church crown to be used in the service at the altar. c. 1860-1880. It has hallmarks of Minerva and a Rooster. The crown is set with real diamonds, pearls, amethysts, and rubies. The amethysts are carved into bees and set with pave diamonds.
It was purchased in Paris from a dealer of religious artifacts, and is in perfect condition. All the stones are original. The crown measures 7 1/2 inches (tall) by 6 1/4 inches (at widest point) by 4 1/2 inches (across headband). The seller has not been able to determine who made it.
AND it’s on sale on ebay for the Sotheby’s-level price of $12,499. ;-) When you find something like this, it doesn’t really matter what the price is though. If you can get your hands on it, grab it. Unfortunately, most of us must worship from afar. I did some research on the internet, and this may be Belgian silver of the Empire period, with the rooster and Minerva markings, which would date it from 1831-1868. I don’t know. Comments welcome.
Of course the famous phrase comes to mind, “Great responsibility comes to those who wear the crown.” How can you not wonder who wore this?