Hello, my darlings. It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? I didn’t mean to leave you for so long! I have been busy taking care of myself and I am happy to tell you that after years and years of mysterious health issues, I have finally found both my true diagnosis and a doctor who is actually able to help me feel better. It is still going to be a long road but I’m so happy to have answers and support. If you’re interested, you can read my health update on Instagram.
I couldn’t think of a better way to return to this blog than with a glorious parade of historic tiaras, and the universe has provided! So without further ado, let us go down to tiara town.
Sotheby’s London to exhibit historic tiaras
In honor of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a celebration honoring the Queen of England’s reign, Sotheby’s has gathered together a display of nearly 50 extraordinary tiaras, including many examples with British and European royal provenance. The exhibition is called Power & Image: Royal & Aristocratic Tiaras and it opens to the public in just a few days, so pardon me while I frantically Google flights to London.
This will be the largest exhibit of tiaras to be held in the UK for 20 years. Highlights include the rarely-displayed Spencer Tiara, which Lady Diana wore on her wedding day 40 years ago; and Queen Victoria’s emerald and diamond tiara, which was originally purchased for her by Prince Albert in 1845.
I don’t have a photo of every single one of the exhibition’s historic tiaras, but I can show you 17 of them!!! Shall we dive in?
First we have an extremely lovely, romantic tiara that would be perfect for a royal wedding. Look at that heart motif! My favorite element is actually the little geometric arches beneath the bottom of each heart. It’s such an elegant use of negative space and the perfect foil to the elaborate designs above.
This tiara was created by Carrington & Co. and dates to the early 20th century.
This is one of the coolest historic tiaras in this entire exhibit, IMHO. It was made by Jacques-Ambroise Oliveras in 1805. It’s gold with absolutely stunning braided detail highlighted with blue enamel and featuring several exquisite cameos.
Experts suspect that some of these cameos actually predate the tiara’s creation; they may even be ancient artefacts that the jeweler incorporated into his design.
This diamond tiara has such a wonderfully dramatic silhouette that it almost has a kokoshnik feel to it. It’s formed as a wreath of diamond leaves holding up a large center diamond, framed by a border of diamonds on each side.
This late Georgian beauty dates to 1830.
This is one of my personal faves, which makes sense, because it was made by one of my favorite jewelry houses at the height of one of my favorite aesthetic eras. Yes, it is 1920’s Cartier. And it features colored gems! It has amethyst, sapphire, and black onyx, in addition to diamonds. Technically the way this piece sits on the head means it’s a bandeau, but we’re calling everything tiaras today.
It’s just the right amount of tiara for casual princessing. I’d want a more dramatic one for my own wedding or an important event, but I could see this being a fave for occasions of medium importance.Read More