Savoy Knot and Star Tiara

The Savoy Aosta Knot and Star Tiara is a sparkler that has graced the heads of the female members of the Aosta branch of the Italian Royal Family. Made by the celebrated jeweller Musy in 1895, the tiara features a base of Savoy knots, topped with alternating diamond sprays and stars. The piece is very flexible, and can be worn with just the diamond stars, another configuration features the Savoy knot base topped with cabochon emeralds.

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The first owner of the tiara was Princess Hélène of Orleans, who received the sparkler as a wedding gift from King Umberto and Queen Margherita of Italy, cousins of her groom, the 2nd Duke of Aosta, in 1895. She wore the piece in many official portraits, often the entire piece, but sometimes with the Savoy knot base topped with cabochon emeralds from a necklace also given to her as a wedding gift. Hélène, as Dowager Duchess, famously wore the tiara during a visit to the Vatican in 1941. She died in 1951, having outlived both of her sons.

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The next (and current) owner of the Savoy Aosta Knot and Star Tiara is Prince Amedeo, 5th Duke of Aosta, who inherited the piece from his grandmother in 1951. It was worn by his wife Claude, nee Princess Claude of Orleans, for their 1964 wedding. The tiara was also worn to royal weddings in the 1960s, as well as on a visit to the Vatican. The 5th Duke and Duchess of Aosta had three children, but divorced in 1982.

In 1987, Prince Amedeo married Silvia Paternò di Spedalotto. As Duchess of Aosta, she wore the Knot and Star Tiara in an official portrait. In 1988, the piece remained in the bank vault in Switzerland when the Duke’s eldest daughter, Princess Bianca of Savoy-Aosta, married Count Giberto Arrivabene-Valenti-Gonzaga, who instead borrowed a small Tiara from her mother-in-law. The piece was last seen in an exhibition in the 2000s. The tiara is still owned by the Aosta family, and will probably be seen next on the Duchess of Apulia, nee Princess Olga of Greece, daughter-in-law of Prince Amedeo.Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 10.06.22 PM

One thought on “Savoy Knot and Star Tiara

  1. I don’t think I care much for this tiara. It has too many contradictory design elements. I do like the knot aspect, though not with emeralds. I don’t generally care for star-themed tiaras. They remind me of set pieces at Fourth of July celebrations. But, yes, the knot design alone is quite pretty.


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