Queen Nazli’s Van Cleef & Arpels Diamond Necklace

Today marks the Anniversary of the Death of Queen Nazli of Egypt, who died on this day in 1978. To mark the Anniversary, we are taking a look at one of her most iconic jewels, her Van Cleef & Arpels Diamond Necklace.

In 1939, Queen Mother Nazli commissioned a new Diamond Parure from Van Cleef & Arpels to celebrate the Wedding of her daughter, Princess Fawzia of Egypt, to the Shah of Iran, when she also ordered another Van Cleef & Arpels Parure for her daughter. The Parure included the massive Tiara and this magnificent Bib Necklace, with nearly 220 carats of diamonds, in the Art Deco style.

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The wedding ceremony of Princess Fawzia of Egypt to the Crown Prince of Iran took place on March 15, 1939 at Abdeen Palace in Cairo. According to Muslim culture, none of the ladies of the family, not even the bride, attended, and it was a very low-key event. The gala dinner, however, given on that same evening, was something quite different. Queen Nazli, then in her forties and seated next to her new son-in-law, looked extremely elegant in a rather risqué evening gown designed by Callots Soeurs. She appeared to be literally covered in diamonds. Her ensemble included a newly commissioned tiara and necklace from Van Cleef & Arpels, as well as girandoles earrings, and five or six diamond bracelets. #QueenNazli #LifeoftheParty #79YearsAgoToday

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Queen Nazli wore her Van Cleef & Arpels Diamond frequently after she received it, starting from the Shah of Iran and Princess Fawzia’s Wedding Banquet in 1939, and the Parure remained with her for decades after being exiled by her son King Farouk, until she made penniless by her son-in-law, when Queen Nazli was forced to Auction much of her jewellery collection at Sotheby’s Parke Bernet in 1975.

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Amina El-Demirdash wearing her great-grandmother Queen Nazli’s diamond necklace and Elie Saab jumpsuit . Photographed by Julian Torres for Vogue Arabia Amina El-Demirdash is the granddaughter of HRH Princess Faika who was the sister of Egypt’s King Farouk I. ٠٠ أمينة الدمرداش ترتدي ‏قلادة جدتها الملكة نازلي من الألماس وجامب سوت من إيلي صعب. تصوير جوليان توريس لفوغ العربية. أمينة الدمرداش هي حفيدة الاميرة فائقة بنت الملك فؤاد الاول ملك مصر والسودان . #aminaeldemirdash #egyptianroyalty #egyptianroyale #Egypt #royaljewels #vancleefarpels #QueenNazli #PrincessFaika #eliesaab #Royals #Fashion #hautecouture #vogue #voguearabia #الملكة_نازلي #الأميرة_فائقة_فؤاد #الأميرة_فائقة #مجوهرات_الاسرة_المالكة_المصرية #مصر #مصر_الملكيه #تحيا_مصر #فاروق_مصر #مصرية Vogue Arabia

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The necklace sold to a private collector for $140,000 and wasn’t seen again till 2015 when it came up for auction at Sotheby’s in New York, where it was bought by Van Cleef & Arpels for $4.3 million, and presented it as part of its Milan exhibition, Time, Nature & Love. Queen Nazli’s Van Cleef & Arpels Diamond Necklace was also worn by her great-granddaughter, Amina El-Demirdash, on the cover of Vogue Arabia last year.


4 thoughts on “Queen Nazli’s Van Cleef & Arpels Diamond Necklace

  1. Wow! What a magnificent necklace! It’s huge, but it somehow avoids looking like a breastplate like the Greville necklaces do. It is very compact but mighty and I can see why it fetched such a huge amount of money at auction. I guess Van Cleef and Arpels knew what they were buying since they made it in the first place. Absolutely divine!

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  2. Beware of whom you sell your children to. Make sure you get paste copies made and secrete the genuine ones off shore. Forget them but instructions to surface only after the sons in law dies and daughters live in Switzland.


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