Made for a Russian Grand Duchess when she married the son of Queen Victoria of Great Britain, the Ruby Tiara was worn by her descendants from the German Princely family of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
Made by the celebrated Russian jeweller; Bolin, in 1874, the Ruby tiara was of foliate scroll design set with cushion-shaped diamonds, decorated with six flowerhead cluster motifs each set with cabochon rubies in cushion-shaped diamond borders. The tiara was accompanied by a large parure, which included a necklace, earrings, three brooches, a ring, and a stomacher which later went missing.
The Bolin Ruby Tiara was made in 1874 for the wedding of Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, only daughter of the Tsar Alexander II of Russia, who married Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Saxe Coburg Gotha, son of Queen Victoria. She wore the necklace and stomacher for the Coronation of her nephew, Tsar Nicholas II, in 1896. On her death in 1920, the ruby parure passed to her daughter, Princess Alexandra, who had married the Prince of Hohenlohe Langenburg.
While Princess Alexandra was never pictured wearing the parure, her daughter-in-law, Princess Margarita of Greece, sister of the current Duke of Edinburgh, was pictured wearing the Bolin Ruby parure on a number of occasions until her death in 1981. She famously wore the tiara to the Coronation of her sister-in-law, Queen Elisabeth II, in 1953, and to glittering events in her native Greece. In 1989, the parure was auctioned, with the earrings, three brooches, a ring re-appearing at auction in 2006.
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