Queen Marie-Jose’s Bow Brooch

An early and illustrious contender for this years Royal Jewels at Auction, this Diamond Bow Brooch is going be be auctioned at the Christie’s “Magnificent Jewels” sale on April 26th in New York. It belonged to Queen Marie-Jose, the last Queen of Italy.

Made by Italian Crown jeweller Musy around 1860, this Diamond Bow Brooch is reported to have been worn by Queen Margherita and Queen Elena of Italy. In 1930, it was given as a wedding gift by King Victor-Emmanuel III and Queen Elena of Italy to their new daughter-in-law, Princess Marie-Jose of Belgium, when she married Crown Prince Umberto. Crown Princess Marie-Jose wasn’t pictured wearing the Bow Brooch during her tenure as Crown Princess and even during her 35-day tenure as Queen of Italy.

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The first time Queen Marie-Jose was seen wearing the Brooch at the 1939 Coronation of Pope Pius XII. 

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She later wore it in 1955 at the Pre-Wedding reception for her daughter, Princess Maria-Pia, and Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia in Portugal. At the time, Queen Marie-Jose was living in Switzerland, while her husband was living in Portugal.

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In 1960, Queen Marie-Jose wore the Diamond Bow brooch at the Pre-Wedding Ball of her nephew, King Baudouin of Belgium, and Dona Fabiola de Mora y Aragon at the Royal Palace of Brussels.

In the 1962, Queen Marie-Jose wore the Diamond Bow brooch at the Pre-Wedding Ball of Princess Sophia of Greece to Infante Juan Carlos of Spain (now King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain) at the Royal Palace of Athens. The Brooch was also worn at the Wedding of Princess Sofia’s brother, King Constantine of Greece to Princess Anne Marie of Denmark in 1964. After Queen Marie Jose’s death in 2001, the Diamond Bow brooch was left to her youngest daughter, Princess Marie-Gabrielle, who sold at auction at Christie’s in June 2007, along with several other royal heirlooms. It is being sold again by Christie’s on April 26th.

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Queen Marie-Jose



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