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, the Belgian Princess who became the last Queen of Italy, who possessed the vast jewellery collection of the House of Savoy!
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 wore the Brooch at the Christening of the Prince of Naples in 1937 and then at the Coronation of Pope Pius XII in 1939. After the abolition of the italian Monarchy, Queen Marie Jose wore the brooch at the Pre-Wedding reception for her daughter, Princess Maria-Pia, and Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia in Portugal in 1955. At the time, Queen Marie-Jose was living in Switzerland, while her husband was living in Portugal.
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 Wedding Ball of Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sophia of Greece in 1962. 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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