French Crown Sapphire Parure

Today marks the anniversary of the birth of Sybil, Marchioness of Cholmondeley, who was born on this day in 1894. The fascinating Rothschild and Sassoon Heiress who married into the illustrious Cholmondeley Family, becoming a prominent Society Hostess and the Chief Staff Officer of the WRNS, Lady Cholmondeley possessed an amazing collection of jewels, including the French Crown Sapphire Parure.

The Tiara and the large Sapphire Parure were commissioned from the French Crown Jeweller Bapst in 1819 by Princess Marie Thérèse, Duchess of Angoulême, the only surviving child of King Louis XIV and Queen Marie Antoinette who was the first Lady of the French Court from 1815 to 1830 and the Queen of France for only 20 mins when she was exiled and the Parure passed to Queen Marie Amélie and then Empress Eugénie, though but was not depicted on either lady. The Parure remained in the French State Treasury after the fall of the French Empire and displayed at the 1878 Exposition Universelle and at the Musée du Louvre in 1884 before being sold at auction with the rest of the crown jewels in May 1887 by the French Third Republic.

The Tiara and Necklace were given as a wedding gift to Aline Caroline de Rothschild when she married Sir Edward Sassoon in 1887, and was inherited by her only daughter Sybil, who wore the Parure at the Coronation of King George VI in 1937 and the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 as well as various State Openings of Parliament, attending as the wife of the Lord Great Chamberlain. At some point, the Tiara was heavily altered using Sapphires from the necklace.

The French Crown Sapphire Tiara was auctioned by Lady Cholmondeley in 1973, and the necklace was also auctioned separately, along with several of her other jewels, which also had a French Royal Provenance. The present owner is unknown.


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