Hohenzollern Sapphire Parure

The major European Auction Houses are having their annual spring Royal and Noble Jewellery Sales, and so we are featuring the splendid highlight of the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Sale in Geneva this week, the Hohenzollern Sapphire Parure!

Christie’s Magnificent Jewels | 12 May 2021

Sapphire and Diamond Tiara | Sapphire and Diamond Bandeau | Sapphire and Diamond Necklace | Sapphire and Diamond Earrings | Sapphire and Diamond Bracelet | Sapphire and Diamond Brooch | Sapphire and Diamond Brooch | Sapphire and Diamond Pendant | Sapphire and Diamond Pendant | Sapphire and Diamond Ring

Estimate: CHF 170,000 – CHF 350,000 | CHF 140,000 – CHF 250,000 | CHF 180,000 – CHF 320,000 | CHF 30,000 – CHF 45,000 | CHF 10,000 – CHF 17,000 | CHF 25,000 – CHF 40,000 | CHF 5,000 – CHF 10,000 | CHF 15,000 – CHF 25,000 | CHF 15,000 – CHF 25,000 | CHF 10,000 – CHF 18,000

Result: CHF 1,770,000 | CHF 525,000 | CHF 437,500 | CHF 175,000  | CHF 112,500  | CHF 75,000 | CHF 20,000 | CHF 56,250 | CHF 37,500 | CHF 77,500

Property of the Princely House of Hohenzollern

The splendid Parure features a Tiara from Queen Maria II of Portugal which can be unmounted into nine brooches, alongside an extensive Parure, composed of a Bandeau Tiara, necklace, earrings, pendants, brooch, bracelet, and ring, that comes from Stephanie de Beauharnais, Grand Duchess of Baden.

The Tiara, which can be broken up into nine brooches and also worn with just the base, was made for Queen Maria II of Portugal in the 1840s, who was pictured wearing it in a portrait by artist Ferdinand Krumholz 1846, kept at the throne room of Palácio da Ajuda in Lisbon. Valued at ‘2 contos de réis’ and described as a tiara formed by nine detachable elements set with a total of 1415 brilliant cut diamonds and five sapphires of fine colour, after Queen Maria II’s death in 1853, the tiara was inherited by either her daughter, Infanta Antonia, married to Léopold, Prince of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen, or her other daughter, Infanta Maria Ana, married to the future King George of Saxony, whose granddaughter, Princess Margarete Karola, likely inherited the Tiara and married Prince Frederick of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a grandson of Infanta Antonia.

Acquired during the Napoléonic era by Stephanie de Beauharnais, Grand Duchess of Baden, an adopted daughter of Napoléon, the Sapphire Parure was possibly given to her by her cousin, Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of Empress Josephine, before being inherited by her daughter, Josephine, the Princess of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, who had the original Belt transformed into the Bandeau and Bracelet.

The Tiara and Parure were united in Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen collection either when Infanta Maria Ana married into the family in 1861 or when Princess Margarete Karola of Saxony married Prince Frederick of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen in 1920. Princess Margarete Karola was notably pictured wearing the Tiara in a portrait in the 1920s and then paired with the Sapphire Parure at the Wedding Ball of Princess Birgitta of Sweden and her son, Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern, at the Royal Palace of Stockholm in 1961. Princess Margarete Karola also wore parts of the Parure at the various Weddings of her seven children, where the brides wore the Hohenzollern Clover Coronet.

In 1966, Princess Margarete Karola loaned the Sapphire Parure to her elder daughter-in-law, Princess Margarita of Leiningen, for the Wedding Ball of the Margrave of Baden and Archduchess Valerie of Austria. The following year, the Tiara and Parure were worn by another daughter-in-law, Princess Birgitta at the Wedding of her first cousin, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, in Copenhagen.

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The Bandeau Tiara was worn by Princess Birgitta at the Wedding Ball of her sisters, Princess Margaretha and Princess Desiree, at the Royal Palace of Stockholm in 1964, and more recently Countess Alexandra Schenck von Stauffenberg wore the Bandeau to marry the current Prince in 1985.

The Parure is being auctioned in separate lots so it is unlikely that it will ever be seen together again. The Portuguese Government is among those suspected to be bidding for the Tiara, while it is likely that the other elements of the Sapphire Parure will disappear in various private collections. The Family still retain the Hohenzollern Clover Coronet.

Spanish Royal Jewels | Vincent Meylan | Royal Magazin


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