Today marks the Centenary of the Death of Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who passed away in 1922! The Russian Grand Duchess who became the penultimate Consort of the German Grand Duchy, becoming the mother of three illustrious children as well as an illegitimate son by her personal secretary during a long widowhood, Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna possessed a splendid Jewellery Collection, the highlight of which was the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Amethyst Tiara!
But first lets learn about Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna! The daughter of Grand Duke Michael Nikolaevich of Russia and Princess Cecilie of Baden, Grand Duchess Anastasia married Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1879, having three children, Queen Alexandrine of Denmark, Grand Duke Frederick Francis IV of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and Crown Princess Cecilie of Prussia, before the Grand Duke’s death in 1897. Living mainly on the French Riviera with infrequent visits to Schwerin, the Grand Duchess had an affair with her secretary, giving brith to an illegitimate son, Alexis Louis de Wenden. Settled in Switzerland during the First World War, the Grand Duchess later passed from a stroke a few years later, after the First World War.
A spectacular piece featuring a massive central Amethyst surrounded by an elaborate diamond design, the Tiara was likely created around the time Princess Augusta Reuss of Köstritz married Grand Duke Frederick Francis II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1849. Grand Duchess Augusta was notably portrayed in the Amethyst Tiara in a portrait by Friedrich Kaulbach in 1856, before her death in 1862.
The Mecklenburg-Schwerin Amethyst Tiara was later seen on Dowager Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, née Princess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, the third wife of Grand Duke Frederick Francis II, who wore it for the Wedding of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands to her son, Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, in 1901.
The Mecklenburg-Schwerin Amethyst Tiara was last pictured on Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna, the penultimate Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who notably wore the piece for a portrait at some point in the late 1890s or early 1900s. The Amethyst Tiara was not pictured on the subsequent Grand Duchess Alexandra, née Princess of Hannover, and it may have either been broken up in the years after the First World War, or stolen or sold in the years during or after the Second World War. The eventual fate is unknown.