Princess Neslişah’s Ottoman Diamond Parure

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of the Death of Princess Neslişah Sultan, Princess Abdel Moneim of Egypt, who passed away in 2012. The stunning Ottoman Princess who married an Egyptian Prince, becoming an accomplished cultural icon as the First Lady of the Court during the short-lived Recency of King Fuad, Princess Neslişah was a noted Fashion icon, and her most illustrious jewels were this spectacular Ottoman Diamond Parure!

   

   

   

Lets learn about Princess Neslişah!  Born Princess Fatma Neslişah Sultan, the eldest daughter of Şehzade Ömer Faruk, only son of Caliph Abdulmejid II, and Sabiha Sultan, youngest daughter of Sultan Mehmed VI, she was the imperial member of the Ottoman Royal Family inscribed in the palace register of dynasty members just months before the end of the Ottoman Empire. Going into exile in 1924, the Princess grew up in Nice before moving to Egypt, where she unwillingly got engaged to Prince Hassan Toussoun in 1938, later breaking off the engagement. In 1940, after some coercion, Princess Neslişah married Prince Muhammad Abdel Moneim, son of Egypt’s last Khedive Abbas Hilmi II, who has the Heir to a massive fortune. The couple had two children; Prince Abbas Hilmi and Princess Ikbal Moneim. Prince Muhammad Abdel Moneim became the Regent for the baby King Fuad II of Egypt after the July 1952 Revolution, when the Princess became the First Lady of the Court, focusing on charity work and presiding over many sporting events. Fluent in French, English, German and Arabic, Princess Neslişah was an avid skier, swimmer and equestrian, interested in history, literature, geography, botany and the culture of cuisine. The 10-month Regency ended with the abolition of the Egyptian Monarchy in 1953, and in 1957, the Prince and Princess were arrested, being released after pressure from the Turkish President, who restored her Turkish Citizenship in 1963. After living in Europe for a shot period, the family moved to Turkey, where she became the most senior Ottoman Princess and the last surviving member of the dynasty born during the Empire. Princess Neslişah passed away in Istanbul at the age of 91, with the Turkish President paying tribute:

She was the poster-child for nobleness who carried the blood of Osman,We remember her with high regard and our blessings.

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Consisting of a late 19th century necklace, a pair of earrings, and a brooch made from diamonds of various tints belonging to Empress Catherine I of Russia, the second wife of Tsar Peter the Great, who gifted them to Sultan Ahmed III of the Ottoman Empire, as peace offering to end the Pruth River Campaign in 1711. The diamonds were gifted by Sultan Abdül Hamid II to the wife of the Khedive of Egypt, Valida Sultana Emine Hanim, possibly on the occasion of the birth of their son and heir Khedive Abbas II Hilmi Paşa in 1874.

The Parure passed to Khedive Abbas II after Valida Sultana Emine Hanim’s death in 1931. The Khedive had been deposed by the British in 1914, with an uncle put on the Egyptian Throne and marking end of four centuries of Egypt being ruled as an Ottoman Province. The Ottoman Diamond Parure was given as Wedding Gift to Ottoman Princess Fatma Neslişah Sultan, granddaughter of the last Ottoman Caliph Abdulmejid II, when she married the Khedive’s son, Prince Muhammad Abdel Moneim, the former Heir Apparent and then 3rd-in-line to the Egyptian Throne. Princess Neslişah wore the Necklace and Earrings of the Parure on her wedding day in 1940 and later wore it for a portrait painted by Jean Denis Maillart in the 1940s.

   

   

Princess Neslişah frequently wore the Ottoman Diamond Necklace as a Tiara througout the 1940s and the 1950s, especially while Prince Muhammad Abdel Moneim was the Egyptian Regent in 1952-53, with the Princess serving as the First Lady of the Court. After the monarchy was abolished, the Parure was taken into exile in Paris, when the Princess was pictured wearing it in the mid-1950s, but eventually had to be sold.

   

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The Ottoman Diamond Parure was originally sold at Auction at Christie’s in May 1963 for £12,500. It appeared again at Sotheby’s in 2011 as well as at the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels Sale in Geneva in 2016 for an estimated 2,950,000 – 4,920,000 CHF, but since the final sale price is unknown, it it possible that the Parure was not sold or sold privately.

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