Today marks the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Princess Marie Louise, who was born on this day in 1872! The fascinating granddaughter of Queen Victoria who married and divorced a German Prince, and later became a Princess ‘of nowhere’’, the Princess possessed some splendid jewels and to mark the Anniversary, we are featuring her spectacular Cartier Stomacher!
Featuring a large round central Pearl in the midst of an Art Deco Diamond Brooch with Onyx detailing, this Cartier Brooch, which also included a detachable tassel, was acquired by Princess Helena Victoria and Princess Marie Louise at some point in the 1920s or 30s, and was worn by Princess Helena Victoria for the Wedding Ball of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Princess Ingrid of Sweden in 1935, as well at the Coronation of King George VI in 1937.
After Princess Helena Victoria’s death, the Cartier Stomacher was was by her sister, Princess Marie Louise for a number of occasions through the 1950s, as well as for a series of portraits by Cecil Beaton, who began the session by thinking she must be ‘an old gaga absurdity,’ but by the end of the session he thought her ‘absolutely enchanting.’ At the time of her death in 1956, Princess Marie Louise left some Jewels to the Queen, the Diamond Sunburst Brooch to the Queen Mother, the Cartier Indian Tiara to the Duke of Gloucester, and the Honeysuckle Tiara, as well as this Cartier Stomacher to her cousin, Princess Patricia of Connaught / Lady Patricia Ramsay.
After Lady Patricia’s death in 1974, the Cartier Pearl, Diamond, and Onyx Brooch was inherited by her only son, Alexander, and his wife Lady Saltoun, and was included, without the tassel, in the 74 lots that were sold at the Christie’s 15 May 1974 Important Jewels Sale, alongside the Honeysuckle Tiara, Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Chain, the Duchess of Connaught’s Diamond Rivieres, the Connaught Bow Brooch, and an Art Deco Brooch. The current location of the Stomacher is unknown.