Queen Geraldine’s Diamond Goat Tiara

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of the Death of Queen Geraldine of Albania, who passed away on this day in 2002!  The Hungarian Countess who became the first and last Queen of Albania, and spent the majority of her life in exile, Queen Geraldine possessed some splendid jewels, the highlight of her collection being her Diamond Goat Tiara!

Diamond Goat Tiara | Sapphire Goat Tiara | Ruby Earrings

Depicting the Albanian royal crest of the ‘Ram of Skanderberg’ atop a graduated floral vine, set with old European and single-cut diamonds, the Diamond Goat Tiara was designed by Marianne Ostier for Oesterreicher in 1938, to celebrate the Wedding of King Zog I of Albania and Countess Geraldine Apponyi de Nagy-Appony. The Ram was a motif also used on the Tiaras made for the King’s sisters.

Designed by Marianne Ostier for Oesterreicher, later to become Ostier, Inc. of New York, this tiara was created for the marriage of Queen Geraldine and King Zog I of Albania in 1938. Born in Budapest, Geraldine was known as ‘The White Rose of Hungary;’ and so this floral design topped by the Albanian royal crest was the perfect ornament for the royal ceremony. As Marianne Ostier recalled in her 1958 book Jewels and the Woman, the tiara was, ‘…a decorative and distinctive diamond crown for the decorative and distinguished Queen Geraldine.’

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Queen Geraldine wore the Tiara for a handful of occasions right after the wedding, including for a series of portraits and for Albanian Independence Day in 1938. The reign of King Zog lasted only for a year after the wedding, and just days after the Queen gave birth to a son, in April 1939, Mussolini invaded Albania, and the Royal Family went into exile. 

Queen Geraldine was not pictured wearing the Diamond Goat Tiara in exile, though there was an exhibition of jewels, including the jewels of the King’s sisters, at Ostier in 1959. In 1960, King Zog and Queen Geraldine sold the bulk of their jewellery collection at Ostier, which included the Tiara, a bracelet, and an Art Deco clip brooch. However, Queen Geraldine retained some splendid jewels, including her Ruby Earrings and a Sapphire Goat Tiara.

Queen Geraldine’s Diamond Goat Tiara was bought by American Pharmaceutical Millionaire Elmer Holmes Bobst for his wife Mamdouha Bobst, to be worn to be for a Dinner at the White House held in his honour. According to friends of the Bobsts, Mamdouha wore her finest jewels when invited to events as she viewed this as the ultimate compliment to a host or hostess, and it was written about her in the Australian Women’s Weekly in 1971:

“Tiaras can also make an evening. About four years ago, Elmer Bobst, chairman of a pharmaceutical company, came home and said to his wife: “I think you are going to like something I got for you.” The something was, according to Mrs. Bobst, “a not large but beautiful and decorative” tiara with a ram and flower design in diamonds on platinum. It was once owned by Queen Geraldine of Albania and Mrs Bobst wore it to a White House dinner in honour of her husband. “He really is a wonderful husband,” she said earnestly. We think so too!”

After Mamdouha Bobst’s death in 2015, Queen Geraldine’s Diamond Goat Tiara was put on Auction in the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Sale in New York in April 2016, with an estimate of $30,000 — $50,000 but the winning bid remains unknown, as does the Tiara’s current location. 

Diamond Goat Tiara | Sapphire Goat Tiara | Ruby Earrings


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