Today marks the 165th Anniversary of the Birth of Empress Auguste Viktoria of Germany, who was born on this day in 1858! The last Kaiserin of Germany, the Empress possessed a plethora of important jewels, of which not much is publicly known, so to mark the day, we are featuring the splendid Prussian Sapphire and Pearl Brooch!
A spectacular massive faceted sapphire with a pearl pendant and three diamonds on each side, this Brooch dates from the time of King Frederick I of Prussia, being first mentioned in a letter to his mother-in-law, Electress Sophia of Hannover in 1705.
Empress Augusta Victoria was photographed wearing the Sapphire and Pearl Brooch from the 1890s, choosing it for several portraits in casual day dress, drawing more attention to the massive heirloom brooch.
One of Empress Augusta Victoria’s most notable appearances in the Prussian Sapphire and Pearl Brooch came with the Prussian Clover Coronet for a series of official portraits taken in April 1913, shortly before the Wedding of Prince Ernst August of Hanover to her daughter, Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia.
The Prussian Sapphire and Pearl Brooch was notably photographed for a book on the Jewels of House of Hohenzollern in 1913, and was kept by the family after the abolition of the German Monarchy at the end of the First World War.
In the 1930s, the Sapphire and Pearl Brooch seems to have been worn in a modified form by Crown Princess Cecilie, along with the Crown Sapphire Parure, for the Wedding Gala of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Princess Ingrid of Sweden in 1935 and the Wedding of Prince Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe and Princess Feodora of Denmark in 1937.
While it is possible that the Sapphire and Pearl Brooch still belongs to the Prince of Prussia, it is more likely that it was among the jewels lost when the USSR expropriated the family’s extensive estates in East Germany after the Second World War, or it was sold to support the family in the decades since. Its current location is unknown.