Today marks the Anniversary of the Death of Princess Soraya of Iran, who died on this day in 2001! The Shah’s second wife who became an Actress after their forced divorce and was known as the ‘Princess with the sad eyes’, Princess Soraya possessed a magnificent jewellery collection, much of which she retained after her divorce, that included these spectacular Bulgari Ruby Earrings!
A spectacular pair of ruby and diamond earrings, with detachable ruby and diamond tassels, that is accompanied by a ruby and diamond flower bracelet, this suite was acquired at Bulgari at some point in the late 1950s, possibly by the Shah shortly before their divorce in 1958.
Princess Soraya debuted the Bulgari Ruby Earrings at an event in December 1959, the same month the Shah married for the third time to Empress Farah.
The upper portion of the earrings were worn for a Press Conference in 1963, to announce that Princess Soraya had been signed as an Actress by Italian film producer Dino De Laurentiis.
The following year, Princess Soraya was pictured wearing the Ruby Earrings in a series of portraits taken by Sergio del Grande at her Villa in the Appia Antica near Rome in 1964.
Princess Sonya continued to wear the Bulgari Ruby Earrings through the 1980s and 1990s, most notably for a series of portraits taken at her home in Paris in 1991.
After her death in 2001, Princess Soraya’s jewellery collection was inherited by her brother, Prince Bijan, who passed away a week later without a will and no heirs who came forward. Instead, the city of Cologne, where Prince Bijan lived, decided to auction the entire collection at Beaussant-Lefevre in Paris, raising ₤6.5 million which were turned over to the finance office of North Rhine Westfalia in Germany. The current location of the Bulgari Ruby Earrings is unknown.