Tiaras, brooches and bracelets: 2021 is the golden year of royal jewels at auction

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Tiaras, bracelets, necklaces, pieces truly rich in history and carats. Real jewels of reputable value given that they have been auctioned in the various auctions that have taken place in this 2021. It will be that the interest in all that is royal he is experiencing a golden moment but such abundance has never been seen before.
Probably the auction houses, taking advantage of the widespread interest, have begun to communicate in a modern way the sale of these treasures that are also enjoying great success on social networks. A show also offered to those who do not have bank accounts with a certain spending capacity but who, as if they were magpies, scrollano the phone in search of that dazzling glitter at no cost.

To give an example, just think about the ways in which Sotheby’s presented the tiara that belonged to the Savoy family protagonist of the auction Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels. The auction house has also launched an Instagram filter to experience the thrill of wearing the precious tiara valued at around 1.3 million euros made by the Musy jewelry in the mid-19th century. The would-be queens ran to do the virtual test by snapping around 22,000 selfies and videos over six weeks. An anonymous Asian buyer, however, has really won it and can see in the mirror the effect that turns with a tiara on his head: a game of little more than 1.4 million euros.

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Paraphrasing Zoolander, we can say that the tiaras went a mess this year. On 7 December they were auctioned for approx 675 thousand euros two very rare diadems, part of the same set, which are supposed to have belonged to Giuseppina Bonaparte, wife of Napoleon and empress of France. After more than 150 years kept in the same private collection in the United Kingdom, the two neoclassical style tiaras and made in Paris around 1808 are an expression of the refined French craftsmanship of the time. Their new destination is unknown.

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A month earlier from Christie’s instead a tiara of gold, silver and diamonds in ears of wheat worn by was sold in Geneva Pauline Bonaparte, Napoleon’s younger sister. It is a rare surviving example of the jewelry of the time, again inspired by a neoclassical ideal. The auctioneer struck his hammer once they reached i 780 thousand euros. At the same event, a ruby ​​and diamond brooch from the same period, last seen on the market in 1887 at the French crown jewels auction, was sold for 250mila euro. It was commissioned by Napoleon himself along with other jewels: the bracelets in that suite are now part of the Louvre collection. Indeed, royal jewelry experts hope to one day see the piece in the French museum to reconstitute part of the set.
Coming to more recent specimens, one has also popped up this hot fall for royal jewels tiara of diamonds and sapphires that belonged to the Battenbergs, the family of Prince Philip. Realized price: just under 110 thousand euros.

Under the heading of precious relics with a legendary history we can undoubtedly count Maria Antonietta’s diamond bracelets. In addition to the value itself, the myth must have contributed to the figure reached of just over 7 million euros, representing the second highest price paid for a jewel by the French queen (the record goes to a pearl and diamond pendant sold for the equivalent of 33 million euros sold in 2018).

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Taking a leap of more than a century, we come to a part of the treasure of the Romanovs recently resurfaced in Geneva at an auction of Sotheby’s last November 10. Who won the lot consisting of a sapphire and diamond brooch and matching earrings he paid out something like 800 thousand euros, doubling the initial price. The story of the jewels is this: they originally belonged to the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, aunt of the emperor Nicola II, who entrusted them during the 1917 revolution to the British aristocratic antiquarian Albert Henry Stopford, his friend, to ensure safe passage to London. From the daring recovery in St. Petersburg (Stopford took them disassembled wrapped in newspaper) to today, a lot of water has passed under the bridges. After a series of hereditary changes, the set was auctioned for the first time in 2009. Purchased by another European princely family, now the Romanov treasure is back to spin the economy.

Nothing creates more excitement, not only among collectors but also among the simple curious, gods jewels also linked only tangentially to the British royal family. In April the big pieces of the auction London Jewels from Bonhams They were a rigid bracelet with emerald, pearls and diamonds of the late nineteenth century e one with cameo in onyx, enamel, pearls and diamonds from the mid 19th century owned by Anne Parsons, Countess of Rosse.

The name will say nothing to most but if we add that the son of the aristocrat in question was Antony Armstrong-Jones then it is easier to trace the illustrious kinship: the socialite she was the mother-in-law of Princess Margaret. The cameo bracelet comes from the important collection of the family Micheal Parsons, second husband of Anne, as a token of their love: the lion that holds out his paw to Eros means that their feeling is capable of overcoming everything.
The other piece was a favorite of the countess: not only did she wear the jewel with the Colombian emerald at her son’s wedding to Margaret but also to the previous one of Queen Elizabeth with Philip of Edinburgh. With the first bracelet, the figure reached approached 50 thousand euros while for the second, 100 thousand have been exceeded.

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In this 2021, he couldn’t miss it something precious that belonged to Margaret. On September 14, in fact, it was sold for approx 375 thousand euros a bracelet art Deco of cultured pearls and diamonds, practically adding a zero to the leading digit. The value is also justified by the presence of the jewel in the portrait of the princess taken for her 19th birthday by the photographer Cecil Beaton.

However, he thought about opening the dance in this glittering 2021 a very special collection, the one that belonged to Patricia Mountbatten, the cousin of Prince Philip. The auction that was held by Sotheby’s in London on 24 March he achieved amazing results. There was everything but certainly the most curious lots, or at least those that had a certain media coverage, were those of jewelry.

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One piece above all: the bag in the shape of a pig with the eyes injected with rubies and the tail of small diamonds, built in the early 1900s by Lacloche Brothers, totaled a figure 44 times its initial estimate to almost 130 thousand euros. The communication around this auction-event also made us known the mourning jewels that belonged to Queen Victoria. The sovereign, struck by numerous losses over her long life, used to wear commemorative jewels to always carry the memory of her loved ones with her (in a pendant there is still the hair of her missing niece). A group of four of these jewels more than doubled the starting price: the collector who now owns them wrote a check for 118,000 pounds.

Royal jewelry has therefore become a trend, a different way of investing money rediscovered especially in the East. A business also favored byhype that is created around these relics of great historical interest. Let’s see what will happen in 2022. The auction houses are already heating up the hammers as diamonds and precious gems prepare to move from one safe to another. And we just have to stand by and watch. After all, dreaming costs nothing. At least for now.

Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you:

– Margaret, the jewelry collector

– Queen Elizabeth’s brooches tell her secrets

– The Greville collection, intrigues and diamonds among the joys of Queen Elizabeth

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