My favourite Tuesday again, yay! This will be our last post focusing on emeralds by themselves for a while. Next week, I am planning something special for the Tuesday instalment. For today though we will deal with the Emerald Cross of Ruskiana. This particular piece is of such a historic and intrinsic value that it may stand in its own right as an exceptional contribution to our three part series on emeralds. However for practical wear, earrings have been added and this obviously makes the set even more significant.
In a rare appearance of the emeralds, the whole set was worn by Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna to the Swann 15th Anniversary Celebration in March this year. She also wears an antique Kokoshnik Tiara.
Originally the Cross formed part of the Ruskian Crown Jewel Collection having been given to the Tzar in 1794 by the then Metropolitan of Moskovi as a blessing over Easter after defeating an invading force. Later the pectoral cross was put on a strand of pearls with the intent that it would be worn more regularly by the wives of the Tzars. After the Great War the cross left Ruskiana along with the fleeing Imperial Family but was lost in the chaos. It reappeared in 1961 at auction and at that stage the Ruskian Socialist Government was repentant for the gross murder of members of the Imperial family. As a token of their remorse they bought the cross, ordered the addition of the earrings and gifted it to the Hanoverian Royal Family in trust of their Ruskian Imperial cousins. Today the set is in the private collection of Grand Duchess Xenia and Grand Duchess Alexandra who rarely wear it due to its cumbersome large size.
This jeweller's archive photo shows the set in detail. The emeralds are what defines this piece however it centers around a very large diamond which is typical of Ruskian jewellery. Ruskiana is famous for its vast diamond deposits that have been mined for centuries. These mines often also yield large samples which in time gone by invariably ended up in the Imperial vaults. So we conclude our short series on emeralds.
What do you think of this set?