Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Monday, 12 August 2013

Tiaras and Trinkets on Tuesday (Empress Crystobel Jewellery Auction)

One of the complications when a loved one dies is the administrative nightmare caused by the inheritance and taxes incurred from that. The estate of the late Empress Crystobel was no different and after the transfer of all her assets to her son and heir some ready cash flow was needed to pay the taxman in several countries. For this purpose the Crown Prince Imperial decided to sell some of his mother's jewellery. Jewellery is often a very personal and sentimental matter but in the case of Empress Crystobel, her collection is so vast that several pieces with historical and sentimental links could be let go of, without selling any of the pieces that were especially dear to her and her family.

Princess Augusta, the Empress' sister in law and famous historic jewellery dealer was the obvious choice to handle the sale of the jewellery that was to attract international interest. The auction was done via internet on a specially arranged private forum. Some of the buyers insisted on remaining anonymous so only once the jewellery is worn will we know, if ever, who bought them.

Princess Augusta poses for a press photo with the historic Empress Crystobel Collection at her showrooms in Swann City. 

A detail photo shows the three parures selected for sale. 

The Scotney Dowry Rubies have history albeit based more on rumour than fact. The rubies in the Dowry Tiara are said to have belonged to the wife of the first King of Scotney as an independent Kingdom. They remained uncut for centuries until Queen Crystobel I of Scotney had them faceted and set into this tiara. The set didn't stray from the bloodline however as it was bought by the family of the Empress' youngest sister Princess Beatrice, the Dowager Grand Duchess of Hanoveria. Her son the The Grand Duke of Hanoveria procured the set for his personal collection

The Ruskian Fringe Tiara originally belonged to the last official Ruskian Empress Consort paired with plain matching earrings and a separate necklace of unknown Ruskian provenance. Empress Crystobel bought it in her early life and it was sold to the Empress' other nephew the the Duke of Swann.

The lesser D'Pont Du Lac Emerald Parure was the main attraction at the auction  more so for its colourful history that preceded its ownership by the Empress. Originally made in the late 19th century for the Franconian Princess Helene, Duchesse du Saint Denis.  It came down the Franconian Royal line until it reached the coffers of Her Highness Princess Anne-Marie D’Pont du Lac. Princess Anne-Marie married the 12th Baron d’Rothchild and in 1993 decided to sell the D’Pont du Lac treasures to raise funds for her sickly brother’s medical requirements and to curtail some back taxes on his waning estate. Empress Crystobel was the lucky buyer and the vast emerald parure ended up being broken up into two separate sets of which this is the lesser. It has gone for a record price to an unknown buyer


Empress Crystobel had some jewellery in her collection that she never wore. This set of Pink Corvese Cameos set in a tiara, necklace and brooch are of unknown provenance but at least 200 years old. The cameos are definitely from the famous lapidary workshops in Corvi Romagna and their style and craftsmanship along with the workmanship on the jewellery allow for relatively accurate dating. 

The Corvi Cameo Set also went to an unknown buyer

Two other lots, from the recently discovered Ruskian cache were also put up for sale at the same time sparking even greater interest in the overall sale. This long awaited sale of these historic jewels generated much anticipation over the last few months since their discovery by the Duke of Swann in an abandoned Hanoverian warehouse. 

The so-called, Tutti Fruiti Parure of obvious early Deco Design went for a very high bid to an unknown buyer.

The Emerald Earrings from the Ruskian cache, also of unknown provenance were sold to an unknown buyer. We hope they do not fade into total obscurity but we will keep our eyes peeled to see if they appear on the ears of of one of our Royals in future.

So the end of two glorious eras come to a very business-like end. If nothing else the summary of this sale at least inspired the historic jewellery aspect of our blog as usual. 

10 comments:

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    1. Thank you Heather. Kind of you to say so.

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  2. Your jewels are awesome! I wish i could learn how to make these!

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    1. Thanks for the compliment. The first problem with making these is finding the right materials. Once you have that some aspects are so simple a child could figure it out. But some aspects takes a very long time to acquire the skill.

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  3. Hello from Spain: I really like these gems. Interesting auction. In my country there are many paperwork with the dead .. Keep in touch

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    1. Hi Marta. Nice to have your comments on my blog again. :)

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  4. Hola, son preciosas, me encantaron las de la segunda foto, muy originales.

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    1. Hola. Muchas gracias por el cumplido. Me encanta hacer la joyería para mis muñecas. Son todos diseño original hecho para mis muñecas.

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  5. The Corvi Cameo set caught my eyes *___* I love cameos <3

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    1. Yes, its rare in my doll world. There are only two Cameo Tiaras and only three characters own Cameos.

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