Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Monday, 5 January 2015

Tiaras and Trinkets on Tuesday (Royal and Historic Jewellery in Museums Part 1)

Apart from the obvious Crown Jewel Collections that one may view in many exhibits open to the public, we find a category of jewels that is exhibited in museums and unlike Crown Jewels, serve no symbolic purpose. These historic jewels once belonged to famous historical figures but have since ended up in museums as records of history, artistic value and plain curiosities. The main difference between these museum display jewels and Crown Jewel exhibits is that the museum pieces have never been worn since they ended up in the museum nor will ever be worn again in the context they were designed for. They are now the property of the public and displayed for their pleasure and education. They are at least often displayed with photographs or paintings where they were worn. In this new short series of posts we will feature some pieces of Royal Jewels that find themselves trapped in time behind glass display cases around the world. 

The United States of Americania Museum of History in the Big Apple displays a famous historic parure that belonged to the Grand Duchess Georgiana, sister of Tzar Ivan X of Ruskiana. She married the Count Tolstoievski and after the Great War escaped to Americania where she had to sell the parure to a wealthy Americanian Industrialist. His wife left the historic set of jewels to the museum in her will. 

This contemporary pre-war photo shows, Grand Duchess Georgiana Alexandrovna, Countess Tolstoievski, wearing the awesome Garnet and Diamond Parure. What makes this set unique is the very rare size of the otherwise quite cheap garnet stones. Garnets are very durable and beautiful stones but quite common and therefor cheaply available. However they are rarely larger than 4cm in the rough making larger cut specimens extremely rare and costly. 

 This very recent museum archive photo shows the set of jewellery in detail. It is made, as per the era standards. from silver and set with diamonds and garnets. The craftsmanship is a testament of a bygone era and the level of "made-by-hand" skill that is scarcely matched today if ever.

We hope to do a couple more of these museum features so look out for them on Tuesdays. 

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