THE HABSBURG PERIDOT PARURE 💚
A true royal rarity: a diamond parure that also includes a generous helping of peridot, the birthstone of all of you August babies. What could make it better? Why, a provenance that connects it with the Habsburgs, surely!
The set in question is a complete parure of peridot jewels: a tiara, a necklace, earrings, and a substantial brooch. The parure dates to about 1825 and has been attributed to Köchert, who would later become the imperial court jewelers to the Habsburgs. The tiara features large diamond scrolls, the center of which are studded with absolutely enormous peridots. Moreover, the tiara can also be supplemented with seven of the pendants from the necklace, which can be set upright atop the piece. A delicate floral motif runs through all of the pieces in the parure, including the pair of pendant earrings and the large devant de corsage.
It’s said that the first owner of the tiara was Archduchess Henriette of Austria, who was born a princess of Nassau-Weilburg (and was a great-great-granddaughter of George II of Great Britain). Her much older husband, Archduke Charles, was a field marshal who fought against Napoleon. Ironic that Napoleon’s enemies were quickly adopting the fashion for jewelry parures that he had begun in France!
From Charles and Henriette, the peridot set eventually passed to their grandson, Archduke Friedrich, and his wife, Princess Isabella of of Croÿ. Isabella became the wearer most associated with the tiara. She was photographed in the suite at one of the last great Habsburg celebrations: the coronation of Emperor Charles I of Austria-Hungary, which took place in December 1916 (seen below, as well as in the portrait above)
Isabella’s husband died in 1936, many years after the Habsburgs had lost their imperial throne. The peridot jewels were auctioned off around the time of his death.
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