Saturday, July 18, 2015

Luxarazzi 101: Bavarian Ruby and Spinel Parure

Ever thought the Empire Tiara was massive? Think again, cause you've might just seen a bigger gun: The Bavarian Ruby and Spinel Parure. Those of you following the private me on Instagram already know that I recently visited Munich's Residenz, the former home of the Wittelsbach family turned museum, together with the wonderful Lady & the Rose. The Residenz's treasury features not one but two tiaras once worn by the ladies of the Bavarian royal family - among them the former monarchy's last crown princess, née Princess Antonia of Luxembourg, fourth daughter of Grand Duke Wilhelm IV and Grand Duchess Maria Ana.
For the Luxarazzi Tiara Race we needed a few additional tiaras to complete our draw and so the Luxembourgish connection to the Bavarian Ruby and Spinel Parure was a welcome invitation to include it. Plus, we thought we needed a few rubies in the Race not knowing that Princess Claire would turn up in some just a few days before we launched our summer series. (Pssst: This sparkler will be included in tomorrow's tiara match!)

Princess Antonia firstly got engaged to Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria in 1918 just before the end of the monarchy of what today is Germany. However, the couple was prevented to marry due to political reasons before becoming re-engaged and finally tying the knot in 1921. One of the Bavarian tiaras Antonia wore after her wedding for official portraits was the tiara of the Bavarian Ruby and Spinel Parure. The parure, which is made out of rubies, spinel and diamonds, also includes two bracelets, a necklace and earrings.
Crown Princess Antonia of Bavaria, née Princess of Luxembourg and Nassau
The parure was created by court jeweller Caspar Rieländer around 1830 and a gift from King Ludwig I of Bavaria to his wife née Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. (Fun fact #1: The Theresienwiese, the official ground of the world-famous Oktoberfest, is named for her; fun fact #2: The first Oktoberfest was actually celebrated on the occasion of the wedding of Therese and Ludwig.) Apparently though Queen Therese wasn't the biggest fan of the tiara due to its sheer size and weight, and preferred to wear other (smaller) diadems of the family.

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