Friday, April 7, 2017

Luxarazzi 101: Chaumet Diamond and Pearl Choker Tiara

The tiara's nickel at the Chaumet museum
'Tis is the season for state visits. Just last week, Argentina visited the Netherlands and our royal friends from Belgium visited their royal friends in Denmark exponentially multiplying the number of sparkle we got to see during a monarchy-monarchy state visit. And this week there was the visit from Spain to Japan. It made me ache for some Luxembourgish glitter. With no state visit on the horizon and National Day almost three months away, let's have a closer look at one of the grand ducal tiaras we haven't covered in more depths yet.

Truth be told, the reason we haven't had an own Luxarazzi 101 about the Chaumet Diamond and Pearl Choker Tiara is that the name is basically all we can tell you about it. The fact that so little is known about the tiara frequently worn by the Grand Duchess and very occasionally other members of the Grand Ducal Family has left room for much speculation over the years. One of the most common stories about this sparkler is that it is a dramatic remodelling of a necklace once owned by Grand Duchess Charlotte. 
However, that theory seems rather unlikely as Chaumet has confirmed the following to us: The tiara is a "a unique piece made by Chaumet and [they] do have a nickel of the tiara in [their] salons but it is not the exact replica" adding that "it was sold during a public auction and now belongs to the royal family." As the tiaras was purchased in public auction, it's rather impossible that materials used for it came from the Grand Ducal Family themselves. Chaumet also asked us to inquire further with the cour grand-ducale, but the cour being the cour a reply is still pending. 

It is generally believed that the tiara entered the family sometime during the life of Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte. To the best of our recollections, her daughter Margaretha was the first member of the family to wear it during the early 1980's. It has since become a regular for Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and was recently worn by Princess Alexandra as well. While its history remains a bit sketchy, one thing is for sure: The Chaumet Diamond Pearl Choker Tiara is one of the most versatile pieces in the Grand Ducal Collection: Not only can it be worn as a choker necklace, it is also believed that it can be set in no less than six tiara settings. It consists of an intricate latticework pattern of diamonds at the bottom with different settings of pearls and diamonds on top. The pearls that we generally see mounted on top these days were originally sapphires according to the information provided with the nickel - which, keep in mind, isn't "the exact replica" - at the Chaumet museum in Paris. 

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