Prize Lots: A Fabergé Tiara Created For a Princess Bride

Mhairi Mann

16 April 2019

Collectors and historians will assemble on 15 May 2019 for Christie's Magnificent Jewels Sale in Geneva, Switzerland

An exceptionally rare Fabergé tiara with royal lineage leads this year’s prize lots

16 April 2019 | Mhairi Mann

In 1904, Frederick Frances IV, 22-year-old Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, ordered a Fabergé Tiara from St Petersburg to gift to his bride-to-be, Princess Alexandra of Hanover and Cumberland.

The delivery of the tiara was however delayed due to Fabergé’s sketches going astray and the duke’s dallying over the choice of gemstones, as detailed in letters between the German court and Eugène Fabergé in Russia. The tiara did not arrive in time for the wedding and Alexandra wore a traditional Hanoverian nuptial crown instead, with the Fabergé piece following at a later date.

The ornate headpiece was worth the wait however, beautifully designed with symbolic forget-me-not-flowers delicately tied with ribbon bows and pierced by Cupid’s arrows. Old, cushion and rose-cut diamonds feature all over, topped by nine graduated pear-shaped aquamarines. Once used by sailors as a talisman of good luck, pastel-hued aquamarine stones became increasingly popular during the Victoriana and Edwardian eras, symbolic of love and affection.

The extraordinary tiara, which is surprisingly light, is among the provenance-steeped highlights of Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale and is estimated to be worth between $230,000 and $340,00. 

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